03 February 2017

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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, √Čtienne, 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.

Okay, so of all the three books so far in this series (Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and this one), I liked Isla and the Happily Ever After the most. Isla was by far the most likable leading lady that Perkins was able to come up with. It's a pet peeve to me that all her guys seem to be perfect nice guys (ugh), but perhaps it's because we're reading it from the lady's rose-tinted and infatuated point-of-view.

I liked this book a lot because there was less bullshit. It's a slice-of-life story, and Isla is a breath of fresh air. She's shy, patient, and understanding... and even if we're reading it from her point of view, its obvious from the conversations and inner turmoils she has. Josh, on the other hand, is quite endearing. He's sweet but also oblivious to Isla's insecurities, which is where most of the book's conflict comes from.

And my favorite part of the book? Kurt. Kurt is Isla's childhood friend who has high-functioning autism. He's blunt and rude and can't tell a lie (which gets Isla and Josh expelled), but he's just so incredibly sweet and caring. I think he's actually the reason I like Isla a lot more than I liked the other leading ladies of Stephanie Perkins. Through him, you can actually see how good a person Isla is because she refuses to keep relations with people who don't care for Kurt's company.

As for Isla and Josh's relationship, it was more of chance that they got together, but they did appear to complement one another. Isla's conversation with a friend later on in the book explains why Isla and Josh work. It's simply because Josh is brash and Isla is gentle, and rather than push, they listen.

I'm giving this book a 3/5. It's no literary masterpiece but it makes a good, light read.


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