P.S. I Like You – Kasie West – Point – Published 26 July 2016
While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?
I am a huge fan of Kasie West’s contemporary novels. The way she mixes family drama, romance and self-discovery/realisation is so spot on and totally addictive. P.S. I Like You is all that and more. It is cute, fun, and yet there are heavier tones underneath that take it from light and fluffy to light, romantic and touching. The protagonist Lily is key in this. Lily is smart. To the outside observer she is shy and socially awkward, but put her in a space where she is comfortable and she will have you laughing with her clever lines, quick retorts and humour.
When Lily first started writing song lyrics on her desk in chemistry, she never expected someone to write back, nor to develop a friendship (and maybe something more) with that someone. Her mysterious chemistry pen pal is funny, totally gets her taste in music and seems to be the only person who can accept her quirks and find them charming rather than weird. But Lily isn’t sure that would translate to real life, nor is she certain she wants to know who is behind the letters.
From the start I had a good idea of who Lily’s mysterious pen pal was, of course there were a few times I had doubts but was proven right after all. But that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book. It’s not a mystery where guessing who the unknown entity is is key to the story. And actually, the best part about the whole thing is that Lily finds out who her pen pal is at the halfway point in this book, leaving plenty of room for other, further developments. Lily is a writer and music lover, so the added bonus of song lyrics and the letters she exchanges with her pen pal are the perfect addition to this story. I loved the letters and loved Lily’s voice as narrator.
I also loved that this book will appeal to a wide range of readers and, thanks to a lack of coarse language or sexual references, I can share it with younger lovers of contemporary novels, as well as older readers who will equally love it.
P.S. I Like You had all the right aspects to make it the perfect beach, summer, in-one-setting, fun, relaxing read. And yet, with elements of family (both crazy, loud and loving and sadly absent) and friendship (best-friends, sister-friendship and love-to-hate friendship) the story never once felt too saccharine. And for a cute romance that earns a huge tick of approval from me.
I truly enjoyed P.S. I Like You, I couldn’t put it down and now I can’t wait to read Kasie West’s next book.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Letter writing, songs, music, pen pals, friendship, dating and relationships, family, siblings, bullying, high school.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Published: 26 July 2016 by Point.
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 304 pages.