Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean 
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Author: Jenny Han 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Bought 

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?

Find Always and Forever, Lara Jean online!
THESE BOOKS.  They are just so, so good.  Every time I read one, I'm just in a constant good mood.  They're good mood books and just so genuine.  They don't add angst just to add angst and they don't throw in unnecessary, annoying drama.  This book was much the same.  I'll admit, I was a little nervous going into it because the second book ended so well and this one wasn't even originally planned; I was worried there would just be drama that didn't feel real or purposeful like with the other books.  But I needn't fear!  Jenny Han made this book just as wonderful as the first two. 

While this novel was a little less plot driven than the others, I really appreciated the chance to see more of these characters.  They're all so dynamic and interesting and just plain wonderful -- it was so satisfying to see how much they'd grown throughout the series and get to kind of reap that reward.  So often, especially in romance novels, we only get to see our couple get together, we don't get a chance to see them actually be a couple.  Reading this and getting to see Lara Jean and Peter together felt like a special treat -- like I'd finished dinner and a slice of cake was placed in front of me.  I just love spending time with these characters and reading about their lives and the adventures and growth they experience.  

Like I said, this novel was a little less plot driven than the others.  At times it felt like it wasn't totally going anywhere, we were just reading about the characters (which I don't mind one bit).  However, there was still an overarching goal and journey that Lara Jean went through in this book, and I really appreciated how it was handled.  Jenny Han did a good job of showing the reality of life as a senior in high school; the problems that Lara Jean and Peter faced felt important and real.  Plus, a lot of strings that had been left loose at the end of the last book were neatly tied up in this one, and I appreciated that a lot.  

I feel very satisfied after finishing this book -- while the series can stand without it, it was an amazing surprise and a a story that, despite the fact that it wasn't originally planned, fits beautifully in with the rest of the series.  I'm so looking forward to seeing what else Jenny Han has for us.  I can't wait to read more from her!

“Being vulnerable, letting people in, getting hurt... it's all part of being in love.”

Five Teapots

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