I definitely did not expect to enjoy this like I did. Granted, there were parts I thought just dragged on but the story as a whole was adorable and its heart was amazing. I was glad to dive back into Lara Jean’s world, to see her family again and experience the sisterly love and the new addition to their family, and to see her with Peter, all the while experiencing these new and sometimes final things throughout her senior year of high school.
Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Length: 336 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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?”
There were some predictable parts, but toward the end, I wasn’t really sure what I had gotten myself into! The ending and some parts in the middle made me really weepy, especially when Lara Jean starts talking about her mom and how she wishes her mom were here to see her, Margot, and Kitty. I also have this really soft spot for parents who’ve dealt with the loss of a spouse and then fall love again. It really warms my heart! I also enjoyed reading about each sister’s reaction to their dad and Ms. Rothschild. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind reading more books in this world, especially about Margot (dealing with her first year of college!) or even Kitty at Lara Jean’s age. I can hope, right?
Some parts of the book did drag as well, like they were just put on the page to take up space and make the book longer but didn’t provide a lot of meaningful insight to the characters or the story as a whole. However, I liked that we found this softer part of Peter but also dig a little deep into his emotions, especially in regards to his dad. I came from a split family as well, so my heart hurt a little when Peter would mention his dad who obviously wanted to reconcile. I quite hope he and Peter do in the future.
Lara Jean had a lot of big moments in this book: getting into college, prom, senior trip, Beach Week. I enjoyed reading about all of them. I enjoyed the sex positive aspect of this book as well. I sometimes still struggle with how polar opposite Peter and Lara Jean are but then he pulls cute stuff like getting her that specific cookie in New York or what he did with her friends after prom that I just can’t help but say, “Awwww!”
For a second, I wasn’t sure how the book would end but I was glad things worked out the way they did. This was definitely a cute read, and I liked how challenging it was for Lara Jean to face these new and evolving parts of her life.
You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound, or other major booksellers.
Jenny Han will also be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival on April 21! I plan on attending for the 3rd year in a row, and I’m so excited! I also plan on getting this trilogy signed as well! 🙂