58 pages 1 hour read

Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2017

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Important Quotes

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“This is a thing that Peter and I have in common—he only has a mom and I only have a dad. He thinks I got the better end of the deal, losing a mom who loved me versus a dad who is alive but a dirtbag. His words, not mine. Part of me agrees with him, because I have so many good memories of Mommy, and he has hardly any of his dad.” 

(Chapter 3, Page 53)

Lara Jean and Peter may not appear to have much in common, but they both share a deep grief for the loss of a parent. In Lara Jean’s case, her mother has died. For Peter, his father and mother are divorced, and he has an absent father. This similarity, though, does not always work to their advantage; since Lara Jean remembers her mother so fondly, she is often pushing Peter to reconnect with his father, while Peter assures her he has no positive memories of the man to which he might wish to return.

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“I’m on a roll now. ‘You’re the only boy I’ve ever kissed kissed. And you were the first. First kiss, first boyfriend, first everything! You got so many of my firsts, and I didn’t get any from you.’” 

(Chapter 5 , Page 57)

Lara Jean is inexperienced, and dwells on this aspect of her relationship with Peter. However, in this case, Peter can tell her she is off base. He confesses to have lied about his first kiss; he did not kiss someone at the beach, so Lara Jean was his first kiss by way of spin the bottle. Lara Jean is elated, choosing to focus on their newfound equality rather than his extended lie.

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“Those are the kinds of questions people ask each other, and if anybody ever asked them of me, I would have to say that I’m a virgin, and in some ways, that’s even more subversive than any other answer.” 

(Chapter 6, Page 84)

This passage highlights Lara Jean’s insecurity about her own sexual development. While she insists she and Peter are strong and communicate their desires for one another, she is openly worried that others will find out and judge her for her decisions.