BLURB: “Life is good for Lara Jean. She is head over heels in love, her dad’s finally getting remarried and her sister Margot is coming home for the summer. But change is looming. And Lara Jean can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make – where she goes to college for one. Because that would mean leaving her family – and possibly the boy she loves – behind.
When your head and your heart are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?”
REVIEW: After finishing ‘P.S. I Still Love you’ in a single sitting, I rushed straight into reading the third and final instalment of this trilogy, ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’. Once again, it was a smooth and easy transition onto the next novel, moving fluidly along with the storyline. By this point in the plot, Lara Jean and Peter have been together for a year, and have a lot of decisions to make in terms of their futures, both in terms of their careers and their life together as a couple. Han deals well and sensitively with the whole idea of growing up and moving on, particularly in terms of home and family as Lara Jean wonders what will become of her Dad and sister Kitty if she moves away to college. As someone who commuted to university from home and has yet to be able to move out, I understand the pull of family ties and how important home is, and many of the readers of this novel will surely be at the age where they are facing similar feelings and decisions. When Lara Jean fails to make it into her first choice university close to home, she is forced to consider the possibility of moving elsewhere, leaving her family behind and potentially jeopardising her relationship with Peter. Their fears of the dangers of a long-distance relationship threaten to tear Lara Jean and Peter apart, whilst at home things are also becoming tricky as Lara Jean’s elder sister Margot rebels against their idea of their Dad remarrying. There is a sense of nostalgia that runs throughout the novel, another thing that readers can identify with, as we have all had to make decisions that make us reflect on our childhood and younger years. The whole novel deals with this conflict between the familiar and the new, and the feelings this conflict presents us with, as well as the subsequent dilemmas. I really enjoyed this novel, in fact the whole trilogy, and felt it provided an ideal ending. By finishing with Lara Jean and Peter aiming to continue their relationship despite their moving to separate colleges, it gives readers the chance to develop their own conclusions about the future of their relationship and to invent their own happy ending for the couple. I would highly recommend this whole series for a light, sometimes emotional, but mostly uplifting read that appeals to the true romantic in all of us.