Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Yet again, thank the library for this fantastic discovery. I was scrolling through available audiobooks on my library’s smartphone app (I always only search “Available” books) and I found this boss-level YA coming-of-age trilogy. The first book is just adorable. It centers around Lara Jean Song Covey, a Korean-American high schooler who accidentally finds herself in the middle of a minor scandal at school. It forces her to come out of her shell a little, and out of the shadow of her older sister. It’s about high school life as much as is it romance. That’s probably my favorite part of this Lara Jean trilogy – Lara Jean. I have sons and not daughters, but if I had daughters I’d want them to be like Lara Jean. She’s artsy, kind, thoughtful, brilliant, confident, and a fantastic baker. Jenny Han creates an inner world that I obviously never experienced first-hand and enjoy living in. Isn’t that kind of the point of books – to experience something new? 

The second and third books in the trilogy follow Lara Jean through the remaining years of high school. Always and Forever wraps up the series. I don’t want to give much away about the plot, other than it revolves around senior year and everything that goes with it. Do you stay with your boyfriend/girlfriend and try to make it work, or do you leave high school unattached? Do you go to college? Where? If you DO go, who are you? If you don’t go, who are you? I think the book nails the bittersweet feel of senior year perfectly.

Personally, junior year in high school was my favorite because we could all drive, we were upperclass, but we didn’t have the stress of moving on. Senior year just felt…heavy. That’s kind of how it is for Lara Jean, but it’s cool to be there as she grows.

I highly recommend the series. It’s like a lighter, airier Rainbow Rowell + a smidge of The DUFF (movie version, not book) + a cup of MTV’s Awkward.

PS I cried 5x.

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