I’m a person who saves things. I’ll hold on forever. Lara Jean ~ Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance Page Count: 325
Author: Jenny Han
It’s Lara Jean’s last year of high school with so much to look forward to after graduation. She is excited to go to prom with her boyfriend Peter, excited to go to New York City, Beach Week after graduation, excited about her dad’s wedding with Ms. Rothschild and excited to afterward, be with Peter in her dream college close to home. Things couldn’t be better.
Until she gets some bad news. Now Lara Jean has to rethink everything she had planned and decide what is most important to her.
The last book of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. If you read my review of the first book, you’d know that I originally started this series with my sister. She read the first two but after P.S. I Still Love You she said she was no longer interested in the story and thought that the series should end with Lara Jean deciding that she liked Peter more than John Ambrose Mclaren and that she’d forgive him for his friendship with Genevieve. But I wasn’t satisfied with that ending so much, especially not with the knowledge that there was a third book.( I have this thing with completion. It must be an OCD thing haha!)
This book didn’t start off too bad. The writer is fairly good at beginnings but it wasn’t long before I started to think it might have been a bad idea to insist on reading the last book. I felt that there wasn’t much excitement left in the story anymore, and that I was just watching Lara Jean’s life happily play out. She went places with Peter for a good portion of the start and just thought about how happy she’d be to join him in the college of her dreams, UVA.
Nothing much happened until she finds out that she’s not going to UVA with Peter and she breaks down like her life is forever ruined and she doesn’t think her relationship with Peter will work anymore. Then she literally spends the rest of the story deciding where to go instead of UVA. The main focus is college. I had a hard time finding interest in this book at one point, partly because I found it boring and partly because at the time I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to college myself.
You would think that that would make me more interested in the story but it didn’t. It made it stressful. Lara Jean was definitely going and she had all the opportunity and ways to pay for it but yet she kept whining about the long distance relationship she was going to have with Peter. She seemed kind of hopeless the whole book and I wanted to be like, “Girl, at least you know for the most part what you’re doing! Chill, and stop acting like it’s the end!”
All of the characters in the book — especially Lara Jean — were more bland to me. Like all of their intrigue had already been shown and they were just there. All of them, but Peter. He was still so real and his character was developed really well to me. The scenes with him were the best parts of the book.
The things that really frustrated me other than the general plot was how much of a big deal Lara Jean and those around her thought it was that she hadn’t yet had the three-letter-word with Peter. This is a book for teens, yet it was never made clear that there is nothing wrong with not giving it to your boyfriend until marriage. That should be encouraged! Yet, this was another thing that Lara Jean constantly stressed over.
The whole book was also very clear what side it was on politically. (like characters wear “Go Hillary” shirts.) This was annoying for me as well because I don’t read a Contemporary Romance for it’s politics. There were some good morals though and most of them came from Peter. Peter and Lara Jean decide that if they have a baby, they will definitely raise it together ( which made me smile) and Peter refuses to have the-three-letter-word with Lara Jean when he knows that she only intends on breaking up with him afterward.
I laughed out loud a few times with this book and I was very surprised to find that I was incredibly pleased with how it ended. Lara Jean gets really grown up toward the end and figures out what’s important to her and how to get it. I feel that yes, the story probably didn’t have enough material for a third book, but the ending was so good, a fan of the series might find it worth it.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘seriously?’)
Like the first two books, this one was a whole bunch of just mentioning. Mentioning french kissing, mentioning a strip club, crude naked jokes, talking about boobs and butts, and a whole lot of talking about sex. Lara Jean talks to her sister about what it’s like with some detail and many of the scenes imply that the teens in this book sleep around. All except Lara Jean who sees it as a problem that she hasn’t yet. The book gets into Lara Jean having conversations about avoiding conception which leads to discussions about preventive measures and sex both regularly and oral.
The talking about sex got a little worse but there wasn’t much done physically. Even though this is a book about a girl with a boyfriend, the romance was very light. A few kisses, but hardly passionate. Towards the end, Lara Jean and Peter get in their underwear but nothing happens as much as it sounds otherwise.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant cussing’.)
God’s name taken in vain with words like: oh my ___. Other words like: sh*t, bitch, damn, hell, d*ck, and p*nise mentioned. Also f-word a few times throughout.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘graphic violence’.)
There’s no violence I can think of.
Drinking, drugs or smoking: 5-10
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant use’.)
Unlike the first two books, drinking and drugs is more than mentioned. There is a lot of teen drinking and one scene with smoking pot. The two main characters, Peter and Lara Jean also both get drunk at one point.
A Homosexual is mentioned and prevalent in the story.
Homosexuals are encouraged in this book and prevalent. There is one scene where a homosexual is asked about his personal sex life. He does not go into any detail but it’s still cringy. Talk of going to a gay bar.