It’s always disorienting coming back to blogging from vacation, but here I am, with another simultaneously light and weighty book by Jenny Han, the closing book in the series that started with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. Simon and Schuster, 2017.
It’s Lara Jean’s senior year of high school. That means both enjoying the lasts of everything while at the same time planning for the future. Lara Jean’s plans involve going to school locally, to the university she’s grown up loving and where her boyfriend Peter has a scholarship. But all of that hinges on her being accepted in the first place. The rest of life isn’t holding still, either, as her father and their neighbor Ms. Rothschild, now Trina, decide to finally get engaged. While it’s happy news for Lara Jean, her older sister Margot, still at university in Scotland, is unpleasantly surprised by it. As always when stressed, Lara Jean finds relief in baking, now with a side of wedding planning.
Overall, this is a great comfort read kind of book. But that doesn’t mean that everything goes Lara Jean’s way. In fact, Lara Jean’s careful plans are upset quite a bit, and she worries here in a Hamilton reference that she might be the joy-killing and Peggy to her other sisters’ more outgoing and appealing Angelica and Eliza. The conclusions are ultimately heartwarming, with the sense of humor that you’d expect as the conclusion to this series. It’s a series I’ll happily recommend to people, both on its own merits and as a contrast to the many tragic and heart-breaking realistic contemporary YA books with diverse leads, because all these stories deserve to be heard.