Review : Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins

I’ve said it before, and I’ll go with it again, I am a marshmallow. Maybe this is why contemporary is my favorite genre, or why I read some cheesy books, but well, when you read a book like Isla and the happily ever after, you have two choices: you’re either a marshmallow, just like me, and melt in front of all this cuteness and all the feels, or you’re just annoyed, well, because of the cuteness and all the feels. I’ll confess something to you: Anna and the French Kiss got me, and Isla got me even MORE. I haven’t read Lola, because I skipped it for some reason, I’m not sure why, I’ll come to it eventually, I guess? Anyway, back to the point: if you’re looking for a CUTE story full of FEELS and romance, then this is it.

CAREFUL: FEEEEEEELINGS.

💭

“There’s no story,’ I say. ‘I saw you one day, and I just knew.”

Following in the Anna and the French Kiss series, Isla and the Happily Ever After focuses on Isla (obviously), another student at the School of America in Paris. The girl in the middle, the unnoticeable one, with good grades and an average life…and a pretty huge crush since decades (okay, let’s just say, years) on Josh, one of her fellow classmates. Between Paris, Manhattan, and a stop in Barcelona, this book makes us travel and, with the romantic setting of Paris, the homey feeling of the Big Apple, and the rainy but heaty Barcelona, well, you’re in for a great ride…but beware, you’re going to FEEL THINGS. I forever gush about my contemporary books, and this book is exactly why. It’s realistic, and because it is, it makes me feel everything to a whole other level. Let’s start by the characters. In Anna and the French Kiss, I could relate to the characters, the setting, the feelings. Well, Isla made these feelings grow and grow, until they made me feel like my heart was going to explode. I related to Isla even more, to her insecurities, her sometimes annoying habits, her way of thinking, talking, just her whole way of thinking, and being the one “on the background”. I felt like it was a character written for me.

RELATIONSHIPS, AND ALL OF MY FEELS, OH, SO REAL

💭

“Do adults realize how lucky they are? Or do they forget that these small moments are actually small miracles? I don’t want to ever forget.”

Often, when we pick up a romance novel, it comes with expectations, and it’s usually nowhere close to how things happen in real life. Instant connection, instant love, grand gestures and not any feelings of awkwardness whatsoever…Despite its title, Isla and the happily ever after, this story comes nowhere close to a fairytale. Some people might disagree with this, but let me tell you: this book shows an accurate representation of ups and downs in a relationship, real issues you can encounter, insecurities, distance, lust, love, hate, jealousy… When you’re in a relationship, there are just SO many feelings, it’s really hard to make all of these feel true in the page of a book, just using words. Well, Stephanie Perkins did that with perfection, and made the whole relationship feel REAL. There has to be a BUT, here, I’m sorry: the beginning just kind of felt like insta-love to me. Isla has been in love with Josh forever, and we just jump into the story right in, with these feelings already there. I LOVE when people are falling in love, and I missed that feeling in the story. With this, it would have been perfect.

INTERESTING SIDE-CHARACTERS

💭

“I’ve always thought the best relationships are those that are as happy and content in silence as they are in action.”

Obviously, with a story focusing on the romance and struggles of Isla and Josh, needless to say that this doesn’t leave a big place for parents and side-characters. However, I really loved how Josh’s parents came into the story. As a political figure, Josh’s father has to keep up appearances, and, for his son, it goes without saying that he has to play his father’s game, for his sake. I really liked how this book played with the image of someone, how you can be completely different in front of a camera, how important the image is. This was a sub-plot, but it was really interesting to follow. As a side-character, and Isla’s best friend Kurt did a great job at being first of all a diverse character with autism, AND a great tool for Isla and Josh’s relationship, allowing it to explore the feeling of being in a new relationship, and still leaving some place for friendships along the way. And ugh, sorry for calling you a tool, Kurt. You were really super endearing, really.

OVERALL

Just BE a marshmallow already, at least for this one title. I laughed, I cried, I chocked on my own feelings more than once while reading this story, all with that goofy smile on my face, honestly it’s kind of crazy. Isla and the Happily Ever After is just one big puddle of feels, and I hope you’ll jump in it with both feet.

Final rating:  4 drops!

Did you read Isla and The Happily Ever After? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?! Do you want to read it? Did you have SO MANY FEELS? Share your thoughts in comments!


 

Stephanie Perkins, Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3),  Published by Dutton, August 14th 2014.

 goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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.

