Top critical review
So much insecure whining
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2018
I really liked the first book and rushed to buy this one only to be disappointed. For starters, Lara Jean spends the whole story being insecure about her boyfriend’s ex Genevieve or wondering it he wants to have sex with her (Lara). He is a guy so yes, stop asking. That is seriously 90% of the book. She became the crazy girlfriend who kept bringing up his ex. Now, Peter did run to his ex’s aid too much and the grand reason he was such a necessity to Gen was just lame. The ex used a mildly upsetting scenario (no one died or was dying) to keep Peter on the hook and he was too dumb to realize it. So he was to blame for a bit of Lara’s insecurity but it was pretty clear that the author had no real story in mind for this book by how many times Lara questioned the same things over and over. The author admitted this was written at fan request just to explore John Ambrose, a pointless addition, and it showed.
What I truly hated was the whole “sex tape” story line. Without consent from either Peter or Lara Jean, they were filmed making out in a hot tub on a school trip. Lara fully covered by some old lady type of nightgown and Peter in a bathing suit. The recording was then shared with their entire class. Against the law, I work at a school, Genevieve would have been suspended if not also charged. Nothing happens to her. Peter knows and remains her lackey, which should have resulted in his permanent kick to the curb by Lara, but she ends up shrugging it off because she realizes he and Gen and she and Gen have a connection. Really? Um, no. The girl was a two book mean girl, she deserved a tell off if not a slap, not unconfronted forgiveness. So dumb. On top of that, Lara gets sex shamed for starring in this tape like it was her choice. Yes the student reaction is sadly the norm, but the teacher who shamed her for not seeming like the type of girl to do this sort of thing should have been reported and fired because a girl kissing a boy is not a bad choice nor is making out with one, nor did Lara choose to be taped. Worse was Lara’s dim father who doesn’t seem to parent much telling her to make better choices because of course she knew Gen was a jealous perv taping them with a mind to distribute her work. Seriously? A woman wrote this? Dad should have gone through the roof and demanded the school do something since this happened on a school trip and was it was being distributed at school, not acted like it was in anyway Lara’s fault. I get that the author wanted to show that Peter as a boy had an easier time of it than Lara as a girl, but the teacher and father reaction was just way off. I was done with her dad as a character after that.
This whole book seemed to be proof Lara and Peter were better off apart, as both had good reason to dump the other for good, but they find their way back to each and into a third, better written but still not as good as the first book, novel. My best advice is to read the first book and make up your own story for what comes next.