While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favourite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters – sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. P.S. I Like You is a story of navigating school, friends, crushes and crazy families all while discovering what love really is.
P.S. I Like You is the kind of book you read simply for pleasure – the perfect easy read novel to get you out of a book slump. The writing is simple and easy to follow, consisting mainly of dialogue with limited descriptions and the love story is really cute and fluffy. I loved reading the messages that Lily and the ‘mystery’ man were sending to one another. It’s sweet and managed to put a smile on my face as they adorably got to know each other.
I also really enjoyed the family dynamics in this book. Often, with a cheesy romance novel, you find the family are just in the background. This isn’t the case here as West gives attention to Lily’s relationship with her brothers, with her parents. I especially enjoyed the thanksgiving scene and the family tradition of voting on necklaces and pies. The friendships in this book are also fantastic. I loved the whole ‘tell me the last thing you thought of before you went to sleep’ vibe of Lily and Isabel’s friendship. Lily clearly did not want to hurt Isabel while Isabel just really wanted to spend time with her friend. The friendship worked, making you appreciate Isabel as a character more.
“But then I think: my guitar is just a thing. You know? And my brother is a person. A thing is not more important than a person…”
However, despite the elements I did enjoy, P.S. I Like You left me wanting more from it. There’s something missing. For example, I wanted a better ending. We build up to this music competition that Lily so desperately wants to win for the entire book but we never actually see it happen. Does she win? Does she get the money? Does she invest in a better guitar?
No matter how cute some parts of this novel are, it does not hide the fact this book is predictable. I knew from probably page 5 or 6 that *spoiler* Cade was the letter-writer. I knew instantly that it was *spoiler* Wyatt not Jonah who broke the guitar. Nothing in this book is a surprise at all. I also really did not enjoy the whole bully to love interest vibe West goes for. Cade felt like 2 separate characters to me rather than this guy who masks his feelings, getting the redemptive arc he deserves. It’s time we remove this trope that boys hide their love behind insults. I wanted a developed and nice guy who doesn’t hide his real personality behind blatant bullying tactics.
I also really really hated Lily. She’s blind to who she truly likes, fantasizes about the crooked-smiling, earbud-addict guy with cool hair who we ALL know she is not going to get with and she’s incredibly selfish. West tries to make her unique and endearing through making her make her own clothes and have notebooks but it doesn’t work for me. Her family is possibly the only thing I liked most about her, primarily because I found it to be relatable to my own situation.
Finally, everything about this book is mainstream as West utilises the same, overdone tropes that you find in every romance – the ball in the corridor, the inevitable detention, the football game. Even Cade’s problems are mainstream. Perhaps I’m too old for this kind of cute kissing book but I felt everything needed to be developed more.
P.S. I Like You doesn’t bring anything to the table that hasn’t already been done before. It’s definitely a good read if you don’t mind predictability and you’ll speed through it because yes, although I hate myself for saying it, it’s addictive. Personally, it could have been a bit longer for me with more development, both plot and character wise. It’s unmemorable and lacks substance but it did put a smile on my face and filled my crave for a cute romance.