Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 15, 2014
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What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
on May 26, 2015
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Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 2, 2017
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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?
“I’m always wondering about the what-ifs, about the road not taking.”
Well, I’ve spent the last two weeks with Lara Jean and the Song girls. It was a very rough two weeks in my personal life, and I was so comforted by Jenny Han’s warm and charming trilogy. If you’re a regular blog visitor, you know I previously DNF’ed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. When I tried the series in print, I found Lara Jean to be quite juvenile. I get that she’s a teenager, but she comes across as so young. On a whim, I decided to pick this back up because I saw it on the Audible Romance Package (heart eyes forever), and thought, eh I’ll just kill some time until I figure out what I want to read and it’s becoming a Netflix thing, so might as well. I am very grateful for whatever reason I decided to give this a second chance.
“My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I’m not longer consumed by my all-consuming love…My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.”
I stand by my first impression of Lara Jean. She is impossibly young, to the point where my old soul was just shaking my head at this baby in the big bad world. But no matter how many times she made me say, “oh honey, no,” I never stopped rooting for her. From the very beginning, she has the heart and mind of a true romantic. She sees a boy and gets starry eyed at the possibility of them. Lara Jean loves love and it’s a bit infectious to see the world in her rosy-colored tint. I feel like it’s important to note, I did not feel a connection to any of the other characters across the three books. Her best friend I hated, her sisters were problematic, and I do not ship Lara Jean and Peter.
“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.”
I kept wishing that Lara Jean was real, and I could just tell her all of these things I have learned because there is this tiny essence of her that brings back memories of young Dani. She’s nostalgic in the present tense, she has old-lady habits and fashion sense, she’s utterly naive but also trying to be so grown up. Most importantly, she misses the whole point of being a teenager. All of that, I get, and I think Han beautifully and authentically captures pieces of what it’s like to be girls like Lara Jean and me.
“Sometimes I like you so much I can’t stand it. It fills up inside me, all the way to the brim, and I feel like I could overflow. I like you so much I don’t know what to do with it. My heart beats so fast when I know I’m going to see you again. And then, when you look at me the way you do, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”
The first book of the series is the only one that I would truly recommend, but since I connected with Lara Jean and wanted to see where her story lead, I carried on. I’m not at all disappointed that I did, but books two and three don’t have quite the same wholesomeness and comfort as the first. I wanted more emotional growth for Lara Jean, but I also can appreciate that the story stays very authentic to the character it chronicles.
“One day all of this will be proof, proof that we were here, proof that we loved each other. It’s the guarantee that no matter what happens to us in the future, this time was ours.”
Now that I’m done, I am a little bit sad to part with Lara Jean. As much of a shock as it was, it will be sad to part with her simpler problems and that feeling of personal infinity every teenager has when the world and life is all waiting ahead. She’s a character I will fondly look back on for a bit to come.