Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3)

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Review by: Paige

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis: 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?

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Review: It almost pains me to write this review, knowing that I’m saying goodbye to these books for good. While I may have to let go of these characters, I know they’ll always hold a special, soft place in my heart. This was, without a doubt, the fabulous and fitting conclusion to the series. I can see now why this book was so necessary, because this is truly where Lara Jean’s story deserved to end.

I’ll admit it up front: I’m in love with Peter Kavinsky. It felt like every time that boy talked I had a tear in my eye. He seems like such an average YA love interest, but for whatever reason, his kindness is such a standout. Oh, and he’s set my expectations for men unrealistically high. I felt he and Lara Jean got the ending they deserved, and that their futures will be worked towards tirelessly together. It was strong, it was based on mutual love and respect, and while I didn’t get to see everything I wanted them to do together, I know it was coming and that it was going to be beautiful.

The best part of this book, however, was watching Lara Jean go through the college admissions process. As a recent high school graduate, all her fears and anxieties were my own. I connected with her in ways I hadn’t been able to before. Watching her wonder whether she was good enough for certain schools, what she could’ve done differently, and struggling to move on, was a reminder to me that everyone goes through that process. Everyone leaves behind the life you were stuck in up until college. She faced everything head on, and it reminded me that I have to to.

I loved seeing Margot evolve, and Trina was such an interesting character to get to know! Their father became so important, and Kitty was as wise and wonderful as ever. There was a new element to their family, a new way they had to learn how to define themselves, and it was treacherous at times but so worth it.

Before I ramble on forever, I’m going to stop, knowing that this was the best way for Lara Jean’s story to end. It was a perfect conclusion, and a breath of fresh air for her character. In P.S. I Still Love You, I never felt she fully grew. Stepping away from this book, I know that she did, and I couldn’t be prouder. I feel ready to say goodbye. I think Lara Jean does too.

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One thought on “Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3)

  1. delphinethebabbler says:

    Wonderfully written review! I’m OBSESSED with this series. The first was my personal favorite just because I think it’s hilarious how Lara Jean and Peter end up together, not to mention all the drama going on with Genevieve. The third however was most heartwarming with the couple’s relationship taking a more serious turn as they make plans for college. All in all, I agree with you: this is really just one of those books that leaves you smiling and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
    Anyways, I look forward to more of your posts in the future… Happy Reading! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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