Dear Jenny Han…

Posted June 5, 2017 by Wendy in Reviews / 6 Comments

Dear Jenny Han…Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Dating & Sex, Romance, Contemporary, Girls & Women
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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four-half-stars

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.
Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.
But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.
When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

So recently I binge read the entire To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han. Here’s the thing. I am and always will be a fantasy gal. Contemporaries aren’t my go to so I was a little nervous heading into the series. I couldn’t have been more  surprised by how much I loved it! I had so many thoughts and feelings as I read through these books and I think the best way for me to articulate them would be in what better form than a letter? (Note: there may be small spoilers to the first two books of the series below!)

Dear Jenny Han,

First of all, I want to say thank you for such a great series that was so genuine and accurate to this high school period. I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to love Lara Jean and her family! I started loving Lara Jean from the get go — her tendencies to stay home and bake or scrapbook instead of going out, and her love for her family! It was rather uncanny how much I related to Lara Jean. I was very much like her in so many ways (being a rather shy high schooler that never went to parties, could usually be found at home on a Friday night, and also maybe wasn’t the best driver at 16). Lara Jean’s feelings and thoughts were just so real and realistically portrayed and I ended up feeling super nostalgic for high school.

I absolutely loved the sister relationships in the series! I only have the one sister but I totally saw my relationship with mine reflected in Lara Jean’s with Margot’s. The internship conversation? That was like when my sister asked me why I wasn’t taking more AP classes and didn’t I want to start college off with more credits? I could totally, 100% understand Lara Jean. I just adored the sisterly elements in the series, from the changes Lara Jean and Margot’s relationship go through from book one to the last book, and also the love and affection both of them have for Kitty in helping raise Kitty along with their dad after the death of their mom. I loved their closeness and the very real fights and arguments but always the unconditional love because there is no one else in the world that can replace your sister. <3

Speaking of her family, I was so happy to read about Lara Jean’s two cultures! Growing up, I remember wanting to be just like the other kids because nobody else I knew had strange customs and I just didn’t want to be different. I of course am now glad to have grown up with two cultural backgrounds and it’s so exciting to read about a main character who also grew up with an Asian background.

I was also really impressed that the fact that there were possible multiple love interests did not bother me one bit because it all just felt natural and realistic. I will admit I was a total John Ambrose fan (even though Peter K. was toootally cute and swoony) until Always and Forever. Then I fell completely in love with Peter and you just captured Lara Jean’s first relationship so perfectly! The thoughts and feelings are just so on point.

In Always and Forever, we see Lara Jean finishing high school and about to embark on a new journey to college. I could not get over how ACCURATE her feelings were to mine when I was going through that same time. Back in the day, I totally had a personal blog and I wrote some really insightful (well thought they were insightful, ha!) thoughts about the end of high school and it was reflected so much in what Lara Jean went through. It gave me all the high school nostalgia feels. I also couldn’t get over how much I loved Lara Jean and Peter together in this last book. It was utterly perfect. I also cried during a particular scene toward the end where my love for Peter K. was cemented.

This has been a really long letter and I guess the gist of what I’m trying to say is thank you for creating a wonderful family that I never want to leave — I will miss the Song girls dearly and their dad and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now that it’s over! Thank you for the best character that I related to so much and bringing back all my high school feels!

P.S. Maybe we can get a story about Kitty navigating through high school? I would be so down for that!

Have you read this series? Were you a John Ambrose or Peter K. fan? And what did you think of the last book? No spoilers in the comments but feel free to tweet me if you want to chat about the final book!

 

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    6 responses to “Dear Jenny Han…

    1. I read the first two books a few summers again and fell in love with it! I’ve been waiting to read the last installment in Jenny Han’s series for a while. Reading your blogpost is definitely hyping me up to finally read it. I’ll end up wanting to read the whole series all over again! Also, Team Peter all the way. 😛

    2. Your letter is so lovely and perfect! Just the thing to send off the series 🙂 I related to Lara Jean too and I really appreciated how real her high school experience felt. I had a lot of mixed feelings about going away for college too- excited but nervous. I liked John more than I expected too but I was a Peter girl from the start 🙂 He’s so swoony with Lara Jean and I adore his very separate friendship with Kitty. It’s adorable! This will definitely be a series I revisit.

      • I did adore his friendship with Kitty too <3 I definitely can see myself rereading this series! And probably baking while I do it too! 🙂

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