Always and Forever, Lara Jean Film Review


There’s a very likely possibility that Always and Forever, Lara Jean film reviews are blowing up your blog feed this Monday morning, but the final Netflix adaptation of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series is worth all the love and more. Always and Forever, Lara Jean hit Netflix this past Friday, February 12th, and this blogger put it on as soon as she got home from work on Friday afternoon. You might know that Always & Forever, Lara Jean is my favorite book in the TATBILB trilogy, meaning that I had highly and somewhat nervously anticipating this third film. I really love the Netflix adaptations of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You because they truly capture the heart of the books. I’m so happy to say that Always and Forever, Lara Jean met my expectations and more. **Warning that within this review, there are spoilers for both the film and book. 

I knew going into the film, based on the trailer and the changes between book and movie in the first two films, that there were going to be a few changes in detail. I think some of the biggest changes between book and film result from the fact that the film series takes place in the Pacific Northwest, while the books take place in Virginia. Instead of UVA, Peter and Lara Jean both have their hearts set on Stanford, with Lara Jean being swayed by another California school and New York University vs. William & Mary and UNC. I actually thought Lara Jean’s interest in NYU made so much sense because she really enjoys being in the city during the senior trip (even though I love having UNC in the books as a nod to Jenny Han’s own alma mater). 

Despite the change in setting, I really liked that Peter and Lara Jean’s trajectory stays the same. I didn’t like the slight bump in Lara Jean telling him the truth about Stanford, but it overall didn’t affect the plot too much. I sort’ve wish their big fight happened like it did in the book vs. taking place at prom, but I am happy with what stayed true to the book too much to get too upset. I was so, so happy that Peter’s memory about his and Lara Jean’s real meet cute stayed in the movie (and I LOVED the cameo involved). 

One somewhat general change I really liked about the movies is that there were so many added details within the trips, specifically the Coveys’ trip to Korea and Lara Jean’s senior trip to NYC. I sort’ve wish the film would’ve went more into the summertime when the Coveys actually go to Korea and even included senior week at the beach, but I LOVED getting to go around Korea with the Coveys. I liked that Dr.Covey and Trina joined the girls on the trip. I especially thought the padlock scene at Seoul Tower with the girls and their dad felt so right for the film, since it paid a nod to their mother and the impending addition of Trina to the family. 

Regarding the NYC trip, while I was somewhat disappointed that we didn’t see Lara Jean and Peter running around the city together like in the books (I really wanted him to surprise her with Levain cookies), I loved the added details. Specifically, it was actually really fun to see Lara Jean run around the city with her girlfriends, Gen and Chris. Chris actually makes more appearances in the book than I remembered the first time around, but I loved how she really took on a more of a main character vs. supporting role in the film.

When it came to the Covey sisters, I do wish we got to see a bit more Margot, even though I like how the film treated her adjustment to Trina. Kitty made me laugh and smile the most as always. I did appreciate how they made her a tad more mature with her first ‘boyfriend’ – fingers-crossed that one day will get a spinoff series following the youngest Covey! Although I had plenty of feels throughout, the one scene where I did actually cry was when Kitty admits how much she’ll really miss Lara Jean when she goes to college. The wedding was just like how I imagined it my head, from the backyard wedding to Kitty’s tux to Lara Jean and Peter’s scene.  

Just like the book, Always & Forever, Lara Jean has the perfect balance of Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter, her family, her friendships, and most importantly, making the transformation from high school Lara Jean to college ready, young adult Lara Jean. The ending was so hopeful and perfect to Lara Jean’s future, with a touch of bittersweetness. While I’m sad to see this film trilogy come to an end, I’ll always & forever be grateful to have seen one of my all-time favorite series come to life on screen. 

Have you watched Always and Forever, Lara Jean? What did you think? What’s your favorite TATBILB film or book? Share in the comments! 

Always & Forever, Lara Jean Reread Review

Summary (from the publisher):

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?

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Always & Forever, Lara Jean will always & forever put the biggest smile on my face.

