Jenny Han is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors and i absolutely devoured the first two books in her Lara-Jean trilogy. When Always and Forever, Lara Jean was announced, i was skeptical about ruining a good thing that she had going so far. I’m still unsure on that having now finished the trilogy.
Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA, Comtemporary, Coming Of Age
Publication Date: 6th April 2017
Summary: 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?
The one thing i’ve always loved about this trilogy is Lara Jean and her relationship with her family. The three novels are very much focused around the Song girls and their father, and it’s such a nice family dynamic that you can’t help but fall in love with everyone, including Jamie Fox-Pickle, their beloved dog. The third book brought changes to the family, and as i expected, made me love them even more. It’s really difficult not to love the characters that Jenny Han writes. I want to note that the character development in Kitty, Lara Jean’s little sister in this book was absolutely fantastic. She’s grown up so much as is showing a strong personality now, i loved it.
One thing that i will say about Jenny Han’s books is that you get quite far in thinking that nothing’s really happened, and when you get to the end you look back thinking ‘was there a main event? What am i supposed to think happened in this story?’ And i love that but hate it. They’re such easy, fast reads that it’s quite easy to get caught up in the story and think that no major things are happening, making it quite a dull story. This amplified a little in this third installment because i felt like massive life events were being overlooked with just a few pages of a chapter. For example, a loved character died, and was barely mentioned. I wanted a little more feeling i guess.
However, the main aspects of these novels are always relationships, and anything Jenny Han writes i’m assuming will be relationship heavy. It was nice to see Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter turn in to a much more adult relationship and it gave me hope for their future. I really do love them as a pairing now after my wobble in book two.
If you want a really light and summery read, i think this is definitely a book that you can’t miss out on. I still can’t make my mind up if this was a completely necessary addition, and i could have liked some extras such as Lara Jean going to college. You can’t have everything. I enjoyed it all the same.