Sunday, September 14, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I've read Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and now this is the third book in that universe. I'm not entirely sure if it's the final book, but I'm pretty much in love with them.

I didn't write a blog post about Anna and the French Kiss, but I did write one about Lola and the Boy Next Door which you can find HERE.

I doubt you need to read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door to understand Isla and the Happily Ever After. There are moments where Isla will think back about different things which are covered in the other books, but they're detailed enough thoughts that you don't need the two other books to get the meaning from those thoughts. Eh.

An amazon summary, "“Stephanie Perkins’s characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good.” —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park andFangirl

New York Times Bestseller 
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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I disagree with the amazon summary - Isla really isn't a hopeless romantic. She might be a concerned person, but I wouldn't say she's hopeless in the romantic notion or in general. Also, Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket really don't come into play until the end of the story (except for references to Anna & St. Clair's relationship in regards to Josh's friendship with them). If you're reading for the sake of seeing those characters and don't care about Isla/Josh, you might just want to skip to the end of the book.

Isla has had a crush on Josh since their freshman year. The book begins with Isla dealing with the effects of the pain medication from having her wisdom teeth removed. She's made it to a local cafe to get some soft foods when she stumbles into Josh. With the aid of pain medications, Isla manages to have a conversation with Josh for a while before he ends up walking her home.

For the rest of the summer Isla attempts to catch Josh again at the same cafe, but has no such luck. Isla's best friend Kurt, who has autism (this is pointed out very quickly in the book), manages to put up with Isla's antics for the most part. Isla and Kurt have a cute relationship where they both deal with each other's strangeness quite well. They've been best friends since they were very young but Kurt happens to be a year below Isla in school. Anyways.

As they return to school, Isla and Kurt bump into Josh and the romance begins to flourish through the awkward first steps and bloom into something beautiful. It's has a lot of good cheesiness to it while maintaining realistic elements of family strife, school life, and really trying to understand someone.

The thing I appreciate about Stephanie Perkins' books, is that the narrators have distinctly different lifestyle situations based on their families that make them unique from each other. Perkins doesn't seem to hesitate to articulate a different slice of life. I just appreciate that.

I thought it was interesting how they tied in Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket, but they had such a short time in the story that I kind of question if it was worth it to bring them in the first place. It didn't do anything to hinder the story, but it didn't quite help the story along any either. I'm very 'eh' about that bit.

Happy reading!

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