Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han (2017) (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #3)
Genres: Young adult, romance, contemporary
Before I jump into my review I wanted to throw in my favourite quote from this book:
“Never say no when you really want to say yes.”
This really stuck with me, and I keep thinking about it. We all have times were we ignore the yes inside us and give way to the no. But why do we do it? Say yes to more, don’t let yourself miss out.
The third and I think final book in the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series was another brilliant addition. As I’ve said before, this series is nice and easy to read, it’s cosy and it’s comforting.
This final book saw a little time jump, Lara Jean is prepping for college with Peter and planning the start of her adult life. This felt a little too real for me, it reminded me of planning with my ex about university and our relationship. You can tell that worked out well for both of us. So I was always a little hesitant with the positivity for Lara Jean and Peter to try to continue their relationship. I think I agree with the Lara Jean’s mum, don’t go to college with a boyfriend.
Lara Jean was experiencing a lot for the first time in this book. Not only college and the end of school, but also the thoughts of having sex with Peter and what this means to her. I think the importance of talking about choosing to have sex with your partner is really vital and Jenny Hann writes it very well. It isn’t taboo or wrong, it’s accepted and I think that’s the right approach to have. Sex is becoming normalised in YA literature, less of a big NO and more of a thing that people do and not something that should be ignored.
There was a real finality for me with this book, Lara Jean is no longer living in anyone’s shadow, she’s her own person. This book really mirrored what it felt like for me to leave school and move to university. There’s a lot of dilemmas about Lara Jean going to college with Peter and giving up things to do this. I didn’t agree with how much of a focus there was on this, it wasn’t until later in the book that it was suggested that Peter could be the one to make sacrifices. Again another nod to how hard it is to maintain a relationship at this stage in life.
Overall though I felt a very intense reading experience whilst reading this final book. I was invested in the characters and the story line and I wanted only good things from them. Really we need a follow up novella so we can see what happened to them all. Did Peter and Lara Jean stay together? Did Margot move back home after college? What happened to Kitty without her sisters close by?
Let me know your thoughts on this amazing series down below.