Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After Book Cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne (14th August 2014)

The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!” His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER brings Stephanie Perkins trilogy of interweaving stories to its conclusion. First we meet Anna in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (review), and then we meet Lola in LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR (review), and now, finally, we are introduced to Isla in ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. We have already met Isla briefly in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, but now she gets her own story. Isla has had a crush on Josh for a long time; now in her senior year, after a chance encounter, she might finally have a chance. But will she get her happily-ever-after?

I have been looking forward to reading ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER since I first heard the title of Perkins’s latest novel. I loved both ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. So I have been really looking forward to finding out Isla’s story. I was not disappointed: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER really blew me away. It was everything I expected from Stephanie Perkins, and it is, in my opinion, a brilliant ending to the trilogy.

I really empathised with Isla, and loved the fact that she narrated her story. Isla’s in her final year of the School of America in Paris, her younger sister has just started there, and she doesn’t really know what her future holds. I loved the fact that Perkins wrote a protagonist who though bright, hadn’t got her future planned. I also liked the fact that Isla is the middle sister and the contrast in her relationships with her sisters.

As always, Stephanie Perkins wrote the supporting cast brilliantly. My particular favourite was Isla’s best friend Kurt. I really love the way their friendship is written, and how close they are. Their friendship is one of the things that I love the most about this book. The other thing that I love about this book is that although the story focuses on Isla and Josh, Perkins does give us a peek at how the relationships from the previous two books are doing.

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER is a roller coaster of feels. This book made me literally LOL, but I almost always had a smile on my face as I turned the pages. I found myself rooting for Isla and Josh from the start. If you have never read any of Stephanie Perkins’s books, then I highly recommend that you give them a try – and if you don’t want to be spoiled, make sure you start with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. If you have read and loved Perkins’s pervious book and haven’t read this one yet – what are you waiting for?!

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