Hi, everyone! I hope you’re excited for our book club discussion for P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I personally loved this book. I think I finished it within 48 hours of picking it up. It’s the kind of fun summer read that you just can’t put down! It also made me super nostalgic for my high school days. Jenny just captures the essence of high school so well.
For those of you who are just tuning in, P.S. I Still Love You is the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which we read in our book club earlier this year. I’m super excited because along with reading questions, I have a Q&A I did with the author Jenny Han. Check it out below…
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
Q&A With Jenny Han:
JH: I would say that if you love a boy who you know is bad news, at least know that you will get a lot of good material out of it! That’s actually my writing philosophy: Appreciate even and especially the hard moments in life, because there is always the hope of turning something painful into something beautiful through writing about it. I would also tell my younger self to stop plucking my eyebrows and that mocha-colored matte lipstick will never be a good look for you.
LC: Did you have experience dealing with a mean girl like Genevieve when you were in school? What is your advice to young women who might be dealing with that now?
JH: I knew a Genevieve type girl—a girl who would give a compliment that felt like an insult. You would repeat it later to your guy friends and they would never believe it, they’d leap to her defense and be like, you girls are just jealous. Guys can be such suckers for a pretty girl they think needs rescuing. Trust me, this girl did not need rescuing. I give her props for that! My advice is to just be you and don’t let anyone make you feel less than them, because you are good enough just as you are.
LC: What was the inspiration behind Stormy’s character? She was hilarious!
JH: I have spent my whole life around elderly people and I have always loved to listen to their stories. When I was little, I’d go to my friend’s house and she’d want to play outside, and I just wanted to drink tea and eat Mint Milanos with her grandma and hear about the Depression. Also, my grandparents lived with us until I was ten, and my mom owned a grocery store inside of a retirement community. I’d work there on weekends sometimes. In college, I volunteered at a nursing home in college. My roommate and I would run the cocktail hour. We’d serve drinks and dish out peanuts. There was a lady there named Stormy, and she loved to play the piano and sing, and she wouldn’t let anyone else near it.
LC: One of my favorite moments was when Peter gave Lara Jean the vintage heart necklace that she thought someone else had bought months ago. Had you been planning that since the first book? What is the most thoughtful gift you have ever been given?
JH: Yes! I knew he basically had it on layaway for her. He couldn’t buy it outright, but he was like, Mom, I swear I’ll pay you back for it, just take it out of the case so no one else buys it. Oftentimes to Lara Jean it seemed like Peter wasn’t paying attention, but he was, in his own way. The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever been given is probably a strand of pearls from my mom. My dad had been given them from his company for his 20-year anniversary, and he gave them to my mom. I always admired them, and years later she gave the pearls to me.
LC: The descriptions of Lara Jean’s baked goods in this book were some of my favorite little details. Have you baked all of the desserts you put in the book or do you just imagine them? What are your favorite things to bake right now?
JH: The only thing I haven’t baked are the cherry turnovers. I think I’ve baked everything else. Baking is such a stress reliever for me. My favorite things to bake right now are Funfetti cakes, because everybody loves a Funfetti cake. From scratch, of course! Also, because it’s summer, I’ve been baking a lot of blueberry muffins. I love using up fruit that is on its last leg. I feel so thrifty.
LC: Will we ever get to read another book with these characters (pretty please!)? What is the next thing you are working on?
JH: Never say never, but probably not! When I finish a story, it’s hard for me to go back to those characters. I feel like they are living their own lives now without me, but in a nice way. Right now I’m working on a book for younger kids called Princess Petal, about a very tiny princess the size of a daisy. I’m also very much in the thinking stage of a new YA book that I haven’t quite figured out yet. I like this stage because it’s still a secret, and the future is very bright, and the book can be whatever it wants to be!
- Are you Team Peter or Team John Ambrose McClaren?
- Who did you think was responsible for spreading the hot tub video in the beginning? Did you always know it was Genevieve?
- Did you feel like Genevieve’s family problems justified Peter still being so close with her? Or do you think Lara Jean had a right to be jealous?
- How do you think the story would have been different if Lara Jean’s mother was still alive?
- Who was your favorite character in the book and why?
Here are My Answers:
- I’m glad that Lara Jean ended up with Peter in the end, because it felt like she finally got her happy ending. There were definitely moments in the book when I was Team John though (like when Peter asked for the necklace back… what a jerk!) John was so sweet and such a gentleman, but in the end Lara Jean just didn’t have the same kind of attraction to him that she did to Peter. Nobody is perfect anyway, and I think the definition of true love is when you can see past someone’s flaws and forgive them for their mistakes.
- It made sense that it would be Genevieve, but I expected Jenny to throw a curve ball at us like in the last book (Kitty and the love letters). So with that in mind, I thought maybe it could be Chris or even Josh. I was really just guessing though!
- After finding out what Genevieve was going through, it made sense that she would need a familiar shoulder to lean on. But at the same time, having Peter spend so much time with his ex could not possibly be good for his relationship with Lara Jean—no matter what the reason behind them hanging out was. I think Lara Jean was actually a lot more understanding about it than I would have been. I would have given him an ultimatum: her or me.
- I think that not having her mother around places a weight on Lara Jean’s shoulders. She feels like she is responsible for Kitty (especially now that Margot is away at college), and also doesn’t want to do anything to make life harder on her dad. If her mother was still alive, Lara Jean might have been able to talk to her about her boy troubles and the hot tub video. It can be a lot harder for a teenage girl to talk to her dad about those kinds of things, no matter how kind and understanding he is.
- Kitty is my favorite character. (Stormy is a close second though!) She is funny, sassy, and wise beyond her years. Jenny also captures the relationship between Lara Jean and Kitty so perfectly. Sometimes they bicker and tease each other, but they are really best friends in a way only sisters can be.
Now it’s your turn! What are your answers to the questions above?
Leave your responses in the comments so that I can read them. My editors will also reply to a few.
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