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

48 thoughts on “Review : Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins

  1. Ah so glad you liked this and love your review!!! Marshmellows unite!! I also skipped lola the first time round (yeah, I reread these pretty much straight after I read them the first time) I think for me I loved that she’d been in love with him forever, and that they were both too shy to do anything about it- cos it seemed really believable. I get what you’re saying about watching them fall in love though. I think I preferred that to the love in anna, as you said, where they fell for each other too quickly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i loved this book so much!!!! it was my favorite of the 3. I understand you when you say that you missed the “falling in love” part, well, I kind of didn’t, I think we get that from Josh, though we don’t see his thoughts about it. Isla had a crush since forever, I get it. When I was about her age, I had a huge crush on my best friend for ages too, so I could relate, lol. I actually liked that we got to see the whole relationship, and not the falling in love part 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds really interesting. I’m not sure if I’d be a marshmallow or be one of those annoyed readers. I guess I’ll have to read it to find out!
    P.S – I tagged you in the bohemian rhapsody book tag. I hope you haven’t already done it 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still haven’t read any of the books in this series but I love how they can be read as standalones! And hehe, it’s so cute you called yourself a marshmallow. I think I refer to myself and others as food all the time! Especially dumplings (even though I’m a vegetarian). 😂☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This book sounds so cute! And it definitely sounds like something I’ll enjoy, I don’t read much YA contemporary but I love cute and fluffy love stories 😀
    I really really need to read this series. I’ve heard great things about Anna, and the fact that you loved Isla has more than convinced me to pick up these books.
    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m gonna use this week to catch up on my reviews, next week I have another series I really need to get through (it’s been on my to-read list for years now) but after that I should be able to get started on these books. I’ll definitely let you know when I start them and what I think when I’ve finished them as well.
        I saw all three of them today in my bookstore and was so tempted to buy them!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. There are mixed reviews for the series but I’ve been meaning to get around to it for ages so better late than never I guess 🙂
        Well I had just spend over £60 on books from Amazon that morning so I thought better wait before buying anymore 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ohhhh! I’ve been wanting to read that series for a while now, well, actually, I hear TONS of bloggers loving it, so I’m curious, but since it’s a bit outside of my comfort zone, I still didn’t get to it. I think I’ll maybe wait ’til you put up a review, because your opinion will certainly help me a LOT to make a decision (no pressure here, I just love your reviews)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep, I’ve seen tons of love for this series since I joined WordPress, I just finally thought it was time I actually got around to starting it.
        I read A Court of Thorns and Roses the other day, another of Maas’s books which I LOVED so if the Throne of Glass series is anything like that book was I think they’ll all be five star reads for me 😀
        But I’ll definitely let you know what I think, and I’ll be posting reviews for the series at some point once I’ve finished as well. Thank you so much, I’m glad you like my reviews so much!

        Like

      5. I read ACoTaR first just because it is, at the moment, the only book in that series which has been released but I’d definitely recommend it, it’s one of the best fairytale retellings I’ve read in a while 😀
        I’m kinda a newbie in Sarah J. Maas’s territory as well but I’m making a start in her books 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I seem to have an ability to track down any and all retellings 😀 but ACoTaR is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and, in spite of the fact that there is loads of those out there, this is definitely one of the best I’ve read. I hope you really enjoy it if/when you decide to check it out 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. YES YES YES I am a marshmallow tooooooo!!!! Contemporary is my favourite and YES Isla was ndjinhbwfkbc so cute yes yes yes definitely my favourite of the three! AND the end with Anna and Étienne was PERECT

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t believe you enjoyed Isla more than Anna omg! I must read Isla soon!! Too many books, too little time though 😦
    But yeah, I haven’t read Isla because I’m perpetually worried that Isla won’t be good, and I’ll hate Anna after reading Isla! xD
    Btw, I’ve abbreviated the book names to just the characters hahaha sorry! (LAZINESS IS LIFE! 😛 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh yes you should! There are definitely too many books to read…but I’m sure you’ll find time for that one, it’s such a fast read, and you should love it! ❤ Ahah, oh there's no reason, and the stories are very different, so you should still love Anna no matter what…Even more after reading Isla, because there's something quite awesome in that book 😉
      Hahaha, no worries, I would have done it, too, laziness IS LIFE 😛 (what a way to prepare for NaNo….ahhaha)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry I just saw the review now. So, HOW DID YOU JUST SKIP LOLA? I know she isn’t the best of the three, but major Anna-Etienne-parts were in there as well and now you already know what that leads to hahaha
    Still, great review! I completely agree on Isla being very real. I heard a lot of criticism for her, but she is almost equal to Anna with my love, but Josh is honestly my favourite boy. And I would die if they made his comic for real, like I NEED IT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh why are you apologizing, there’s no need to! I KNOW, I don’t know what happened! I wanted to read the other books in the series, and somehow I ended up ordering Isla, and after I did, I realized it wasn’t the second, but the third book, haha. Silly me.I really need to read it now, ahah, and I will 😛
      Thank you so much! ohh that would be awesome, I would love to read this comic for real, YES PLEASE ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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