Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Best Bits: Digging into a book by Stephanie Perkins is always a delight. It's like snuggling a warm blanket with some tea. You know it's going to be comfortable and enjoyable. Isla did that for me. Perkins brings us back to France, where we see a couple in a different year at the same school where the series began. Can I go to school there?

 What I enjoy most is how accurate these books are to the teen experience. It captures the angst, the self-consciousness, the fear of uncertainty...and I totally would have gone on a romantic weekend trip with my boyfriend if I could have gotten away with it! I wish that I had read these during those years, because I can imagine myself nodding along and feeling totally validated (did I mention swooning over amazing male characters?). This book also had another great theme, friendship. We see how Isla isn't willing to give up her best friend for her relationship. Sure, they spend less time together and both grow, but it's never a question of leaving him behind. Not to mention, hurrah for a book that depicts male/female friendship without having a love triangle!

Nit Picks: I had extremely high expectations for this one, especially because the couples from Anna and Lola were so swoon-worthy. I think this couple is a lot more realistic in that they had a lot more to deal with. They didn't feel as certain at the end, like the couples in the other book did. I'm not sure if that's because I'm older and more skeptical, or because the drama was more intense between the two. So, in a way this isn't really a nitpick...more of an explanation why this couple wasn't my favorite.

I'm sad to see this series go, but I purchased each book because I know I'll be rereading them during those dreary fall/winter days when I need a pick-me-up!

Isla and the Happily Ever After
By Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton
339 Pages


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