Published November 1st 2007
“Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other’s sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other. Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry’s death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He’s left her a bundle of notes, one for each of the months after his death, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed ‘PS, I Love You’. As the notes are gradually opened, and as the year unfolds, Holly is both cheered up and challenged. The man who knows her better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing–and being braver than ever before. Life is for living, she realises–but it always helps if there’s an angel watching over you.”
The reason I read PS , I Love You is for my local book club. It wasn’t something I would ever pick up myself but I thought I’d give it a try. How bad could it be if it was made into a movie? This book is both better and worse than I thought it would be.
I was emotionally invested from surprisingly early on. I think it was around page nine that I got into the story. I thought Holly was an interesting character even though she wasn’t dealing with Gerry’s death well at all. But after a while, I really wanted to at least try to do something with her life.
Even though the reader only gets to know Gerry through flashbacks, I really liked him. He was really funny and he was a good match for Holly.
PS, I Love You is surprisingly poorly written. I could tell though out the whole book that this was a debut novel. The overall tone and style of the writing wasn’t very smooth and it felt like a draft instead of the finished book. Some the metaphors had me wanting to roll my eyes because they were so cheesy.
But the thing that bothered me most was the whole concept of this book. Gerry writes Holly a note for each month following his death. Holly was a having a really, really hard time dealing with his death before she got these notes. She would barely eat or take care of herself. But as second she got the list, she was almost instantly over it. She said herself that after her got the list, that Gerry didn’t seem dead anymore. It was more like he was away on a business trip or something. And because Holly spent a whole year with these notes, she was never able to properly grieve over Gerry’s death. Because of the notes, Gerry prevented Holly from a healthy grieving process. I know that Gerry meant well but what he did was wrong.
Overall, whatever emotional investment I had in the first 100 pages of PS, I Love You quickly vanished due to poor writing and an overall concept that I just couldn’t get on board with. Do I think this book was a waste of my time? No. Do I think this book could have been loads better? Yes. I personally feel like this book is the aftermath of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green if Hazel and Gus were total idiots. I don’t really recommend this book unless you love fluffy contemporary or you aren’t a critical reader in shape or form.