Spoiler Alert: As you can probably guess, this article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for all three books in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before YA romance trilogy. Take a moment to look deep into your heart–are you truly ready to learn how the story ends for Lara Jean and Peter K.? Will knowing what the last pages hold enable you to savor the journey? If so, great! You may proceed… (If not, what are you still doing here? Go finish the books before the second movie, P.S. I Still Love You, hits Netflix on February 12, 2020!)
Do Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky end up together in the To All the Boys trilogy?
The short answer, with fewer spoilers: Why yes, yes they do! Against all odds, Lara Jean Song Covey and her seventh-grade-crush-turned-fake-boyfriend-turned-real-soulmate, Peter Kavinsky, have survived not one, not two, but arguably THREE love triangles by the conclusion of Jenny Han’s novel Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
You can now read the whole series secure in the knowledge that everything will work out for Covinsky in the end. Your heart is safe with them.
The longer answer, with ALL the spoilers: It’s touch-and-go there for a little while, but rest assured that Lara Jean and Peter K.’s relationship is in stable condition by the final pages of Book 3, Always and Forever, Lara Jean. Better yet, they seem stronger than ever as she heads into her freshman year at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and he attends the University of Virginia on a lacrosse scholarship. Despite the challenges inherent in a long-distance romance, they’re committed to making it work.
Whoa whoa whoa, I can hear you thinking. They’re going to different schools? Homebody Lara Jean enrolls at UNC? How did that happen? Yes, yes, and it’s a long story–you’ll have to read the books for the full scoop. Suffice to say, LJ and Peter’s senior year of high school is a tumultuous one. Romantic rivalries in the form of Josh, Genevieve, and John Ambrose McClaren are in the rearview, sure. But those obstacles were nothing compared to the risk of growing apart.
Peter gets into Lara Jean’s dream college, UVA, but she does not, forcing them to reckon with an uncertain future. Would breaking up give them the freedom to experiment, let loose, and ultimately become the people they’re meant to be? Or can they have the full college experience and pursue their independent dreams without sacrificing their happiness?
A lesser couple would have crumbled under the pressure of this decision, and they do weather some cracks. Peter’s mom, for instance, does her part to make them second-guess themselves. She gets wind of Peter considering an eventual transfer to UNC and worries he’ll follow Lara Jean at the expense of his own future. Instead of taking the mature route of communicating these fears to her son and then trusting him to make his own decisions, she guilts Lara Jean into taking the choice away from him. But the thing about splitting up when you’re still crazy about each other is that it tends not to stick.
That they come away from this painful experience even more defiant about their chances is a testament to the pure and frankly stubborn love between them. If that’s not the secret to a lasting relationship, I don’t know what is. Jenny Han’s “happily for now” ending is open-ended, as it should be for college freshmen, but that just means anything is possible.
My personal headcanon involves a 50-year wedding anniversary (way, way, way down the line) that they celebrate with some gross fruitcake cookies from L.J. and a sweet, scrawled note from Peter. What’s yours?
Full disclosure: In my day job, I work for Simon & Schuster, the publisher for the To All the Boys book series. All opinions are my own.