A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the conclusion of a popular trilogy by Jenny Han that began with To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Reading the first two books first is recommended for a deeper appreciation of the characters, and neither the title nor the last line of the book will make much sense unless you do. There’s a lot of talk about sex and virginity; for example, in a game of truth or dare a gay character's asked if he's ever had sex with a dude. The only sexual activity described are a few kisses and some light making out, even when two teens are in bed with only underwear on. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k." Adults and teens drink, Lara Jean gets drunk enough to throw up once, and teens smoke pot at a party once. One friend smokes cigarettes. Lara Jean comes from a tight-knit family of positive role models. Positive messages are about making decisions that are right for you, adapting when things don't go how you planned, and appreciating the time you have with family and friends.
What's the story?
In ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN, senior year of high school promises to be a busy and exciting time. College applications, class trips, prom, and a wedding to plan (her dad's) are enough to keep Lara Jean running at full speed. Best of all is having the handsome lacrosse star Peter as her official boyfriend through it all. But Lara Jean's bright future suddenly looks a lot dimmer when she gets some shocking news. Nothing about the future is certain anymore. Can Lara Jean find a way to adapt to new circumstances and come up with a plan B?
Is it any good?
This is a sigh-worthy romance that teen fans are sure to enjoy. With Always and Forever, Lara Jean, author Jenny Han finishes off Lara Jean's story still playing to her strengths" believable, likable characters and a vivid, lively family life that's the real heart of a sweet teen romance.
The story's easy to follow if you haven't read the first two books, but you'll get a much deeper appreciation of, and feel a greater connection to, the characters if you know their histories. Otherwise, the title won't make much sense, and the ending will be better understood and more satisfying, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the main character is portrayed in Always and Forever, Lara Jean and the first two books in the series. What do you like about Lara Jean? Is she a believable character? What are some of her strengths and weaknesses?
Have you read the first two books in the series? Which did you like best? Are you sad to see the series end?
Did the story turn out the way you thought it would? What do you predict or hope will happen to Lara Jean in the future?
- Author: Jenny Han
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: May 2, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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