I feel like I’ve been saying I’ve been wanting to reread my favorite book in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series forever… which is kind’ve true because this was my first time rereading the book since I first read it in 2017! I totally blame, but am also super grateful for the trailer drop of the Always and Forever, Lara Jean Netflix adaptation for finally motivating me to pick it up. I could tell from the trailer that there are definitely going to be some changes from the book & film, which I figured based on how the movies have differed from the books – for example, the movies take place in the Pacific Northwest and not Virginia, which will be a major factor in Lara Jean’s college decisions. However, despite the changes, I feel that the films do really capture the hearts of the books, and I can’t wait to see Always & Forever, Lara Jean on screen. 

One of the reasons why I absolutely love this book is because I relate so much to Lara Jean’s feels leaving high school.  I even felt some of the same emotions during my first two years of college – leaving home for the first time, starting new friendships, and trying to figure out how to maintain relationships at the same time. I slightly forgot that much of Lara Jean’s worrying about the future has to do with Peter, but there is a balance between their romance and Lara Jean’s college decisions and love for her family.Read More »

P.S. I LOVE IT: P.S. I Still Love You Movie Review

If there was one thing this bookish fangirl absolutely had to do on February 12,  it was watch the sequel adaptation of her favorite YA contemporary series: P.S. I Still Love You! Just like the first film, P.S. I Still Love You was such a cozy and comforting movie that I know I’ll be returning to again and again!

9781534469266_p0_v3_s550x406P.S. I Still Love You is really Lara Jean and Peter’s story (and also a little bit of John Ambrose’s). The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before plot did revolve around the couple, but there were a lot of moments about the Song-Covey sisters, so it was a bit of a transition going into this installment. Either way, I loved settling into Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship. I seriously need to learn how to make Valentine’s Day cards like Lara Jean’s! I was so happy that she makes cherry tarts for him just like in the book. While I have much, MUCH love for John Ambrose, it still made me sad when Lara Jean and Peter K. go through some challenges. I do think Peter could have been a lot more honest about things involving Gen, but I think Lara Jean also could have been a tad more open about things with John Ambrose.

Outside of Peter K. and Lara Jean, there was of course so much that I loved about this movie.  Kitty’s moments were still spot on, although I wish we did get some more Margot outside of the one FaceTime phone call. However, Lara Jean’s true mentor in this installment is none other than Stormy! There were definitely some changes to the Belleview storyline, the retirement community Lara Jean volunteers in, but I’m so, so glad Stormy was still part of it- although I’m still a little sad that we didn’t get to see Lara Jean in her victory rolls and John Ambrose in uniform. Back to the Song-Covey family, I’m also really happy they kept the Mr.Covey and Ms.Rothchild storyline (and that’s where I didn’t mind not having Margot’s mixed feelings about the situation, whoops). I actually think my favorite character in P.S. I Still Love You was Chris! Her personality and spunk was just so well done (along with her amazing eye shadow)  and I liked her own romance storyline.Read More »

P.S. I Still Love You Viewing Party Tips

9781534469266_p0_v3_s550x406One of the most, if not the most, anticipated book-to-film adaptions of 2020 will be gracing our Netflix screens on February 12th: P.S. I Still Love You! Based on the second book in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, P.S. I Still Love You picks up where we left off with Lara Jean and Peter K. at the end of the first film and introduces a much beloved boy in Lara Jean’s life: John Ambrose McClaren! 

Everyone knows that I have a lot of love for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before books and films. This series is just so cozy and there’s so much in them (desserts included) that can help make for the best viewing experience. Whether you’ll be having a solo viewing (which I’ll definitely be doing at some point so that this book nerd can do her usual book to film comparison), gathering your best girl friends for a Galentine’s Day celebration, or ringing in Valentine’s Day with your valentine, the following tips will make for the best P.S. I Still Love You watching experience. 

Viewing Party Prep 

Choose a Theme: Galentine’s, Valentine’s, and Party in the USA 

My favorite holiday inspired by Parks and Recreation, P.S. I Still Love You comes out the day before Galentine’s Day. Whether you’re watching with your best gal pals on the 12th, 13th, or later on, embrace your inner Lara Jean and Chris. 

