REVIEW: Isla and The Happily Ever by Stephanie Perkins

/ 13 comments
Edition: Usborne Publishing Paperback
Release Date: August 14 2014
Pages: 375
Series: Anna and The French Kiss #3
Genre: Young Adult Romance/Contemporary
Source: Bought
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book
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.


I'm writing this review in letter format as I was hugely inspired by Rachel's post which you can check out here. This book won't include spoilers from the book and is okay to read if you haven't read any in the series before.

Dear Stephanie Perkins,
I am a massive fan of your swoon-inducing writing. Your three books are favourites of mine and never fail to make me smile. I just finished Isla and The Happily Ever After and I’m as assumed, left feeling all warm and happy inside. 

It feels as though I’ve been waiting forever to have your conclusion in my hands, which I know isn’t entirely true as I began this series a lot later than most. But your writing is kinda addictive, two books just weren’t enough for me. Now that it’s not only been in my hands but I’ve flicked the final page.. I’m reminded why your books hold such special spots on my shelf and heart. I’ll admit that at first I struggled to invest in Josh and Isla’s relationship, it was adorable but it developed so quickly. Originally I just felt as if initially the relationship was more about Isla’s obsession with Josh than anything else, this then turning into insta love. I didn’t doubt that Josh felt the same way but I never really understood what specifically it was about Isla that he loved. This wasn’t because I disliked Isla, I liked her but I didn’t LOVE her. I say this because I didn’t feel as if I knew that much about her quirks or ambitions. This, mainly due to her not knowing herself yet either. But still, because I couldn’t get a strong sense of her personality, I couldn’t identify with her as much as I had hoped to. I couldn’t really remember Josh from Anna that much so I certainly had my curiosities but I adored the romantic and artistic side to him. I think overall there were scenes that were more effective and impactful than others. For example, I loved Barcelona because it had such a stephanie perkins-ness about it. But a majority of scenes were overly dramatic and unrealistic seeing as they were in such early stages of their relationship. Also, some complications could have been solved by just talking it out. There was a lot of angst and unnecessary drama but at the end of the day it is a romance and all stories need a complication of sorts. Saying that, I also have to point out why the later half of the book was my favourite part. Despite the angst and me constantly going “just call him” or “don’t overreact”, seeing Josh & Isla vulnerable and weak made me invest in them. Without spoiling too much, their time apart allowed them to grow as characters and work on other relationships in their life. Character growth is a big thing for me in Young Adult novels, it’s crucial because just like teens reading these books, the characters aren’t going to be 100% sure of themselves yet. Towards the end of the book I was smiling so hard, my heart was pumping and I gripped to the pages. I did end up shipping them and when Josh really opened himself up to Isla, I felt proud. Having finished the book I see how Josh and Isla compliment each other, they have a good balance. Isla and The Happily Ever After was special because it concluded what has been one of my favourite series, I can’t recommend it enough. I know the impending question is, is it your favourite of the three? To be honest it wasn’t, Anna will always be and then Lola followed by Isla. But it was special and amazing on it’s own accord. I feel like this was more negative than positive but I really DID love this book! I loved it angst and all. Thank you Stephanie Perkins for creating three of the most amazing fictional boyfriends to walk fictional land. Seriously they are the reason I live by the motto, "Boys are better in Books'. SHOUTOUT TO ST CLAIR WHO WILL FOREVER BE ONE OF MY MAIN MEN <3 But also for writing such great romances, no.. the best romances! Your books really are magic, seriously just never stop writing. YOU ARE A CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE QUEEN! Also thank you for Chapter 30, you know exactly what you did to us by including the gang and that little something extra.



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13 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I completely agree with almost everything you mentioned. I also had some issues with Isla, and everything in Barcelona, but like you said, it totally picked up in the second half! AND CHAPTER 30, OH MY LORD. I DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN. St. Clair <33333

    Maddie @ The Girly Geek

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    1. I know right, I was so surprised and happy during that chapter. There were certainly a lot of feels, haha! Thanks for commenting x

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  2. I'm so excited to get to this book. I bought it about a week ago and I want to start it ASAP!! And now I'm super curious about Chapter 30!!! Can't wait!

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    1. If your a fan of the series you'll adore Chapter 30. I hope you enjoy it once you get around to it. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. i am a follower of your blog. I absolutely love your blog and have been following for a while.

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    1. Thank you Tamera, comments like yours always put a smile on my face :)

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  4. Ah I can't wait to start reading this!!! Then we can discuss and maybe catch up this holidays.

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    1. YES AND YES! I know we'll have a lot to say about this one. Can't wait to hear your thoughts x

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  5. I know that Mich really loved this book and I like how it kind of sounds realistic with Isla's insecurities and their time apart. I will have to read this series, I can't wait to read it! Lovely review Sunny <3

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    1. If your a fan of cute romances then I highly recommend you give this a shot. Thanks for commenting Jeann x

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  6. Hehe, thanks so much for the shout out! The letter layout worked so well for this post!! :D

    I've still not read any of this authors novels. :O Well, I started Anna and the French Kiss... Does that count? :3 I just... didn't finish it. Not really sure why. I just don't think I'm that into the genre. But I'm so glad you've loved this series!

    Great post!! xD

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    1. Not a problem, thanks for the inspiration. I really liked your post! Shame you couldn't get into Anna, oh well not everything can be everyone's cup of tea :) Thanks for commenting x

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  7. I read , Anna and the French Kiss, an thought it was just adorable, but haven't gotten my hands on this book! Love your review, it's great that you cover the negative and positive aspect of every book!!
    - Cambrie @ and so the book begins ( http://andsothebookbegins.blogspot.com/)

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Thank for stopping by my small corner of the web, I hope you enjoyed your time here. Feel free to leave a comment, I love reading them. Sending you a thousand lovely days x

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