Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: 14th August 2014 (Dutton)
Pages: 339
Genre: Contemporary
Format: US Hardback

Links to buy: UK edition – Paperback |Amazon UK| |Waterstones| |Book Depository|

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, Étienne, 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. [Goodreads]

I’m a little disappointed with this final book. I really wanted to love it.

Isla has had a crush on Josh since she first saw him. A typical yet adorable teenage crush, which reminded me a lot of my high school years. Except, all drugged up (with a sensible reason behind being loopy) she dares to interact with Josh but only to make a fool of herself! But that encounter has sparked something. Back at SOAP, they accompany one another through their senior year with drama and confusing future choices.

And this is what felt like a downfall for this novel. Maybe because I read Anna and Lola when I was younger but Isla and the Happily Ever After felt very fast paced and a bit too much instalove-ish. Isla has no idea what to do with herself because of her (obsessive) crush over Josh. It was adorable at first. I mean we all have those crushes on people from afar. Their relationship is built up from awkwardness and misunderstandings which could have been easily passed with simply communicating rather than giving the grumpy face. Once everything got going, it got going way too quickly. I found it hard to catch up with them as everything kept building up.

I had to reread some of it because I felt like I missed sections. But I didn’t. It’s a very compact story and the sweet cuteness of a slow friendship build that was seen in Anna and Lola wasn’t there.

It was really exciting to see the crew make an appearance in this final novel. Maybe a highlight in the novel. I adore Anna and Étienne but even the ending with them felt out of character! The Perkins style that I loved has change and merge into every other YA and NA romance novel. I hate to say it but I felt so let down by Isla and the Happily Ever After. 

I enjoyed it, it was okay. But not enough to say it is as memorable as Anna and Lola.

My rating:
It was okay

2 cups

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