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

Book: Always And Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Published May 2017 by Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3

Genre: YA Contemporary

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?

I really liked Always And Forever, Lara Jean!  Granted, it took months for me to actually read it, but I did finish it! I kept checking it out from the library and renewing it so many times that I hit the max number of renewals, which resulted in me having to return it.  Of course, I’d get distracted by what felt like the 50 million other library books I had, so I kept renewing it without actually reading it.

Lara Jean’s story continues in this book, and I’m glad that we get to see more of this series, because the last book felt so unfinished.

Lara Jean is still the innocent, naive hopeless romantic we see in the previous books.  I was hoping that she’d lose some of that innocence, and she still seemed so young.  I mean, I know she is, age-wise, because she’s off to college at the end of the book.  But I wanted to see her mature just a little bit, and we never really get that from her.

Hopefully, going away to college will be good for her.  I was actually glad that she didn’t get into her dream school (UVA) because it meant she’d be farther away from home.  I know Lara Jean tends to be a homebody, and I can so relate to that.  I know it’s hard for her to get out of her comfort zone, and actually leave her family.  I think one reason why I love Lara Jean so much is because I see a lot of similarities between us.  But I think a change will be good for her, and maybe being away from her family and everything she’s ever known will get her out of her shell a little bit.

She did seem very willing to be at a college for one year, and then transfer closer to home.  And it all seemed to be for Peter.  I don’t know that she’s necessarily giving up on a good opportunity just because of both Peter and her family, but she also didn’t seem to be willing to give it a good effort.  She did seem to change her mind a little bit by the end of the book when she does get into her 2nd choice school, and realize it might be a good fit for her.  She seemed more willing to at least give it a try, even if it meant being away from Peter.

What did frustrate me was how people seemed to think she shouldn’t go off to college with a boyfriend.  I mean, if it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out, but you don’t know until you try it.  I think Lara Jean was holding herself back, and I do think Peter is a part of that, but overall, I think it’s just who Lara Jean is.

I’m going to switch gears a little bit and talk about some of the other characters.

I wasn’t a big fan of Peter in this book, and I thought there were times where he was horrible to Lara Jean.  She does put up with it, and I kind of wish she didn’t.  I also didn’t particularly like Margot.  I’m not sure why, but I kind of forget about Margot a lot of the time.

I’m glad her dad is dating again, and Trina seems pretty cool.  Kitty, as much as I love that girl, is a little bit of a brat, and I’m not sure why I didn’t notice it before.  She definitely needs to be told no a lot more, and I feel like she gets to do whatever she wants.  Partly because she’s the youngest, but also because their mom died when Kitty was really young.  It’s like they give in because they feel bad for her, and that’s not really fair to Kitty.

And lastly, Chris.  Chris and Lara Jean really drift apart in the book.  They really started to go their own, separate way, and while I’m glad that Lara Jean does hang out with other people, part of me wishes that they weren’t people who were either friends with Peter or people who dated Peter’s friends.  I kind of wanted Lara Jean to make her own friends.

Actually, when I said Chris was last, I lied.  I don’t know how I could forget about Stormy!  She’s a fun character, and sadly, we don’t really see her in this book.  I know Lara Jean is a lot busier and all, but Stormy is an awesome character who will not be forgotten.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and I think it’s a fitting conclusion to Lara Jean’s story.  I do wish Lara Jean had changed a little bit, and that she wasn’t so stagnant, but she’s still a very relatable character.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.