Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Rating: 2 Stars

Lara Jean is back for her last year of high school with her real boyfriend Peter. This book covers basically her second semester of senior year, moving through college applications, campus tours, prom, beach week, and graduation. It’s the little ribbon on top of this trilogy that follows the young couple from fake relationship to real relationship over the span of the three books.

I know so many people loved this book and I will say it was cute and fluffy but I’ve rated each one a 2 star and I think I was being a bit generous with my star allocations, if I’m being honest. I wanted to love this book so much because the premise is cute and adorable but realistically, when you strip it down it’s pretty juvenile. A fake relationship to make an Peter’s ex jealous and for Lara Jean to save face after her little sister does something pretty awful when she sends out those letters, it’s all very naive and not particularly interesting. Obviously the jock, popular boy falls for the babyish, boring quiet girl – is there anyone who couldn’t see that coming a mile away? It’s just a bit cliche for me taste. And Lara Jean honestly just grated on my nerves the whole time. For someone who was supposed to be 16-18 years old throughout this trilogy she acted and thought more like Kitty should have. I’m not saying teenagers are the most mature people in the world, but just her thought processes seemed so basic – as if she’d lived sheltered under a rock. Is that awful of me to say? Probably. Maybe I’m being too harsh. But I’ve read a few amazing YA/YA Romances since this one and I’m finding that some of them are written amazingly well, despite the younger audience level, so I don’t really think the fact that the To All the Boys series can use the “younger audience” shtick as a copout. I just really didn’t connect with Lara Jean and I think that’s where my problem comes from with these books. She wasn’t relatable to me in any way (not necessarily in the fact that she’s a high schooler and I’m in my 30’s – because I was once a teenager myself) and I couldn’t find anything in her that I could connect with emotionally. She came across pretty flat to me.

And on another note, this last book in particular, seemed sort of pointless to me. A first I thought the whole book was leading up to a big prom extravaganza but prom was maybe one or two chapters by the time we finally got there. Then I figured beach week was the major focus, but that was boring and short lived, too. I just didn’t really see the need for any of the plot points, other than to leave us with an ambiguous ending.

Like I said. I tried very hard to love this trilogy and it’s not necessarily that it wasn’t good. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. It was cute at it’s core – certainly a fluff read and if that’s something you’re looking for (especially to cleanse your emotional palate before moving on to something heavier) then I highly recommend it! Otherwise perhaps a different cute YA.

Too fluffy for Bear.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are simply my own honest ones and I have not been asked to write this review. Not everyone may agree with my thoughts and that’s okay! I hope you enjoy reading about mine.

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