Because of the release date’s proximity to Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day, decor and food options can be really simple this time of year. However, I think the most unique way and most true to the book way to go with a USA themed party inspired by Lara Jean’s USO party at Belleview. 

Bake your heart out 

One of my favorite elements of the TATBILB world is Lara Jean’s love for baking. Baking and desserts are a huge part of the books, and I was so happy to see Lara Jean’s cupcake and cooking baking skills brought to the TATBILB film. I have recipes on the blog inspired by both To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Snickerdoodles are the go-to treat in P.S. I Still Love You, but Lara Jean’s cake making skills are definitely put the test as well. I really want to try to make her Reese’s Pieces cake for the peanut butter lovers in my life one day. If you’re watching with friends and family, have everyone bring desserts and even make a competition out of it! For the true TATBILB and baking fans in your life, step it up a notch by only allowing desserts that are also featured in the books. 

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Pre-Viewing & Viewing Activities 

Rewatch TATBILB before jumping into P.S. I Still Love You 

I’ve definitely rewatched TATBILB on more on than one occasion, but I think it would be really fun to binge both films back to back.

Wear your best Lara Jean inspired outfit 

It’s no secret that Lara Jean is one of the best dressed fictional characters ever. Peter Pan collar shirts, scrunchies and Margot’s favorite Fair Isle sweater all make for great options. This is also another competition idea for group viewings. 

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P.S. I Still Love You Inspired Recipes

P.S., I still love Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series very much.

After falling head-over-heels in love with Netflix’s adaptation of the first book in my all-time favorite contemporary series, I really cannot wait for Susan Johnson and co.’s take on the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You.

Since I reread P.S. I Still Love You last summer- I’m finally planning on rereading Always and Forever, Lara Jena this year- I decided to just skim through P.S. I Still Love You. While doing my reread skim, I once again fell in love with so many of the desserts Lara Jean bakes! The following three recipes are based on desserts Lara Jean makes in P.S. I Still Love You and will make for the perfect treats while watching the new movie.

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Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

These peanut butter crinkle cookies are inspired by the Reese’s Pieces cake John Ambrose McClaren would love for Lara Jean to bake. I’d definitetly love to make this cake for all the peanut butter lovers in my life- I am unfortunately not a peanut butter fan in the slightest bit- but I admit that I tend to leans towards cookies over cake. These peanut butter crinkle cookies are a hit in my family. Whenever my sister finds herself in a baking mood, these are her go-to treat for friends and family.

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Snickerdoodles

If you remember my To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before inspired recipes, you’ll know that I am once again bringing this recipe to the blog. Snickerdoodles have an even bigger presence in P.S. I Still Love You. They’re still Lara Jean’s go-to forgiveness cookie for Kitty, she makes a batch for Peter K., and she pops them in the oven when Ms.Rothchild comes over for dinner. I considered sharing my truly made from scratch recipes, but honestly nothing tops the cake mix version in my opinion.

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HOLIDAY MOOD: 10 Blind Dates Review & Most Anticipated Christmas Movies 2019

Summary (from the publisher): Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.10

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it? 

 

 My Rating: 4/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

 Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates made my TBR radar earlier in 2019 thanks to its holidays-inspired premise. As many as you know, I love when books incorporate one of my non-bookish faves. And Christmas is definitely a favorite interest of mine. I am proud to admit though that I have been fully embracing fall and Halloween this year by decorating my dorm room and purposely buying a Halloween costume. But never fear, my Christmas decorations are at the ready. Anyway, I also wanted to read 10 Blind Dates because I wanted to read more of Ashley Elston’s work. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t a super fan of her This Is Our Story as much as I hoped to be given the hype. However, I was really excited to embrace her first true contemporary story.

10 Blind Dates follows Sophie’s holiday break at her grandparents’ house in the next town over, after deciding to stay home while her parents visit her very pregnant sister three hours away in South Louisiana. Sophie couldn’t wait to get some alone time with her long-time boyfriend, Griffin- until she’s overhears him talking at a party about breaking up with her. With a big family who wants nothing but happiness for Sophie, her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles set Sophie set her up on ten blind dates.

