Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Series Details: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 02, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
Lara Jean is having the best senior year.
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?
This is where the magic died down for this series. To be honest, this is painfully boring compared to the first two books. Being the third and last book of the series, this one didn’t feel like a conclusion at all. It has none of the impact, the closure, or the satisfaction that a conclusion book brings.
The tight bond between Lara Jean and her family still warms the heart. There’s still the honest relationship between her and her best friend, Chris. The endless baking is still there. In fact, there’s been a little bit too much of Lara Jean baking. That was kind of cute in the previous books, but here, it’s just eating my up patience. The clichés are still there though not handled as nicely as the first two books. You know what isn’t there? The effing plot! You know what else isn’t there? A meaningful conversation between LJ and Peter.
I used to not mind the tropes in this series. The fake boyfriend trope in the first book was cute. Even the crazy ex-girlfriend trying to ruin Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship trope worked out for me. Unfortunately, for this book, Jenny Han picked the most boring and my least favorite of all the clichés there is—the drama that surrounds couples going to different colleges. And the book centers on this drama.
“Never say no when you really want to say yes.”
Mostly we read about Lara Jean and her college plans. Between worrying about college, worrying about being away from Peter (insert eye roll here), and worrying about her father’s wedding preparations, there’s Lara Jean baking and trying to do a perfect chocolate chip cookie. There’s Peter eating Lara Jean’s baked cookie. There’s Kitty watching movies. There’s Lara Jean sorting shoes with Margot. Then we’re back to all the worrying. No, these are not interesting. At all! They all sound so busy, but whatever they’re doing haven’t really added something interesting to the story.
The characters in this book aren’t what they used to be. Margot used to be the tough and caring sister whom they usually look for guidance and advice. Here she’s rude, bitchy, and downright annoying. Peter goes from charming to just bland. And Lara Jean hasn’t grown from her naïve and kiddish character.
The main conflict wasn’t even cleared up nicely. I mean, Peter and Lara Jean spent the whole time in this book worrying that their relationship might not survive when they start college apart. But we didn’t even know their exact plans by the end of the book. Have they decided if one of them is going to transfer to eliminate the distance between them? Or have they decided to trust each other and give the long distance relationship a chance? Are they still a couple after they finish college? We’ll never find out.
I’d say Always and Forever, Lara Jean is an unnecessary book. The whole of it felt like a filler. I haven’t been bored like this for a long time. In fact, I haven’t used my one star rating for a long time.