Monday, 24 July 2017

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han.




Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
Release date: May 2nd 2017.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before  #3.
Other Books in Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You.
Overall Series Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Source: Purchased.

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?


 Please Note: This is a review of a next-in-a-series book. There may be spoilers for  previous books in the series in this review.


 Lara Jean’s relationship with her lacrosse star boyfriend Peter K. has survived the choppy waters of love rivals, scheming exes and viral videos. It looks to be plain sailing from here on out. Phew!  Not only is Lara Jean’s love life in tip-top shape – love is in the air for the rest of the Covey family too.  Lara Jean’s older sister Margot has a new boyfriend – and there’s even a wedding in the works!  That’s right, wedding bells are in store for Dr. Covey and Ms. Rothschild, which means Lara Jean has outfits to plan and a wedding cake to bake.  First though, college applications beckon, and with Peter K. already accepted at University of Virginia on a lacrosse scholarship, Lara Jean makes UVA her first – and only acceptable – choice. If everything goes according to plan then Lara Jean’s life can remain just how it is – and that’s just how she likes it. 

 Unfortunately, it seems that the UVA admissions board didn’t get the memo…

Many, many protagonists in YA fiction bug me somewhat with their quirks and their tantrums and their often dubious decisions – but not Lara Jean. I have always liked this kind, considerate and thoughtful girl so much and as such always want the very best for her. In the past, I admit to thinking that Peter K. was maybe not the very best match for Lara Jean. For one, his continued loyalty to his mean girl ex, Genevieve, irked me at times, but now Genevieve is very much history, and I want Lara Jean and Peter K. to be together forever.  Turns out, that Peter K with the easy charm also happens to have a very good heart, and he truly loves our girl. That Sixteen Candles moment. My heart! Jake Ryan forever! It’s too bad that the admissions board of UVA doesn’t know Lara Jean and Peter K’s love like us readers do. When Lara Jean isn’t accepted at UVA her whole life plan is thrown into peril. Where does Lara Jean go from here?

Lara’s big sister Margot would advise her to spread her wings and to leave Peter K. behind. After all, on the advice given to her by her mother before she died, Margot ditched her long-term boyfriend, Josh, before leaving for college in Scotland.  But Margot and Lara Jean are two very different people. Lara Jean loves Peter with all her heart. She’s not sure she can let him go. But maybe it’s for the best. They may be loved up now – but can Lara Jean and Peter K. withstand the challenges of a long-distance relationship?

If you’re anything like me you’ll be crossing your heart and fingers and toes for Lara Jean, Peter K. and a happy ever in Always and Forever, Lara Jean.  


Extras:

Kitty and Peter K’s continued special friendship is one of my favourite things in this book. Peter K is Kitty’s favourite guy in a way that never fails to make me smile. 

When I first heard this series was being expanded to a trilogy I fully expected that this book would tell the love story of Lara Jean and John Ambrose McClaren. They just seem like such a good fit, you know? This book doesn’t feature a love triangle – but John Ambrose McClaren does make an appearance here! 

This book sees Lara Jean experience alcohol for the very first time. Let’s just say this episode gives whole new meaning to the world lightweight!

Have you heard the news? A movie adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is in the works. So exciting! We get to see Lara Jean and Peter K. on the big screen. I can’t wait!


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