September 22, 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

At First Sight: Ever since their first year at the American school in Paris, Isla has had a crush on Josh, but they never got much of a chance to talk or hang out as she was the quiet sort and he quickly fell into the cool crowd with kids that were in the grade above them.

Still, Isla kept track of him and knows what an amazing artist he is, and that he lived in New York (when not in Paris) same as her, but it was still a shock to run into him at a café near her house and not only because she was pretty high on some pain meds she had taken after a visit to the dentist.

Their unusual encounter, however, started to shift things between them, when they ran into each other again at school a few weeks later. Soon they were both running around Paris falling in love.

But they still had plenty to deal with, like Josh's father's political career that threatens to keep them apart (as his parents think he should date a 'certain' kind of girl if at all), and Isla's indecision about where to go to school the following year, and Josh's constant troubles with the school's administration.

Second Glance: I was never one of those people who went nuts over Stephanie Perkins' books, I grew to like Anna, I hated Lola, and I was half convinced that (Given the many delays) there was nothing Ms. Perkins could do to make Isla to make up for it.

But I think I was wrong. Isla and the Happily Ever After must be my favorite book by Ms. Perkins so far and I found it thoroughly delightful. I liked Isla a lot, from the start. She's awkward and shy and most of her socializing came in the form of her best friend Kurt who struggles with social situations even more than her. She's really good at school though and enjoys reading books about adventures -though she doesn't have many herself.

Josh was interesting too, he made many mistakes but was usually up to fixing them soon after, he tried for what he wanted and I found that likable. And he and Isla just worked together, they had the chemistry and the connection despite their many differences.

I also found Isla's uncertainty about her future very realistic and easy to connect with. I'm one of those people who was never sure what to study, and I found her fear about it very real. I liked her friendship with Kurt, and the fact that they really were just friends. I even liked that she was very open about sex and guys even if she was otherwise shy (she explained it beautifully).

I did have a few qualms, while the book felt true to what a couple of teenagers would do and think, there were some parts that were just too much, or that it felt like a couple of smart kids should have had an easier time figure out (mostly it had to do with their communication issues in the second half of the book). 

Bottom Line: Like I said, I really enjoyed Isla and the Happily Ever After, I even stayed up all night finishing it up. I enjoyed so much spending time with them, even when they screwed up, and I liked the cameos from past characters, those were fun and thankfully didn't overpower the story. 


  1. This one was my favorite out of the trio as well :) sometimes it did feel like too much but I accepted it since they're teens and eventually they did try to figure it out and they got to a better place in the end :D

  2. Wasn't it adorable? I still liked the first one best but liked to see the ups and downs in this one.

  3. I really enjoyed this one as well! Not sure if I can say that it's my fave of the trio necessarily, but for a fun, sleep-depriving, great read, this one definitely takes those honors. :D

  4. Aww, yay so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Alex! Especially because I know you weren't a big fan of the first two. I still need to read it, but I already know that I'm going to love Isla and she may be the one I relate to the most out of the bunch.

  5. YAY! I did love both Anna and Lola, so I'm happy to hear you finally ended up liking one of Stephanie Perkins' books :) I'll be reading this for this month's book club, I hope I'll end up liking it as well!


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