08 July 2017

Always & Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Published: May 2nd, 2017 
# of Pages: 336
Source: Library Copy 
Genre: Contemporary 

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Please keep in mind that this is the 3rd book in a series so this review may contain some spoilers. 

For starters, this book started off in a way that was greatly unexpected. I really enjoyed the first two books of the series; however, in this book I was greatly annoyed by Lara. I was more so disappointed at first by her inability to realize her talents and opportunities because she wanted to go to college with her boyfriend. This was especially worrisome when it seemed as though Peter was more concerned about other things. It was extremely frustrating to see Lara Jean beat herself up when I knew she could be a confident, young woman. In light of this, another interesting aspect of this book was definitely watching Margot react to the change that the family went through. I was particularly shocked by the way that she handled her boyfriend staying in her room instead of the guest room. I know my parents would have been beyond angry, but at the same time I understand why Margot decided to rebel. She was upset and sad to see that her family was changing and moving on without her. I was truly happy that she finally accepted the idea of her father finally moving on and getting married.

Outside of her lack of regard for school sometimes, I really enjoyed Lara Jean as a character. I really appreciated how Han utilized her and Peter to shower readers with a lot of pop culture. My favorite scene included a reference to 16 candles, one of my favorite 80's movies. A lot of the scenes took me down memory lane and I really enjoyed that. As the book neared the end I noticed that the book reached a level of intensity, the height of the conflict. Peter and Lara both became really sketchy, but it all had to do with the two of them making decisions that could lead to the end of their relationship. I won't go into much detail here because I don't want to spoil it, but there's a quote that I loved while reading about this conflict and it was made by Lara Jean:

"One day all of this will be proof that we loved each other. It's the guarantee that no matter what happens to us in the future this time was ours." 

This was a great book, a beautiful book in fact and I appreciated and loved all of it to be honest. I was annoyed with Lara Jean, but I'm glad that she made the decisions she made and thought of what was best for her. I got closure and I'll be okay if Jenny Han doesn't write anymore books about Lara. If you haven't checked out this series, I highly recommend it.


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