Hi guys! I’m back today with Day 2 of #3DaysofLaraJean, in which I celebrate all things pretty, lacey, and sweet about Lara Jean Song Covey, the heroine of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series.
And, in case you forgot, there’s a Canada-wide giveaway for all of you Lara Jean lovers. If you comment on today’s post, you’ll get a few extra entries!
Today, I’m reviewing the amazing, incredible final book in the series: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. Here we go!Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Author: Jenny Han
Find the author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Also by this author: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Also in this series: P.S. I Still Love You
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Source: Finished copy from Simon and Schuster Canada (thank you!), Purchased from Audible.com
Format: Hardcover, Audiobook
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?
REVIEW: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
To me, Always and Forever, Lara Jean is Jenny Han’s best book. By far. Hands down.
It’s VERY hard for me to say much about the premise without giving anything away, so I’ll refer you to the synopsis. And also say that if you are looking for character growth, this is the book that will give it to you. Lara Jean, Peter, Kitty, Margot, their dad…even Chris and Genevieve…everything has changed for all of them. This book is all about that change and how we accept, make decisions and move on. To tell you more about how they all deal with it is telling too much.
The thing is, you can’t get to a book this good, with this great of an ending, without the foundation of To All the Boys and P.S. I Still Love You. In those books, Lara Jean was changing, but infinitesimally. But in Always and Forever, Lara Jean is forced to change mightily. She has to adapt to the end of high school, the end of possible dreams, and the possibility of something new – for better or for worse.
It takes a very gifted writer to make a relationship that is rock solid as compelling as Lara Jean and Peter’s is. And yet, Jenny Han does it. This time, it’s not Lara Jean or Peter who are pulling things apart, but life itself. And in true Jenny Han form, I was so conflicted about what I wanted for Lara Jean and Peter and her friends. No one does angst like Jenny Han does – the way it starts as a niggling doubt, then creeps up and explodes.
But here’s where Always and Forever differs from the other books. In To All the Boys and P.S. I Still Love You, there were moments when I was SO frustrated with Lara Jean (and Peter, and Gen, and Chris, etc). In Always and Forever, though, I wasn’t frustrated with the characters as much as with the situations. Instead, I felt it every time there they needed to adjust. I felt that longing for something in the future while reflecting on how great the past was. And I remembered just how bittersweet it was when I graduated high school and needed to move forward with my life.
What Always and Forever, Lara Jean does so well is capture that feeling. That desire to go back to being younger, that sense that something great is ending…but that overwhelming but exciting feeling of being on the cusp of something even better. This is not a plot-based book. There are events, but they come naturally out of the themes of ending, change, and making the right decisions for you.
It’s my favorite kind of contemporary. And the fact that it’s with Lara Jean, who is so loveable, so set in her ways, and so starry-eyed – it’s the perfect theme to be exploring with her.
I really can’t say much more. If you’re a fan of the Lara Jean series, this is a book you need to experience yourself. There are so many feels in this one. Every moment feels like one that Jenny Han treasured writing. The amount of care and honesty she puts into this final book makes it such a beautiful ride. I’m so sad to be finished with it, but it’s a ride that will definitely live on in my heart.
Baking: OF COURSE. How could it be Lara Jean without baking? And cookies. And cakes. I’m so hungry right now.
Heart-Squeezing Romance: Guys, I have a confession. Before this book, I totally shipped Lara Jean and someone else. If you’ve read book 2, you probably know why. But this book. This book SOLD me on Peter K and Lara Jean like no other. You will swoon like CRAZY in this book.
Road Trip: I won’t tell you where, but there are some adorable road trips in here that really change things for the characters. And you guys know how much I love road trips!
Realistic Family Moments: I was really impressed by Han’s portrayal of what happens when one member of the Covey family moves on, and the rest are forced to adapt. It was honest and difficult, but also rewarding…just as it should have been.
Vintage Fashion: This book features some of my fave Lara Jean outfits ever – I just love her aesthetic! Also, this is the first time in this series that the cover shows a scene from the book! It gives you a hint at just how lovely some of the fashion is.
THE FINAL WORD:
Always and Forever, Lara Jean was never intended to exist. And that is unbelieveable to me. Because this series needed this ending – and so did Lara Jean. And I think it’s so fitting that the final book in this series is all about endings and change, and moving forward. Because Jenny Han herself is doing that – moving forward from what is probably her best series ever. And I’m so glad that she didn’t hold back or shy away from this theme. Han pushes her characters (and herself) to the limit with Always and Forever. I started this book wanting so much out of it, and I’m so, SO happy to say that it was everything I wanted and more. My heart is so full.
Real talk: Have you read Always and Forever, Lara Jean yet? If not, did you run out and buy it right away, or are you waiting to savour it? If you have read it, are you as amazed and impressed as I am? And if you haven’t, what do you hope for Lara Jean in this last installment?
In case you missed yesterday’s post, Simon & Schuster Canada have offered a prize pack of the following:
- Signed copies of all three Lara Jean books
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before nail decals
- A Lara Jean recipe from Jenny Han (!!!)
- Possibly more swag (they told me to stay tuned!)
If you’re in Canada, sign up now! This is a short giveaway, I’ll be picking a winner next week.
Day 2 – Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (you’re here!)
Day 3 – Q&A with Jenny Han