Always and Forever, Lara Jean

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

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

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?

I absolutely loved the first and second books, so of course I immediately picked up this one right after finishing P.S. I Still Love You!

Likes: This last book takes place when Lara Jean is trying to figure out a place to go to college, and this transition from high school to college is an interesting turn of events. Life in high school was so different than life in college that I enjoyed seeing how the characters changed and grew. I feel like I could relate to it more since I was in college a couple years ago. This book focuses more on the transition from childhood to adulthood instead of solely relationships which was a nice change of pace. Not that I don’t like the focus on relationships – because I definitely do, it was just interesting to see what other stressors are in Lara’s world besides guys. The journey of Lara trying to find herself when everyone in her life was telling her to do different things was so relatable. I could see myself in her, which is usually when I have the most fun reading books. This story was more relatable and more real to me than any of the other books, even though the first one still might be my favorite. 

Dislikes: This book was a story about finding yourself and choosing between following your heart or doing what your head – and other people – tell you to do. So obviously there were some people saying annoying things and butting in to Lara Jean’s life when they really should have been supportive and helped her find out what she wanted to do. However, that is life I suppose.

Like the first two books, I give this one five out of five stars. Also like the first two books, I will not deduct a star just because there are character traits or decisions that I do not agree with. When people love you they will try to do what is best for you, even if it doesn’t seem like they are at the time. In this story I truly believe most of the characters are making certain decisions because they love Lara Jean and want what is best for her. So though it is frustrating, I can see why they are acting the way they are. I would 100% recommend this series, it is one of my favorite romance series’, and I really hope they put the whole trilogy on Netflix!!

P.S. I Still Love You

P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, #2) by Jenny Han

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

I read this book because I saw the first movie on Netflix – which is incredible, by the way, if you have not seen it! Then I read the first book which is equally as good, if not better, so naturally I had to pick this up! The second movie is even coming out February 2020, so I had to get ready for that. 

Likes: I will always love the romance in this book series, it is just so cute I can’t get enough. But what I love about this story is that there is not only great love between the two main characters, but the familial and friendly love in this book is also wonderful. I feel like so many romance books focus solely on the two main characters (or a third if it is a love triangle) as if they are in their own little world with no other life but the one that they have with their love interest. They just don’t seem realistic. I enjoy how this one focuses on other relationships that are equally as important as the romantic relationship – the relationship between Lara Jean and her sisters, the relationship between the sisters and their father, between her and Josh, etc. 

Dislikes: Like with the first book, the lack of communication between characters is so annoying. Peter is just so attached to his ex and he refuses to tell Lara why. I understand that being able to keep secrets is important, but when it goes so far as to hurt your relationship then it can be toxic. I am not saying he should tell her the secret, but at least explain to her in general terms what is going on so that Lara feels more secure.

I gave this book five out of five stars because I did still truly love the story. As with the last book, I am not going to deduct a star just because of lack of communication – that has to do with character personalities and is honestly a realistic representation of the real world. This book was so much fun and I feel like it focused more on other character relationships than the first book. I love Jenny Han’s writing style and truly believe I this will be one of my favorite series for an extremely long time.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

I was first interested in this book after I saw the Netflix movie – which I highly recommend by the way. The movie was being advertised everywhere and the trailer looked cute so I eventually watched it. I am glad I did! The movie was so adorable and heart warming I immediately bought the entire book series because I just knew I had to read it. Fast forward many, many months later, and I was finally able to read it!

Likes: Though there were several big issues in the relationships between the characters in this book, I love how most of the relationships evolved and grew as the characters matured. There is a lot of character growth from the beginning to the end that I really appreciate. This growth affects the relationships between the characters. It shows how just because there are problems with relationships that does not mean that the relationship is not worth fighting for and that they will not get through their problems together. The book also shows struggles with friendship and family relationships. This story goes into so many topics and hardships between people, I feel like it is a very easy story to relate to, even if you don’t have a significant other. It was just a really cute, lovable story that gave me the butterflies on the inside, while at the same time making me bawl my eyes out.

Dislikes: So, the only thing I really disliked about the book was the lack of communication between all of the characters. However, that is part of their growth. Throughout the story characters start to communicate with each other more and talk their problems out. This leads to resolution and problem-solving. This isn’t really a dislike that I have for the story – because mis-communication and lack of communication is very realistic. It’s just that as a reader we can see how communication would fix everything and it is frustrating. I love it at the same time though because it makes it more believable and it shows how the characters grow together. 

Overall, I gave this story five out of five stars because it is such a heartwarming story that really makes my belief in love, and the ability to get through bad situations in relationships, stronger. I would recommend the movie too, it was different but adorable! I look forward to the second one that is coming out soon!