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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date: August, 2014

Hardcover: 352 pages

Stand Alone or Series:
 While these books can be read separately, it’s best if you read them all within the Anna and the French Kiss series.  This is the third, and final, book.


How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: I have been waiting for this book for a while.  Ever since finishing Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I was starting to give up hope, feeling like I’d never get to read it.  I even stopped tracking when it would get published.  You can imagine how surprised I was, then, when I was walking through the bookstore last week and saw it just sitting there.  I almost thought I was seeing things.

Synopsis:

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.


Review:


I loved, loved, loved this book.  From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading it.  I had to get to the end to see what happened.  I had to see how my other favorite characters from the previous books were doing.  And I was not disappointed at all.

I want to start off by mentioning the cameos we get from characters from the previous books.  Now, we don’t see very much of them.  But what happens when we do get to see them is amazing enough that it made their short appearances worth it.  If you weren’t in love with the series before (which is doubtful) then you will be now.

I was a little worried when starting off with this book that Isla would seem like I very bland character.  We’d already gotten to read about two very individual and kick-ass characters before, and I wasn’t sure that it could be done a third time.  However, Isla came off as very independent within her own story.  She’s quiet, but she can break out of her shell.  She’s studious and reads comic books.  She has a family situation that is brought up numerous times.  It’s all of these things and more that make her very different from the previous protagonists, Anna and Lola.

Now, let’s talk about the romance in the story, because that’s obviously a big factor as well.  Perkins had a very small time-frame to make Isla and and Josh fall and love, as well as make it believable.  Way too many authors just make their characters “in love”, but they don’t prove it.  They don’t make it a reality.  Perkins made it a reality.  She showed me how Isla and Josh fell in love.  She made me care about their relationship, made me want to root for them.  And that’s something that can make a book go from great to awesome.

This was definitely the best way to end this series.  It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.