Monday, September 9, 2019

Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Review

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 3)

By: Jenny Han

Publication: April 4th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--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?

You guys, I was so torn when I heard there was going to be another book in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series. Lara Jean and Peter had been through so much and I just wanted them to have their happily ever after--or at least leave their happily ever after alone. Especially when I found out that a large part of the plot was going to revolve around time for Lara Jean and Peter to decide where to go to college. I mean, duh, modern, progressive, feminist literature couldn't possibly support Lara Jean going off to college with her high school boyfriend. So I worried that the entire book was just going to screw things up for them. And thus I put off reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

The entire Covey family is just so great. I love Jenny Han's take on their family dynamics. I've never been a big fan of Margot. She's a bit mean and stuck up for my preferences. Lara Jean does a wonderful job being the mediator. She's old enough to mother Kitty a bit, and yet young enough to be mothered too. I loved the parts of this story that revolve around family. And Jenny Han does a perfect job of blending the events of the family and the characters into a story about a teenage girl where the family often feels like an afterthought. Kitty is beyond one of my favorite characters to have ever read about. I love how confident she is with herself. She isn't scared to be herself. I love, love, love her. But even still Lara Jean might be my favorite because she's not as extreme as Margot or Kitty can be. These characters really couldn't be more fleshed out and pop off the page. Again, Jenny Han does a great job of having Margot or Kitty make decisions that mirror something Lara Jean might be dealing with, yet the idea is showing how the two girls (or really all three girls) deal with things differently.

Peter Kavinsky. Ah, Peter Kavinsky...where were you when I was in high school? I loved how comfortable Peter and Lara Jean were with each other. They're happy and confident in their relationship (for the majority of the book anyway). There's no doubt in their minds about their love for each other. Peter is entirely Peter, yet the perfect fit for Lara Jean even when it might not seem so on the surface. I just get the warm and fuzzies from their relationship. And kudos to him for taking things at Lara Jean's pace even when it has to drive him crazy as a teenage boy. I wouldn't be too terribly upset if my daughter found herself a Peter Kavinsky one day. (BTW, I can't picture him any other way than the actor, Noah Centineo, who plays Peter in the Netflix Original film now that I've seen it possibly 3 times.)

I do have to be honest with you guys and say that I cheated. I caved to the anxiety this book caused me. I was feeling so paranoid and anxious about how things would end that I just wasn't enjoying the experience as much as I'd hoped because I was a bit of a wreck. I can't remember if it was 50, 60, or 70% but somewhere along the way, I Googled the ending. This is the first book that I have ever really spoiled for myself, but I'm honestly not even upset that I did. I don't need that kind of anxiety in my life, so I solved that for myself. 

Despite my worries, Always and Forever, Lara Jean ended up being a worthy ending to a series I've really enjoyed and characters I've come to love. I don't even have much more to say about this book. I highly enjoyed this book and this entire series. Always and Forever, Lara Jean gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Always and Forever, Lara Jean? What did you think? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't had the opportunity to read the series and have only watched the movie on Netflix. Which I've seen like 100 times, my daughter turns it on all the time. After reading your review I really want to read them all now!