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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Lily is a high school student and an aspiring musician with a loud, crazy family. She dreams of writing songs and fills her notebook with ideas for new lyrics. Her favorite time to write is during Mr. Ortega’s chemistry class — until Mr. Ortega catches her writing lyrics one too many times. Mr. Ortega says he wants Lily to take notes in chemistry, and he will look over those notes at the end of each period.

Without her lyric notebook, chemistry is agonizing. Then Lily finds a note in her desk, written by someone who uses her seat in a different chemistry period. She replies to the note, and the pen pals quickly discover they love the same unusual kinds of music.

Lily begins to look forward to chemistry and each new letter. Thoughts of her pen pal distract her from her frenzied family life and her loneliness now that her best friend, Isabel, has a boyfriend. She finds herself thinking about her pen pal often, but she realizes she doesn’t necessarily want to learn his identity. They’ve been able to share their deepest secrets, and he’s written about his struggles with his absentee father. The mystery of it all is exciting.

In the meantime, Lily continues to watch a cute senior named Lucas. When she learns he plays the guitar, she wonders if he could be her music-loving pen pal. She invites him to a concert with Isabel and her boyfriend. She also finds herself in usual verbal sparring matches with Isabel’s mean ex-boyfriend, Cade. Lily’s little brother breaks her guitar, leaving her without a way to write music. She still dreams of entering a songwriting contest she read about in the paper.

When a teacher sends Lily on an errand into an earlier chemistry class, she sees Cade sitting in her desk, writing furiously. She realizes he is her pen pal, the one who has poured out his heart to her. The Cade she sees in public is not the sincere and hurting boy in her letters. She decides she won’t write back again but finds she can’t bring herself to stop. His transparent stories even inspire her to write an incredible song. She knows she could never enter it in the contest, though, since the story belongs to him.

Lucas tells Lily he knows someone who fixes guitars. He meets Lily at the shop, where Lily gets the bad news about what repairs will cost. Lucas asks if she’d like to go out again sometime, but she admits her mind is on someone else. Cade sees her after Lucas drives off. He comforts her, and they hash out some of the differences they’ve had over the years. Lily still doesn’t tell him she’s his pen pal. She’s seen him with a girl named Sasha, who is telling people they’re dating. Lily assumes Cade thinks Sasha wrote the letters.

Lily finally decides she has to tell Cade who she is. She leaves a letter for him in the usual spot, explaining everything and signing her name. She can hardly wait for the next day, when she will learn whether he feels anything for her. When no note is waiting for her, she blinks back tears.

As the period ends, the teacher calls her up. He’s holding a folded note, but he tells her there will be no more letter writing in his class. He locks the note in his desk. Later, Lily enlists Isabel’s help to steal keys from the office so she can break into Mr. Ortega’s desk. As Lily is breaking in, Cade appears in the room. He admits he’s known she was his pen pal for quite a while, and he confirms he likes her as well.

After they’ve been dating a short time, Sasha gets revenge on Lily. She steals Lily’s notebook and reads the lyrics about Cade aloud at a pep rally. The lyrics expose Cade’s secret pain, and Lily is sure he’ll never speak to her again. Ultimately, though, he tells her they’re wonderful and that she should use the song as her contest entry.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

Lily squeezes a special necklace, hoping to gain some sort of positive energy from it.

Authority Roles

Cade has an absentee father. Lily’s parents are loving, artistic and involved in their children’s lives. Mr. Ortega, her chemistry teacher, catches Lily writing lyrics and wants Lily to take notes in chemistry. To encourage her to do this, he will look over those notes at the end of each period. He finds the final note from Cade to Lily and locks it in his desk.

Profanity/Violence

The word suck appears a time or two.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Lily talks about Isabel and Cade making out while they were dating. Cade and Lily kiss several times and talk about making out. Cade’s absentee father is dating a woman barely older than Cade. Lily and Cade refer to him as a male cougar and pervert.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Alcohol: At Thanksgiving dinners, Cade's stepdad usually starts yelling and his mom ends up drinking too much wine.

Theft: Lily steals some keys from the office so she can break into a teacher’s desk and retrieve Cade’s note.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

14 to 19

Author

Kasie West

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Point, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

2016

Awards

Unknown

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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