Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han


Pages: 336
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "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?"



Lara Jean is at a major crossroads in her life. It's her senior year and she is heading off to college next year. She is pretty sure she will get into University of Virginia along with her lacrosse star boyfriend, Peter.  But what happens if she doesn't? Then there's her dad's upcoming marriage to Ms. Rothschild. That means Margot will be coming home for the summer to celebrate this big moment for her family. At this point though, Lara Jean's future is one big question mark, but no matter what happens she knows that she'll have to follow her heart.  Jenny Han's final installment in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series is such a heartfelt one and I'm sad to say goodbye to these beloved characters.

Lara Jean has always been one of my favorite characters.  I love her quiet way of living, her love for her family, her relationship with her sisters, and her quirkiness.  Where was this type of YA character when I was in high school? I would have absolutely fell in love with Lara Jean.  My only issue with her is her relationship with Peter. As an adult reading this, I had a hard time with the fact that she wanted to build her future around getting into University of Virginia. Was it became Peter was going there? Was it because her family lives nearby?  A combination of both? I wanted so much more for Lara Jean. I wanted her to spread her wings and fly off - explore the world - but she's a homebody by nature and is rather hesitant.

As much as I like Peter in Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I wanted him to let her go.  I didn't want him to expect her to follow him to University of Virginia and be lost in his shadow. I wanted him to encourage her to branch out, form her own friendships, and perhaps even go to another school.   As much as I enjoyed Lara Jean and Peter's relationship, I think Lara Jean has become too dependent on Peter. Nevertheless, I was happy with where the story went regarding Lara Jean and Peter; so all is well that ends well, right?

Even though I these small issues with Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I still really enjoyed it this novel and adored the series. This series is quiet, it's smart, it's heartfelt and I think many young adults can relate to it. I know I definitely could have my senior year of high school.  With all the changes headed Lara Jean's way, she handles it very well and realistically.  Although I am sad to say goodbye to these characters, I think it was a good ending for this much loved series.



2 comments:

  1. Yay, so happy to see you enjoyed this one. I want to re-read the first two books soon and then crack this beauty open. I have a feeling I'm going to have mostly the same qualms that you do--LJ's sister went to Scotland for college, and while that might not be her thing, I don't want her to follow her boyfriend to college. Great review! I hope that I'm as satisfied as you are with where the story ends up.

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

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    Replies
    1. Yes! That was my main issue, but overall, I was so happy with the ending and the series. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for visiting, Lefty.

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