Book Review: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Released on: August 14th, 2014

Pages: 339



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Goodreads Summary:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

My Review:

Stephanie Perkins never fails to deliver a mesmorizing, enchanting, and thrilling story that tingles your toes with the feelings of first love.

Before reading Isla’s story, I had always said Anna was my favorite of the trio. However, having now finished Isla’s story, I can say with no ounce of doubt in my body that Isla and the Happily Ever After is my favorite book of the trilogy. 

Isla is full of this angsty panic that always has me on edge. Her thoughts are so vivid and hilarious that it adds a sort of flamboyance to her story. I felt it worked well because when we transition into the more serious parts of the story, or at least the parts where Isla starts to doubt herself and Josh, the mood does a complete 180. I can tell what is important to Isla and what means the most to her when these 180 twists occur. 

What surprised me the most about this book was how quickly the relationship starts between Isla and Josh. We’re probably only about 100 pages in and then b-o-o-m, relationship. That was surprising to me because Stephanie Perkins loves to have this huge build up to the relationship full of flirting and ‘we like each other but we’re not saying it’ kind of vibe. That is so not the case here. I wouldn’t say i disliked it, I just found it surprising for a Perkins novel. But when you put it in perspective, it made sense why they’d jump into a relationship. I mean, Isla has liked Josh since FRESHMAN YEAR. You’ll find out in the book just how long Josh has had his feelings for. So they’ve had years of this whole ‘we like each other but we’re not saying it’ bit. It was time for the relationship. And with all that aside, it made room for the real drama to kick in.

There was something so different with this relationship, as opposed to the other Perkins novels. It felt so much more real and important. It literally felt like there was so much at stake in their relationship. And add in Isla’s uncertainty about her own future? That’s enough to leave me unsettled and worried that they won’t end up together D: 

I really really loved that Isla was so uncertain about her future, though. In Anna and Lola we read about these two main girls who are very certain about themsevles. They know who they are, what they want from life (for the most part), and they have some sense of goals to aim for. Isla doesn’t. And it was so refreshing to read a character that literally had NO idea what she wanted, where she wanted to go, but only knew that she was in love. It added more value to her relationship with Josh, and more depth to her character – at least for me. 

The ending was SO FREAKING CUTE. Anna and St. Claire and Lola and Cricket and everyone was there AND THEN WE HAVE SUCH A MAJOR ANNA AND ETINNE MOMENT THAT I SCREAMED. I love that Stephanie Perkins incorporates her previous characters. And it doesn’t feel forced! (I’d hope not cause I mean they’re all friends with Josh, so..) But trust me, the end scene with Anna and St. Claire is just so gush worthy and I loved it. 

Isla and Josh’s ending was so perfect. Fitting, cute, everything and more. 

Absolutely loved this book – favorite Perkins book from this little trilogy.



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