Summary: The final installment in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, Always and Forever, Lara Jean finds Lara Jean having the best senior year ever. She’s more than excited for the senior class to NYC, going to prom with Peter, getting ready to attend UVA in the fall (she’s bound to get in), and baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Life couldn’t seem any better, until Lara Jean is forced to rethink her future when plans go awry.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
**Warning: Being that Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the final book, there will be both spoilers for the series and this installment. The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before novels are among my all-time favorite series and contemporary reads, so go check them out if you haven’t already!***
It was no surprise that I fell in love with Always and Forever, Lara Jean from the moment I started reading the first chapter. The book came out during the first week of May 2017, and I only put it off until the end of June because I didn’t want this series to be over (still feel that way). From her love of baking to her hesitance toward change, I see so much of myself in Lara Jean and I’m so happy that Jenny Han has given me a character that I can relate to on such a personal level.
From the moment that we learn that Lara Jean is still waiting to hear back from UVA, I had a feeling that she wasn’t going to get in and I sensed that she wasn’t going to stay at William and Mary either. I had a hunch about UNC only because Jenny Han graduated from the school herself (author blurbs at the end of books are one of my favorite parts of reading). I was upset about the distance Peter places between him and Lara Jean when he finds out about UNC, but other than that, Peter Kavinsky is the high school boyfriend of my own dreams! I want a guy to run around New York City and get the best chocolate chip cookies for me! Speaking of chocolate chip cookies (there are a ton in this book), one of my favorite aspects of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series is all the baking. Lara Jean’s sinabrownies even inspired me to make cinnamon rolls after I finished reading!
My favorite theme of this series overall is family. Jenny Han has said while her series is about a love story, its focus is set upon the Song sisters. I love Margot for her intelligence and support, additionally relating to her as the oldest sister myself. I love Kitty for her sassiness and comebacks, not to mention the fact that she Peter wrapped around her finger. I really enjoying Ms. Rothchild/ Trina’s bigger presence in this installment and seeing her relationship grow with Lara Jean’s dad and the girls. I found it so funny when she talks about Peter’s good looks (“Besides, her boyfriend is hot.”). I felt so heartbroken for Lara Jean when she realizes how many big things her mom is missing in her daughters’ lives. Tears definitely came to my eyes when all she wants is a hug from her mom on her graduation day.
I could not get over the Hamilton references in this book (surprise, surprise). I totally see Lara Jean as a Hamilton fan, and one of my favorite quotes from the book of course uses Hamilton terminology:
“In truth, if Kitty’s anyone, she’s a Jefferson. Wily, stylish, quick with a comeback. Margot’s an Angelica, no question. She’s been sailing her own ship since she was a little girl. She’s always known who she was and what she wanted. I suppose I’m an Eliza, though I’d much rather be an Angelica. In truth, I’m probably And Peggy. But I don’t want to be the And Peggy of my own story. I want to be the Hamilton” (102).
Like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever, Lara Jean made my heart extremely happy. Even though Jenny Han has said that this will be the final book in the series, I would love to join Lara Jean in college (frankly, I’ll read anything involving the Song sisters). This is probably a bunch of wishful thinking, but I love a novella all about the girls’ trip to Korea and if I’m really hoping, I would love a spinoff series in a few years centered on Kitty! Because I loved this book so much, I’m plan on rereading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You soon (I might have to throw Always and Forever, Lara Jean in there too).
Have you read or are planning to read Always and Forever, Lara Jean? Share your thoughts & feels in the comments!