Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3)
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Purchased 
Format: Physical

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.
Life couldn’t be more perfect!
At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.
Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to (goodreads)?

The was the perfect ending for such a sweet series. 
Plot: When I first heard that Han wrote a surprise epilogue for the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series, I was both excited and nervous. Excited because there would be more of Lara Jean and her family and friends. Nervous because Han damn near destroyed me with P.S. I Still Love You. Always and Forever, Lara Jean was bittersweet because senior year is a transformative year for most people and Lara Jean was no exception. Personally, I think Lara Jean met her biggest challenges in this book and her growth was very evident. 

Characters: Lara Jean has always been an endearing character to me, maybe it's because she's really a 70-year-old grandma and I can relate. She had many big decisions to make during her last semester in school and it was good to see Lara Jean sweat a little bit. Her relationship with Peter K was just as precious as it was in To All the Boys I've Loved Before with the added stress of senior year and making long-term decisions. Peter and Laura Jean had some real moments and some scenes made me cry; however, the ending left me happy-crying. Besides Peter K, Lara Jean had a lot of changes in her home life as well. Her father was ready to propose to his girlfriend and Margot was feeling left out of the family. And Kitty. Oh, precious Kitty. Kitty grew up in a blink of an eye and while she and Lara Jean still had their teasing relationship, it was clear that there was a subtle change. As always, it was Lara Jean's family that made this series stand out and I'm most saddened to say goodbye to the Song girls. 

Worldbuilding: While Always and Forever, Lara Jean physically took place in Virginia, the true world existed in the concept of Senior Year. The majority of the scenes were at school or high school parties. Han wrote the High School Experience with a nostalgic lens that made this book and Lara Jean's journey more charming to me. 

Short N Sweet: This ending was everything I could have hoped for. I'll miss Lara Jean.


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