From My Reading Chair – PS I Like You

What a January we’re having – we survived an IceApocolypse (didn’t pan out), my Packers beat the Cowboys, and my Master’s Classes are starting up again this week (Research Methods in Management Information Systems, be jealous!).

It wasn’t my original intent to have this book kick off my reading for 2017. I am not that much of a contemporary fan, but when I finished Vassa (see my review here), I needed a book that was comfortable, bright, and light-hearted. When I looked through my book stack, this seemed like it would fit the bill.

“That’s exactly what he thought. That’s why this is a nightmare. If you want a romantic relationship with a guy, first he has to find you mysterious, then intriguing, then funny. In that order. If it’s in any different order, you are forever labeled friend.” – page 89

I want to give a shout-out to OwlCrate. This book was another one of their selections, and I wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. So first, thank you, OwlCrate, for getting me to read new things I wouldn’t go pick up off the shelf if not for my crate. Second, there’s usually a message from the author and occasionally, a signed bookplate! This selection had both! I found Kasie West’s story of high school love sweet and it reminded me of my days in high school.

“No. I’m okay with silence. We’re in a library after all. This is the birthplace of silence.” – page 99

PS I Like You is the story of Lily, a girl more on the shy side of the spectrum and more interested in song lyrics and poetry than chemistry. One fateful day, she writes some lyrics from her favorite band’s songs on a desk, and the next day, there’s an answer. As the story goes along, we do find out it’s a boy that’s answering, and their correspondence turns into leaving full page notes under the desk. As Lily works to figure out who the letter writer is, West takes us into Lily’s family life (Lily has 3 siblings and parent who work more non-traditional jobs). She also shows us other main characters’ families and illustrates for us the adages of “be careful what you wish for” and “be careful of trying to keep up with the Jones’.” Eventually, Lily does figure out who’s leaving her the notes and then has to determine if she wants to reveal herself or not.

“I leaned forward, put my forehead on his chest, and let myself be sad for a moment about what I couldn’t have that was standing right in front of me. I didn’t let my arms go around him like they wanted to. I didn’t let the rest of my body melt into him or even my cheek find its way against his soft cotton shirt. No, just my forehead and only a few tears.” – page 253

What endeared me to this book was West keeping all the communication between Lily and the mystery note-writer offline – it was all in person or notes. No text, Facebook messages, etc. Being an older reader of the young adult genre, this took me back to high school and junior high, and I related again to the fun of note writing. The anticipation when you sent that “do you like me – check yes or no” note. With a note, you had something tangible; something you could hold in your hand,┬ásave, and read over and over. I had this one note, and received it before the first time I flew – it said everything would be okay and not to worry, my plane wouldn’t crash. I kept that note until I found out I was expecting my son and at that time, wouldn’t have to travel for work anymore. You don’t have that with digital messages – kids just don’t know what they’re missing. PS I Like You was a cute story, and I am happy I that kicked off my new year.

I did give this book 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads – it is more of a 3.5 of 5, but I did go with the higher rating because, you know rounding, and the nostalgia and happiness it has left me. Would I buy it – more than likely not, this is an excellent library read that you won’t be sorry you picked up.

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