Sunday 24 December 2017

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Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (Bought) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

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?
From Goodreads.

Because I loved the previous two books in the series, I was really excited for Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. However, having finished it, I'm not so much disappointed as wondering what the point was?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean was a enjoyable, light read, but it didn't feel like one about characters I really cared about. Lara Jean, Peter, Kitty, they could have been other characters in another book, one that didn't affect me very much. I could take them or leave them, which seems odd, considering I loved the two previous books. I also found Lara Jean a little annoying in this one. Her baking was cute in the previous books, but it gets too much in this one, and I just didn't care about her finding the perfect cookie recipe. I also didn't like how she seemed to try and take over her dad and Trina's wedding, as if it were her own to organise. And there was more detail than necessary about clothes; Lara Jean is a lot more interested in clothes than I am, and so there was so much detail about what it all looked like, and it just got irritating.

The book overall is about decisions for the future. When Lara Jean doesn't get into the college she wants, she can't have the life she planned with Peter. So they change their plans. He'll go where he's going, she'll go to the place she did get into, and they'll make it work. But then life throws another curve ball Lara Jean's way - one that might be awesome for her, but perhaps not so much for her and Peter. So most of the book is Lara Jean trying to decide what to do, and her and Peter not communicating properly. Around all these decisions she's trying to make, she's baking, organising a wedding, and describing clothes. Nothing much of any real import happens. There's a school trip to New York, there's Senior Week, there's prom and graduation, and Beach week - but more than be essential to the plot, they all felt more like everyday things. Nothing hugely major happened at any of these things, except an argument with Peter at one. But otherwise, it's just life stuff, rather than things that move the plot along. So really, nothing much happens.

And for this to be the last book, where nothing really happens, I felt a little disappointed. I cared less, was more irritated, and nothing much happened. It was enjoyable, but in a way that didn't really impact me. Also, it didn't feel like the end to the story. Lara Jean makes her decision, and it feels to me like there should be another book showing us how that actually works out. Did she make the right choice? Are things going to be harder than she thought? Are things going to work out the way she planned? No idea. And nor are we going to know, because the story is over. I feel that would have been a lot more interesting a story, really. Always and Forever, Lara Jean felt like a middle book rather than an ending. I enjoyed how it ended, but I became interested again at the end, and there's no more story to come.

So yeah, it was kind of disappointing overall. Especially as I loved the previous two books so much. This one, however, I can take or leave.

Add to Goodreads

Published: 4th May 2017
Publisher: Scholastic
Jenny Han's Website

My other reviews from the series:
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before Book 1)
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before Book 2)

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  1. Sorry this one didn't work for you! I'll admit, I have high expectations but I'll be sure to lower them a bit. I am excited to see Lara Jean's family grow though!

    1. I do hope you enjoy it more than I did! It might just be me, I'm sure other people loved it.