Always and Forever, Lara Jean (Volume 3) (To All the Boys I've Loved Before) Hardcover – 2 May 2017
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* "Han's story is timeless. First love, finding one's identity in school and at home, and navigating the delicate transition from child to adult are all universal themes in young adult literature, and Han does a great job exploring them. She has written a sweet, coming-of-age love story that will surely please fans of the first two books who are likely clamoring for this conclusion." -- VOYA, starred review, June 2017
"Featuring the same endearing sister relationships, mouthwatering descriptions of Lara Jean’s cooking, and timeless coming-of-age conflicts, this final volume in the series will continue to delight Han’s fans.... Sparkling dialogue, swoon-worthy scenes, and likable characters make this a gem of a selection for most YA collections" -- School Library Journal, May 2017
"A must-have conclusion....Fans of Han’s best-selling series will turn out in droves to get their hands on this conclusion to Lara Jean’s story." -- Booklist, May 2017
About the Author
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- Item Weight : 408 g
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1481430483
- ISBN-13 : 978-1534402850
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2 May 2017)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#177,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2,513 in Children's Family, Personal & Social Issues (Books)
- #15,707 in Children's Literature & Fiction (Books)
- #23,186 in Romance (Books)
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What I really like about Jenny Han's writing is that she captures what being a completely normal teenager feels like, complete with angst, family drama, boyfriend troubles, prom dances and University applications (and the disappointments that come with it!). Sounds easy, definitely isn't, and Han made me feel like I was reliving all of it again - not fun, but very clever.
So that's what this book is about - how Lara Jean is going to cope with choosing where she applies, how she stomachs the University responses and what this will all mean for her relationship with Peter. Ultimately, she has to decide if she will choose herself or choose Peter and her relationship with him. It's most definitely a book about growing up.
It's also not very engaging however. I've really struggled to connect with the characters and be gripped by the plot in this series - it just feels very superficial and lacking in development in lots of ways. A large part of the problem, I think, is that Lara Jean is really not very likeable and Peter and I got off on the wrong foot. I just don't like either of them particularly, and this makes it really difficult to root for them.
I don't think I'd be continuing on in the world of Lara Jean if her story continued, and I don't think her story will stick with me much, but still this series remains to be a unique insight into how much being a teenager sucks! And I can definitely get behind that.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean turns everything upside down when Lara Jean can’t get into the college of her choice, meaning her carefully laid out plan doesn’t work out and she and Peter might have to go long distance. In true Lara Jean fashion, she tries her best to make things work while also rigidly sticking to her previous plan (I can relate!) before realising that she might have to adjust some things.
I love Lara Jean and I love Peter. I love Lara Jean’s family. Everything about this book was super cute and adorable and relatable. I really like how much Lara Jean has grown up throughout the course of this trilogy. She was very young and innocent in the first book, but now she is a lot more mature. Still a bit young, but whatever, she’s eighteen. But I like that her character growth is so noticeable.
Oh, and there’s a wedding! A really adorable wedding that I am the slightest bit in awe of.
I am sooooo glad that Han didn’t go with the epilogue thing again. The Burn for Burn series was ruined, in my opinion, by the damn epilogue, and I was really hoping there wouldn’t be one for this series. And there wasn’t! It was the best ending!
I don’t have a lot of belief when it comes to long distance relationships, quickly making me doubt that this relationship wasn’t going to make it to the end of the book. Unless you’re going to the same college, in the words of Lara Jean’s mom, “don’t go to college with a boyfriend”.
The final book was a deeper look in to Lara Jean becoming an adult, no longer living in anyone’s shadows, becoming her own person and experiencing things for the first time. With college just around the corner and complications occurring, Lara Jean is now thinking about bringing more intimacy in to their relationship, baring in mind Peter had a lot of that with Gen and the way Jenny went about this when writing ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’ really was very important, especially to all young girls and boys who may read this.
Jenny never writes about sex in this book as taboo or wrong and she shows the importance in communicating with your partner about having sex and making sure it is comfortable for both people because this is a vital part of one’s life and you don’t want to take advantage of it in a way that you’ll regret. Every character in the book even talk about it naturally from her sisters, to Peter, even to her father. They’re all very understanding that it’s time for Lara Jean to have these thoughts and support her in making the right decisions for her.
The story also focused on dilemmas that came about, regarding Lara Jean’s college choices and all the things she may have to sacrifice depending on her final decision. Peter and her family were incredibly supportive around this time, as they always are, and it was great to see Peter consider making sacrifices as well to prevent their relationship coming to an end.
Overall, this was another incredible read from Jenny and it’s safe to say, I am well and truly invested in all of these characters and wish them all the best. Lara Jean, I must admit, did irritate me sometimes in this book regarding a certain wedding coming up and I just wanted to scream “NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU!!”. I suppose it was good to keep her childish mindset somewhat alive during her move to college, but wow, that girl is sometimes too organised for her own good and needs to maybe wing it now and again.
I’d love to know what happened afterwards – have Lara Jean and Peter managed to make their relationship work? How is Kitty dealing with having neither one of her sisters around all the time? Have things developed in Margot’s relationship? etc. Don’t leave us hanging, Jenny! I’m not ready to say goodbye to this wonderful series just yet.
Another great read! And boy am I surprised to fall in love with literature for girls aged 12-16 (I think this is the best target market for this Jenny Chan trilogy!). In our modern age of explicit content everywhere, it is really sweet to find a book which is decent, good-humoured and will probably teach a thing or two the next generation (at least about the need and excitement of further education and university!). I've never encountered such a straightforward and no-fuss book about falling in love, growing up and decisions that all of us face. It's all very high school and at the same time it is very real.
It has all: falling in love, first relationships, innocent (and not so innocent) kisses, a little bit of seriousness (bullying/lies) and ultimately a good end (NO SPOILERS HERE - Lara Jean will know if it is indeed necessary to go to college with a high-school sweetheart). And this is as far away from another fantasy/dystopian novel as you can get. I am so recommending this trilogy to all the young girls out there!
Absolutely recommended to all the teenagers out there. Parents, you heard me!
Life couldn’t be more perfect!
At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.
Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?