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One of my favorite parts of 10 Blind Dates was of course Sophie’s crazy extended family. There are a lot of family members, but Ashley Elston does a really nice job of reminding readers who is who and focusing on the ones who are most central to the plot. Sophie’s Nonna was my favorite family member, creating the blind date idea and having homemade cannolis ready at the go. Living with her grandparents also allows Sophie to reconnect with her childhood best friends and cousins Charlie and Olivia (not to mention their best friend and neighbor, Wes).

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SUMMER READING & NETFLIX BINGEING: May 2019 Wrap Up

The unofficial start of summer has treated me so well! Fangirl-wise, I read 16 books and binge-watched Netflix shows and movies. IRL-wise, with school over for the year, I’ve had more time to relax, catch up with friends, exercise, GO TO THE BEACH, and start my summer job. At the time of this post’s publication, I am currently attending the most exciting event of May, Book Expo! I’m really excited for my June content overall, but especially because I’ll be doing wrap-ups for each day of the convention.

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Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin | 4/5 Stars

This was my first book by Adele Griffin. I really enjoyed her writing style and this book’s atmospheric setting.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston |5/5 Stars

Like everyone and their mother, I freaking loved RW&RB. It’s definitely my all-time favorite new adult book and a 2019 favorite read.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 4/5 Stars

Although I still enjoyed this book, unlike everyone and their mother, I didn’t necessarily love Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston| 4.25/5 Stars

It was so much fun jumping back into the Once Upon a Con series and I’m really looking forward to the third installment that will be based on Beauty and the Beast.

The Off-Campus Series (The Deal, The Mistake, The Score & The Goal) by Elle Kennedy | 4.5/5 Stars

I have a full series review coming for these books, but for right now, I’ll share that my favorite was The Goal (another 2019 favorite read)

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith | 4/5 Stars

This book is tempting me to book a cross-country train trip.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker | 4.5/5

I loved jumping into the new adult genre this month, including The Simple Wild. Also catch me planning a trip to the Alaskan wilderness.

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Gilmore Girls Book Tag

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I saw The Gilmore Girls Book Tag on Regan of PeruseProjects Booktube channel a few months ago and wanted to do the tag myself. I enjoy watching Gilmore Girls, and in my opinion,  Gilmore Girls: A Year of the Life was the best sequel/reboot that I’ve seen come out of Netflix so far! Sorry Fuller House! I’m really hoping for a second season of Gilmore Girls:A Year of the Life, but for right now, I’ll settle with this tag.

Lorelai | A character with a witty or sarcastic sense of humor 

Dimple from When Dimple Met Rishi. Dimple’s sarcasm was most definitely a highlight in Sandhya Menon’s debut novel, plus how often do you meet someome who’s not afraid to throw an iced coffee in a guy’s face?? Lorelai would approve, but feel sad about the wasted coffee.

Rory | Favorite classic

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I haven’t read this one in a while,so I’m  due for a reread in the near future.

Luke| A book you secretly love, but are not afraid to admit

A book that I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but wasn’t definitely mine is Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Lane | A musical character

Adam from Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.

Dean | Your first book love (character or book you first loved)

Gale from The Hunger Games

Sookie |A book you’ve devoured

I have eaten so many books up, but I’m going to go with my most recent treat, Bonfire by Krysten Ritter.
Jess | A book you love, that gets the most hate

 A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. A lot of people LOVE this book and series, and a lot of people hate this series. The depiction of a character’s sexuality in ACOWAR has caused much debate in the book community.

Miss Patty| A book that was ruined by the hype 

Now I often don’t pick up middle grade books, but maybe I would have picked up Serafina and the Black Cloak if I HADN’T SEEN IT EVERYWHERE THIS SUMMER. There was a lot of promotion for this series over on Booktube, and I just grew tired of seeing it in every book haul I watched. I’m all for paid promotions, but it was just too many bloggers all at once.

