Title: Isla And The Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna And The French Kiss #3
Genre: Romantic Contemporary/Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication: 14 november 2014
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
Where do I start? I adored this book, but it has its ups-and-downs. I’ll tell you why.
First, I’m going to tell you something about the main character, Isla. I thought she was such a fun protagonist and she has a great personality. I really like everything about her, her clothing, her shynes.. it’s easy to relate to her and thats probably because I’m just like her. I am also very shy and if I could (and if I’d dare) I would wear a dress every day. The nice thing about Isla is that you could see she is shy, but at least the really tries to be less shy. Sometimes it succeeds, and sometimes not.
There were several moments where I thought, no, you really shouldn’t have said that. Especially when I was halfway through the book and towards the last 100 pages. I was so angry with her. I no longer thought she was fun. She blurts out things that really hurt the other characters (like Kurt and Josh) and I feel like she’s doing that on purpose. As if she is deliberately picking a fight for selfish reasons. I really tend to don’t give this book five stars by Isla’s behavior.
“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?”
But what is a book without a character development? I was very angry with Isla for the last part of the book, but as the end neared my anger disappeared. I saw that she did her best to be ‘better’ and I saw why she did all of that. I understand why she felt that way and I received sympathy for Isla. I judged way too early and that’s why I do give Isla And The Happily Ever After five stars.
This review really shouldn’t be all about Isla and her development, because I have a lot of other things to I want to talk about! So I read a lot of reviews of Isla And The Happily Ever After and there weren’t a lot of people that loved the insta love between Isla and Josh, but that is something I disagree with. I understand that people think so, but I thought it was absolutely no insta love. And then I thought: what is it that makes it think it isn’t insta love? Well, this is mainly due to the crushes. Isla has had a crush on Josh for three years now, and Josh, of course, not that long but he does at least for three months. It is maybe also because of the time the story is written in. Example: when you’ve read 50 pages, a month has passed. For me that makes it no insta love.
“There’s no story,’ I say. ‘I saw you one day, and I just knew.”
Furthermore, I think the concept of Isla and where she wanted to go for college was a very nice one. Isla didn’t really know what she was doing with her future (as opposed to Josh) and it doesn’t matter if you still don’t know what you want to do when you’re in your last year of high school. I remember when I graduated from high school last year, and I had many friends that didn’t know what they wanted to do. And that message – the message that it doesn’t matter – is beautiful.
“I’m…getting there. I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s okay to be a blank canvas. Maybe it’s okay that my future is unknown. And maybe,” I say with another smile, “it’s okay to be inspired by the people who do know their future.”
And yes, I also HAVE to say something about Josh because he is such a SWEETHEART. Étienne and Cricket weren ice, but Josh really has his own charms. He was a hopeless romantic (just like me) and I think that’s why I could relate more to Josh and I did to Étienne and Cricket.
Also, I was so happy that all of the main characters returned at the end.. and how.. ÉTIENNE AND ANNA. OMG?! I liked their ending, it was so cute and it also really suited them. The only thing that I was kinda dissapointed about was that it was written from Isla’s POV while I would have prefered to read it from Anna of even better Étienne’s POV. But in the end we got a great ending, right?
“St. Clair waggles his eyebrows at Josh, but the moment he sees that I’ve caught him, his expression changes to a flirtatious grin. “Aw, mate,” he says to Josh. “Admit it. You couldn’t resist me.”
Josh relaxes into a smile. “You’re like a gorgeous little bonbon.”
“Delicious in every way,” St Clair says.
Anna rolls her eyes. “Wait until you try his creamy centre.”
And not only that ending was nice, but also the end of the bok. I felt great, it really was a happily ever after (just as the title – ha!) I love cliché endings, and even though this was a cliché ending, it still had something that didn’t make it cliché (you’re still following me?). It was fantastic and this whole book was fantastic.