Always and Forever, Lara Jean. Jenny Han. Contemporary/Young adult. 2017. 336 pages. 2 stars.
“I guess that’s part of growing up, too–saying goodbye to the things you used to love.”
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?
I had serious problems with this book. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was such a cute read and its sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, came really close to it. Both books had concrete plots and conflict points to make it interesting enough. Reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean was like taking a walk in the woods and having no idea where the hell I’m going. This book had no plot. I understand that it was going to center around the transition from high school to college but it focused too much on Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter Kavinsky and how they had this plan to go to the same college together. I get that that’s a part you deal with when you transition but that’s not all that there is.
It honestly felt like Lara Jean had major character regression because she turned into this whiney and annoying girlfriend. Peter Kavinsky also took a few steps backward because he became aloof, distant, and always short with Lara Jean!
Another reason why John Ambrose McClaren should have been endgame. I was excited when John Ambrose McClaren made a few appearances now and then but I expected so much more! I needed my dose of cute John Ambrose McClaren especially when Peter was becoming a pain to read.
This book was about transition in more ways than one and I genuinely enjoyed reading all the family scenes! I love how the Song girls interact with their dad and his girlfriend
fiancé wife and it had very realistic elements to it.
Personally, I didn’t think this book was necessary because To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was originally a duology and its sequel wrapped it up nicely. It was way overhyped and I think Jenny Han missed her target with this one. I would have appreciated this book more if the first half was about Lara Jean and Peter K. graduating and the latter half about them settling into their respective college lives.
If you liked the story, then I’m happy! I always like hearing about people loving the books that I didn’t.