Emily Gilmore | An expensive book

I’m going with one of the most expensive books on my shelf, which is the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. The quality of the book itself and the illustrations definitely make up for the price tag.

Paris | An uptight character

Nesta from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. There’s nothing wrong with being uptight here because Nesta is my favorite character in the ACOTAR world .

Are you a Gilmore Girls fan? Share in the comments!

TV Review: Fuller House Season 3 Part 1

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Last Friday, the first half of Fuller House Season 3 was released on Netflix. After being quite disappointed with season two of the show last December, I debated if I would watch the third season of the Full House spinoff.  I found the first two seasons of Full House to be a bit cheesy and quite frankly, cringey. I’m not sure if this because I’m watching Fuller House as a young adult, where I started watching Full House when I was four or five years old.

I think what really made me watch Fuller House was that this season was released on the 30th anniversary of Full House. I had to celebrate in some way! So on the morning of September 23rd, I woke up a half hour earlier than I usually do on Fridays and watched the first two episodes of the show before class. Throughout the rest of the day and night, I continued to watch the rest of the season and right after I finished, I was Googling when the next half of the season is going to come out! While it was still cheesy at times, I enjoyed Fuller House Season 3 Part One much more than I had anticipated! I think these nine episodes did a better job of focusing on the adults a tad more (lets be honest, the kids are cute, but I really only care about the characters I grew up with on Full House).

Before I jump into spoilers and for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to watch the season yet, I will say that I recommend watching this season of Fuller House if you are looking for a lighthearted binge-watch or you’re as a big of a Full House fan as I am.

 *Woah baby: There are spoilers for Fuller House below*

 Like I said above, I enjoyed this season much more than I had anticipated. I actually skipped through most of Season Two because I was only concerned about DJ and Steve, who do remain as my top concern. However, I do have a few disappointments regarding these first nine episodes. I was a bit nervous from the get-go, as the first episodes begins with a musical routine. I will never understand why Fuller House has included singing and dancing in most of the episodes. While Full House had its musical elements in the form of Jesse, it wasn’t like the Tanners were breaking into musical numbers every episode. I will say though that I enjoyed the “Summer Nights” duet by DJ and Steve.

My next disappointment was the emphasis on Stephanie becoming mom. We learn in the first season of the show that Stephanie is unable to have a baby, however, she learns in this season that she has viable eggs and could possibly have a baby through a sperm donor and surrogate. Of course, we then get Becky and Stephanie jumping up and down in the doctor’s office, screaming that Stephanie could actually be a mom. NEWSFLASH, STEPHANIE WOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED A MOM IF SHE ADOPTED A BABY/CHILD. I found this a bit disappointing, especially since Becky and Jesse just adopted a baby themselves. And why does Becky have to be so baby crazy?? In Full House, Becky and Jesse decided not to have any more kids because Becky really wanted to focus on her career.

Negativity over, positivity’s here!

My favorite episode was “Say Yes to the Dress” mainly (okay, entirely) for its emphasis on DJ and Steve. I have been with Kimmy on Team Steve since the very beginning of Fuller House, and my biggest prediction at the end of season 2 was that Van Atta High’s golden couple would pull through, despite Steve’s engagement. AND NOW OUR HOPE IS SO REAL GUYS!!! Honestly, this is the only reason why I need the rest of season 3 RIGHT NOW.

We also finally got to see the Gibbler house this season!! It was even weirder than I could have imagined, and there were a few Easter eggs from Full House inside!

I also really enjoyed seeing Grandpa Nick come in the last episode, as I was waiting for someone outside the main cast from Full House to pop in! And as much as I want the show to focus more on the Full House main cast, I did enjoy the kids’ storylines more this season (Tommy got even cuter), and Fernando was actually a nice comedic relief most of the time.My main hope for the rest of the season is to obviously to see DJ and Steve finally get together! But even more than that, being that Danny is now divorced, I think it’s time for a certain Ms. Vicky Larson to join the show!!!

My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Do you watch Fuller House? Share in the comments!