Thu, August 14, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review

Isla and the Happily Ever After book cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After book cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
By Stephanie Perkins
Publication date: Aug. 14, 2014
Dutton, 339 pages
Source: Borrowed the galley from a lovely book friend

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 Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

— Goodreads.com description

AHHH I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS.

GOOD feelings (albeit complex) for those of you who were concerned. I’m happy to report that Isla and the Happily Ever After is well worth our wait for it.

Because I fail at organizing my thoughts, here they are at random:

– Stephanie Perkins is hilarious

– I loved Kurt

– I will never ever ever send my kids to boarding school

– This book is more ADULT than I remember the other being and yes I mean that in the ALL CAPS way

– Barcelona is described perfectly; Stephanie Perkins so wonderfully captures setting in her stories

– Josh cries a lot (not judging, just observing)

– The romance is really overwrought, but um, that’s sort of the point; I mean, look at the title of the book

– There were about 100 things about the book and the romance specifically that, as I said above, would have driven me INSANE were it not so damn well done

– Most of this was a big ole case of Old Lady Syndrome, especially when Etienne and Anna came back into the picture

– But again, it was like “This should be bothering me but it ISN’T so maybe Stephanie Perkins is a sorcerer because I don’t know what else explains it”

– PS: I don’t remember Cricket and Lola being so OUT THERE; I still love them best

– Even though I definitely don’t love some of her other characters, Stephanie is so fantastic at making me “get” them — which I think it more important than loving them

Wow. This was probably a very un-useful review if you couldn’t follow my train of thought. To sum up: Did I love every little thing? No. Did I love the sum of those parts? Absolutely. If you wanted to you could pick it apart, but the writing is so superb and the tone so perfect that it overwhelms anything else. You guys will not be disappointed.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: boarding school, romance, stephanie perkins, travel
14

14 Comments

  1. Laura said:

    I cannot wait to read it!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Hope you love it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  2. Stefani @ Caught Read Handed said:

    I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Going with a blogger friend to buy it and read it together on Saturday. Your review was fun! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Thanks, Stefani! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  3. Katherine said:

    I’m super excited for this one! I just read Anna and Lola back to back so I’m going through Stephanie Perkins withdraw. Going to get this one today and immediately reading it!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Oooh that is the way to do it — hardly a wait for you that way!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  4. We Heart YA said:

    HMMMMMM. Not quite sure what to make of your review… Lol! Not because it’s bad — we actually love bullet points! But just because it’s not 150% glowing, and that’s kind of the only way we know how to process Stephanie Perkins’ work… ;P

    Ah well. We’re sure we’ll love ISLA. Neither ANNA nor LOLA were perfect, but we loved them. In fact, to your point, we loved them BECAUSE of their imperfections…!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    “We loved them BECAUSE of their imperfections” — I love this comment. This is EXACTLY how I feel. SO it’s a good thing!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  5. Pam@YAEscapefromReality said:

    This arrives today…I’m so excited!! Your review does intrigue me a bit since it’s not a complete love fest. I’m actually looking forward to it being more ADULT (is that bad?) 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    That is never bad 😉

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  6. Meg said:

    Definitely have to get this one — so excited! Appreciated the bullet-point review . . . my attention is so scattered right now, it really made an impression. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  7. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    Agreed x’s infinity. I know we’ve talked in depth about this book, but had to comment here too. YES to “getting a book” vs loving a book. Sometimes that is better. And when they both happen? THE BEST. Oh Josh.. his tears…

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  8. Danielle said:

    Can I reread this yet?! This was absolutely my favorite of the three books. I adore Isla, and as always loved the beautifully depicted settings. I definitely get what you mean about the Old Lady Syndrome really kicking in with this one, but the writing was so lovely and characters so great that it didn’t bother me either! A first, seriously. So, so worth the wait.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

  9. Ashlee said:

    Maybe because I am definitely no romantic, but I was definitely put off about many things in this book. The romance was just..too much and too encompassing for the characters. You’re young! Don’t attach yourself so HARD to someone. But what do I know about love? I live alone with a cat. Is this what you call Old Lady Syndrome?

    Honestly, I finished it and went, “Meh.” But I am still riding on The Queen of the Tearling high. And I’ve been cranky lately.

    Won’t stop me from reading her other books, though! There better be more!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, August 14, 2014

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