Isla and the Happily Ever After [Book Review]
Synopsis: 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.
Review: It took me a long time to get around to reading this book. I’m steadily learning that I am terrible at reading conclusions to series. Ash.reads from Instagram buddy reading this one with me is what finally made me do it! And I loved it of course. I spent the whole morning reading with her until we finished it together and boy, did it fill with those all too familiar feels that Stephanie Perkins always manages to cause.
At first, I got a little bit annoyed with Isla character. Her crush was so typical and a little bit obsessive. But then again, we can all do some seriously silly things when we have a crush, so I gave her a little leeway. All these three books are allowed to be read with a little eye rolling from time to time.
I liked Kurt, who was her best friend. He’s autistic, but you can tell he is generally a nice guy who is actually smart and understands a lot more than people think he does. He gets bullied a bit and although I’m sure it does affect him, he doesn’t let it get to him.
There were quite a few time jumps from place to place that felt a bit disjointed, but for the most part this book reads smoothly. That’s one of the best things about Perkins’s writing style… it just flows so well. You get sucked in and before you know it, you’ve easily read 100 pages. It really does go that fast. The dialogue is incredibly realistic and there are moments that I feel like they could easily jump off the pages and happen in real life. The situations are that real.
In this novel we’re back at the school in Paris. But don’t worry about it not having a new setting because we head over to America at times, and then we also end up in Spain at some point. Where everything is beautifully described to the point where you’ll be taking note of places to visit and be left with an extreme case of wanderlust when you put the book down.
I really liked Josh, who is the love interest here. We’ve seen him before in book one, and there are some slight differences to his character… but he seems to be mostly the same person. He’s cute and awkward and feels all the things. The relationship in this book was very quick in happening. There isn’t as much drama as there is in the other two books, so I was wondering what would happen in the book. Don’t worry about, it because Perkins knows how to create issues for them both to face.
All the three relationships we see in the series have a different kind of relationship. This was the one that was tested by long distance issues and I sort of liked that because you don’t get too many romance based books which handle that at all. It was unique.
There were times with Isla bothered me a lot. She seems to spend a LOT of time crying… and she did something really dumb in the middle of the book as well >< It bothered me less when I realised that I am similar to her in the ways that we have our own insecurities and because of them we tend to shut people out so they can’t hurt us… even though we are hurting ourselves by doing that. Which of course, made me a bit more sympathetic…
But what was the best thing about this book? The ending! The title is a massive giveaway to it, but not in how it fulfills that title. There are cameos of all our favourite characters from the two previous books and Perkins just wraps the whole thing together with a bow so nicely. I was fangirling happy by the end of the book.
I love this series and can’t wait for Perkins to publish another book. I’ll be reading it straight away!
Olivia’s Question: Which books give you wanderlust?