Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
Series: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Dutton

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.


My Review

Everything about Isla and the Happily Ever After is perfect... well... mostly everything. I did tear up a little bit at one part, but I won't ruin it for you. That wouldn't be very nice of me, now would it?

In the final companion book to Anna and the French Kiss, we are reintroduced to a very minor character from the first book, Isla. This year, she is a senior at SOAP, and by chance, she runs into her crush, Josh, over the summer. Remember St. Clair's best mate? Of course you do. He has a starring role in this book as well.

These two fall in love very quickly, and the relationship is completely adorable. They are trying to figure out who they are, and who they want to be while falling in love and dealing with the new and strict dormitory rules. I loved how Perkins characterized these two, especially Josh. Some of those unanswered questions readers might have had from Anna are answered. I had a very great time reading about Isla and Josh, especially their steamy relationship. I literally did not want this book to end! I really hope that one day Perkins revisits these characters.

I also love how Perkins uses a lot of this book to focus on friendship. Obviously it's a romance, and a great deal of the book is about the romance between Isla and Josh, but she really does let her readers know that friendships are important as well by letting us see how we treat our friends. Readers are introduced to Isla's best friend, Kurt. Readers are also introduced to Isla's younger sister, Hattie, and can see the struggle that Isla faces with her. Should she be her big sister? Or should she treat her more like a friend? Readers are also able to see how lonely one can feel when all of your friends have moved away. It's a very emotional book that any teenager or young adult can relate to.

The settings - New York City, Paris, Barcelona - are absolutely breathtaking. I've never been to any of those places, but Perkins makes you feel like you're really there with her characters. I could actually imagine myself on the streets of each city with Josh, Isla, and the rest of the gang. If you read my review for Anna and the French Kiss, you know that I added Paris to my travel list, and now Barcelona has been upped a few spots on that list.

And yes - those cameos! They exist! And they are almost perfect, but really... they are perfect. I just wish Perkins included a little more of Lola and Cricket in those scenes. I really liked those two, and I think it would be nice to see Lola interact with Isla. I think they would be pretty good friends. I also really wanted a cameo from Calliope because I really grew to love her at the end of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

I don't know if I'd say that I like this book more than I liked Anna and the French Kiss, but they are pretty close to a tie. The bookends in this series are definitely the best ones. If you like romance and beautiful settings, I highly recommend these books. They are amazingly cute and fluffy for those days when you need a pick-me-up.


 

10 comments :

  1. I seriously need to hop on the Stephanie Perkins train! I haven't heard a bad thing about her work yet, but I still haven't picked up Anna. I'm one of those people that despise Insta Love, but I heard it works so well in her novels. I'm definitely going to schedule to read Anna & The French Kiss in October. I need some happy and a good pick me up after reading Ugly Love. Good review !

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    1. You totally need to hop on board that train! I really wouldn't call what she does instalove, though. It's definitely insta-attraction, but the way she explains things, especially in this one, really makes you see that it's not instalove. Now Anna... definitely love at first sight, but complicated.

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    2. I think at this point with how I'm feeling after reading Ugly Love, I think I can stand some Insta-Attraction lol. I'm definitely reading Anna next month.

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    3. I saw Ugly Love at Target yesterday, but I didn't even pick it up because I've heard it's intense!

      Anna is super cute and fun. It's a nice and fluffy read, but there is one aspect in it that made a lot of people angry, but it didn't bother me as much as it bothered others. Like it was still a bit offensive, but the way she explains things almost made me feel bad for the certain character.

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  2. So glad you liked it! I'm definitely a loyal Perkins fan now. It'll definitely be different, reading her horror story, but I'm a horror movie fanatic, so I'm hoping I'll like it.

    Brittany @ http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com/

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    1. She's amazing, right? It's so hard to believe that she can make romance so much fun, yet write an entire series using so many of the characters. I really want another Anna book though.

      And I am just going to go out on a limb and read her horror book, even though I don't read much horror. I'm okay with the movies, but I usually find myself making fun of them because I can predict so much of what is going to happen. But from the look of Stephanie's website, it seems like she is into that kind of stuff, so I bet it'll be amazing.

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  3. Oh gosh! Stephanie Perkins became my favourite author when I had put down 'Isla and the Happily Ever After'! The series slayed me, I think I cried at every single one! ^_^ I love finding other bloggers who like her too! It's exciting!
    And the cameos were totally gorgeous! I loved that the books were only kind of connected, I think if it had been a full on series instead of three sort of stand alone novels then it wouldnt have worked so well. There was enough to satisfy me but not so much that it took my attention away from Isla and Josh!

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    1. Well, first of all! Yes! I also love finding other bloggers who love this series, but it seems like everyone I follow loves it. Feel free to fangirl with me anytime. lol

      I just wanted them to have more interaction with Isla, especially Anna. Maybe just like one or two more pages of interaction would have done it for me. lol

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  4. I really have to start reading this series! I only heard gone things about these books and even the ending sounds spectacular from this review! Something I can't wait to start.

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/10/sisterhood-of-world-tag.html

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    1. Yes! You do! If you like romance and contemporary, you'll love them. They actually got me into really enjoying the YA romance books, so I'm looking forward to more from Stephanie Perkins.

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