Friday, 22 August 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After 
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series:  Anna and the French Kiss, #3*
Pages:  375
Publisher: Usborne
Date of Publication: 14th August, 2014
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.


My Thoughts:
While it isn't a series, Isla and the Happily Ever After accompanies Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins' previous two books. I love both of those to pieces, due to their light and adorable romances, fabulously written settings, and particularly crush worthy male leads, and on these aspects, Isla and the Happily Ever After did not disappoint. I couldn't wait to get started and I devoured it in a matter of hours, and loved every single page.

The story in Isla returns to The School of America in Paris, where Anna was set. I was so pleased to be back reading about it after the break that we get in Lola, and I fell in love with this city I've never been to all over again. Stephanie is just so good at writing these beautiful, romantic places that I just long to go there myself. She also manages to do the same with New York and Barcelona, where Isla and Josh visit in the novel. One day I will go to them all!

As you're probably aware, the main plot is the romance between Isla and Josh. Josh is friends with Etienne and Anna from Anna, and so I was familiar with his character, but it was really cool to get to know him much better in Isla. Isla however, although briefly mentioned in Anna, is a new character and I adored reading through her eyes and getting to know her too. I felt like I could identify a lot with her, which of course helped me to become invested in the story and root for her and Josh. Their romance gets off to a fairytale start and then hits a wall, but at every point their relationship feels realistic and never too far fetched.

One of my favourite things about the novel was reading about all of Josh's drawings. I loved picturing them in my head, even though I could never do them justice, and I think it'd be really cool if they released a version of Isla that someone had illustrated in Josh's style. Or, perhaps someone could realise the graphic memoir that Josh is composing throughout the book. That would be awesome!

Isla and the Happily Ever After is the conclusion to Stephanie Perkins' collection, and I cannot fault it. I have loved these books ever since I read Anna for the first time so I think I'm a little biased and was always going to love Isla, BUT you should go out and pick up a copy regardless because I cannot recommend it enough. Or, if you haven't read Anna or Lola yet, go read those first and then wait for the fab finale that is Isla. You won't be disappointed!


*The three stories do not follow on from each other, as they are about three different sets of characters. However, they are set chronologically, so there are slight spoilers for Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door in Isla and the Happily Ever After, but nothing that you couldn't guess from reading their blurbs! So, you can read them in any order BUT I do recommend you read them in publication order anyway.

2 comments:

  1. I've been debating if I should read Lola or just skip to Isla, but I think I need to have the order to enjoy all of it. Thanks for your review Bella, I can't wait to read this! One of the reasons I haven't read Lola is because it's not set in France and Perkins took my breath away with her description of Paris.

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review! Can't wait to get our copy of Isla and start reading!

    ReplyDelete

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