Hi guys! It’s the last day 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.
Today I have a very special Q & A with Jenny Han, who is just as lovely and sweet (but possibly more calculating!) as her characters.
And, in case you missed it, there’s a Canada-wide giveaway for all of you Lara Jean lovers. If you comment on today’s post as well, you’ll get a few extra entries!
Just a note: when I sent these questions over to Jenny, Always and Forever, Lara Jean wasn’t out yet. So there will be some spoilers for books 1 and 2, but none for the last book.
TIFF @ MOSTLY YA LIT: Hi Jenny! Thanks so much for stopping by! Let’s get right to it, shall we?
I know you were originally only intending to do two books in the Lara Jean series, but I (and clearly you!) felt like P.S. I Still Love You left things a bit open-ended. Similarly, even To All the Boys had a sort of loose ending – it was kind of like Gone with the Wind, where you KNOW Scarlett is going to get Rhett back, but you don’t actually get to see it. Do you generally like endings that are a bit open-ended? What appealed to you originally about Lara Jean and Peter’s ending in book 2? And what really made Always and Forever, Lara Jean happen?
JENNY HAN: I do like endings that are a little open-ended. For me, the story is never truly over. The characters live on, I’m just no longer along for the ride.
As for how Always and Forever came about, I’d been working on a new book and I was finding it difficult, because my mind kept drifting back to Lara Jean. I called up my best friend Siobhan and asked her if she thought it would be crazy if I did one more book. She said to go for it, so I did! I started writing that very night and I stayed up till dawn.
TIFF: That’s when you know you have a great idea, right? When you can’t stop writing. So speaking of writing, can you talk to me a bit about love triangles? You have quite a few of them in your work. And I know a lot of people hate them, but I personally love them, especially when they’re done right (e.g. two romantic options that are both very viable). Do you feel like the characters in the Lara Jean books make the right choices in the end? What makes a good love triangle to you?
JENNY: To me, a good love triangle is when you want it both ways but you can’t have both, and therein lies the heartbreak. And that’s what makes it so delicious.
I don’t know if they made the right choices but I do know they made the choices that felt most right to them at that moment in time.
TIFF: One of my favorite things about Lara Jean is how young, cozy and vulnerable she is (that’s three things). She’s pretty sheltered at the beginning of the series, which is how I was as a teenager. I know a lot of teens who really identify with her, and a lot of others who find her immature. What would you say to teens who find her immature and young? How realistic do you feel Lara Jean is?
JENNY: I think she is a young character. She’s innocent, she’s romantic, she’s kind of a throwback. I could easily see her in a different era. When the story first begins, she isn’t someone who’s necessarily ready for love, but she’s fine with that. She’s very content in who she is.
Lara Jean has a very particular aesthetic – both in the covers and in the book. Her room is full of stuff, her clothing is fancy and vintage and eclectic. How much of her aesthetic is drawn from your personal taste? What is your favorite thing that she owns that you would wish for?
JENNY: There are a few things she owns that came straight from my closet—a sweater with a penguin on it, a sundress with little daisies. She owns a pair of pink roller skates that I would love to have.
TIFF: Roller skates! Whee! Probably my favorite part of the Lara Jean books are her interactions with her sisters and her family. Did you base Kitty, Margo and Lara Jean’s dad on real people? How similar are they to your own family – or what you might want your family to be?
JENNY: Kitty was inspired a bit by my own sister. Like the Song girls, my sister and I are very close. We talk on the phone every day.
TIFF: Can we talk about Genevieve and Chris? In many ways, Genevieve is Lara Jean’s opposite: she’s experienced where Lara Jean isn’t, she’s outgoing where Lara Jean is introverted. Chris is actually more similar to Genevieve than she is to Lara Jean. And yet, Genevieve and Lara Jean were best friends as children, and Chris is still on Lara Jean’s side. Do you think they would have stayed friends if they weren’t always vying for the same guy? Do you see Genevieve’s actions as childish or immature? What about Chris’ actions throughout the two books?
JENNY: I think they would have drifted apart no matter what. I think there are some friendships that are only meant to last for a finite period of time. I think Genevieve is a complicated person who isn’t happy with her own life, and it rankles her to see Lara Jean so content. She envies Lara Jean, and that’s what makes her strike out against her. To a degree, I think Chris understands Gen, because they are family, and she’s seen a lot.
TIFF: I’m dying to know: do Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad from the “Summer” series exist in the same world as the Song sisters, Peter, etc? Is there any chance they would ever meet up?
JENNY: No, they live in two different worlds. Belly and Jeremiah and Conrad are much older now anyway!
TIFF: What would Lara Jean think of Jenny Han’s life now? Do you think it’s her dream life, or would she be doing something else, like owning a bake shop or party planning business?
JENNY: I think she would love to live in New York! Who knows where she’ll end up?
TIFF: I love that you don’t know that – and that you’ve kind of let the characters live on past your writing! Finally, can you give us a hint as to what you’re working on next?
JENNY: I wish I could, but I’m really not sure. I’ve been working nonstop on this book, so I haven’t had a chance to take a breath and think about what’s next. Once I’m back from tour, I’ll start thinking about it.
Favorite character you’ve ever written? Reeve Tabatsky from Burn for Burn
Favorite baked good? Yellow cake
Biggest fandom? Buffy the Vampire Slayer
How many games of Assassin have you played in your lifetime? One
How long was the longest one? A few weeks
Thanks SO much, Jenny, for taking the time to answer my (long-winded) questions and stopping by!
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.
Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by #3DaysofLaraJean! If you missed the last two days, don’t forget to check out my reviews of PS I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean for more chances to win!
Day 1 – 5 Reasons to Read PS I Still Love You
Day 2 – Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Day 3 – Q&A with Jenny Han (you’re here!)
I really enjoyed reading your interview, Tiff! I’ve been putting of reading the final Lara Jean book, mostly because I’m not ready to see the series officially come to an end. What will Lara Jean decide? Will she stay with Peter? Will John return? Or will she go off to college for her own adventure like her older sister? I’m a little scared to find out! But I’m sure I’ll be hit with all the feels in any case.
It’s so cool that you got to interview Jenny, Tiff! I love your questions and her answers. I agree about love triangles; they can be hit or miss for me, but when they’re done right, I love them. And I’m with Jenny on Lara Jean’s pink roller skates – I’d love to own those, too!
This is really nosey, but I would love to ask her about her own love life and if the boys in the novels were inspired by anyone in particular in her own life. Or if they were just people that she wished she met at Lara Jean’s age! Great interview btw!!
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Such a great interview! I really love this series, I know some readers find Lara Jean immature, but I liked that she’s a bit innocent and naïve, it’s sets her apart from a lot of heroines who seem maybe a little too grown up for their age, though more than anything what I love about this series is the relationships between the three sisters.
Wonderful interview! It’s interesting to see she believes Lara and the Summer series live in different worlds. I would like to know her inspiration for these books and if they come from herself when she was younger or someone she knows. I think it would be interesting!
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