I’m torn on how to rate this one (4 or 5 stars — it’s definitely one of the two, though). On one hand, it’s laugh-out-loud funny in multiple parts, and I found myself grinning like an idiot in many more. On the other hand, there were a number of sections of the story that really dragged… but I also probably shouldn’t fault it for that, because it’s not a gripping suspense, and it’s not meant to be. Lara Jean’s story is episodic, slice-of-life stuff.
While “To All The Boys” had a specific plot (Lara Jean’s little sister Kitty sent out all of her love letters to get her back for something she was mad about, and Lara Jean invented a fake boyfriend to keep the guy she really liked from figuring out she still liked him), this one didn’t have that much of a plot until about halfway through. “To All The Boys” ended (spoiler alert) with a pseudo-cliffhanger: will she or won’t she get back together with Peter? This one starts with their reconciliation (which is SUPER cute, btw), but after that, they’re just… together. Which is fun, but there’s no conflict until Lara Jean gets a letter back from the fifth boy from the first book–the “one who got away” in many respects. Also, Peter still goes running the second his ex-girlfriend Genevieve calls, and while he promises Lara Jean that he’s just there for her as a friend because she’s going through a “hard time,” he won’t tell her what the “hard time” is. The plot from that point on is the conflict between Lara Jean and Peter introduced by the now love square (is that a thing?), and the mystery of Genevieve’s personal struggles.
Yet I’m already reading book 3 in the series… so despite the long passages about minutiae, I’m still hooked. So, 4.5 stars?
My rating: **** 1/2
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