Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Pages: 339
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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. --Goodreads
 Isla and the Happily Ever After was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 and sadly, it didn’t fill my expectations.  Having said that, if some things were different, I would have liked it much more.  The problem with having high expectations is just that—I was expecting this grand, adorable read and I didn’t like it as much as the first two.

Stephanie Perkins is a fabulous writer—she writes the cutesiest romances I have ever read.  I love love love them.  While John Green made “Okay?” a romantic word, Stephanie Perkins makes everything romantic: even doodles done in class.  What I loved in her previous novels so much was that these romances could actually happen.  A girl becoming friends with a guy: relationship blossoms.  A girl living next door to guy: relationship begins.  But this one, as much as it was unbearably romantic, cute, and everything I could hope from a Perkins novel- it was nowhere near as realistic as the other two.

Isla, a very shy girl, crushes on the same guy for years.  The way she talks about him to her best friend, Kurt, borders on obsession.  When she finally starts going out with Josh, the guy she has been watching from afar, something just clicks.  Which can, of course, happen in real life.  However, Isla’s crush seemed so huge and I feel like something would have happened a bit different than what did.  A lot of her instantaneous relationship with Josh (come on, just one month), felt like a dream.

Ever since readers met Josh in Anna, I always really liked him.  An artist.  Gorgeous guy.  Very clever.  Smart but relaxed.  Studies in Paris.  Lives in New York City. Yes, sounds awesome to me.  He is the type of character, I really want to know in real life.  Isla is relatable.  She clicks with the readers because of her crush- she basically embodies every girl who has ever had a crush and then finally gets to date him.  Though there was nothing that made me fall in love with her character.

Can I tell you how much I love the new covers?  I’m always upset when publishers change covers between series because now my set doesn’t match.  Still, I am so happy because isn’t the book gorgeous?  The series, altogether, matches so perfectly.

The ending, though a bit rushed, was exactly as advertised.  Happy.

Isla and the Happily Ever After does not live up to pervious Perkins’ novels, where the plot is concerned, but it makes for a cute and enjoyable read.

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