Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date of Publication: August 14, 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Library Ebook

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.

It feels like I'm revealing a part of my soul when I say that I relate to Isla. The good, the bad, the ugly; I have asked many of the same questions over the years. This book really hit the nail on the head for me. That's probably why I'm still reeling.

In this companion series, Stephanie has brought forth three very different stories. Anna and St. Clair were two quirky and charming individuals who became compatible friends and then lovers. Lola and Cricket presented us with the childhood friends and boy next door story paired up against the backdrop of Lola's eccentric style and personality. In Isla and Josh, we get youthful passion, innocence, confusion and that beautiful nerdy love for reading that I'm sure we can all relate to.

The story began with a cute scene in which we were introduced to our narrator and her long time crush, Josh, St.Clair's artist best friend. For me the beginning was a little choppy and it took a bit for me to adjust but before long we were in Paris and things were starting to heat up between Josh and Isla.

One of the best things about this book was the characters' romantic history. Neither were the stereotypical "romance virgins" that are so popular in YA. Quite the opposite, Isla and Josh have both been in passionate relationships before. The relationship between the two of them actually grew from physical attraction to companionship and finally love, with some bumps along the way. It was quite nice to see a youthful relationship in the way it would occur in real life. Yes, teens can and are sexually and romantically active but no, this does not mean that they are any less serious about their relationships. I felt that Isla and Josh were very mature for their age which I loved.

This book also addresses some issues that the characters faced, from coming to terms with a distant family and trying to understand oneself and what you are meant to do in this world. The latter I have a lot of experience with and like Isla I still don't have the answers.

Isla was this amazingly intelligent introvert and Josh was this talented artist and resident cool kid. How could I not fall for their heartfelt story of youth, family, friends and love? They broke my heart with some of their insecurities but instead of being mad at them and not understanding their actions I rolled right along with them, completely engrossed.

The book was set in three places: Manhattan, Paris and a little glimpse of Barcelona. Perkins brought each location to life with actual destinations along with great facts and descriptions that makes the reader want to pull out a map and find their own Right Way! 

Speaking of the Right Way, Isla's best friend Kurt was amazing. I loved reading about their relationship and his obsessions for mapping. Also, it's aways great to see disabilities incorporated into books with no judgement. Isla's two sisters Gen and Hattie were great additions as well. Hattie started out as a brat but I enjoyed the growth of their relationship by the end. Finally, this wouldn't be a Perkins book without a glimpse of the fantastic Anna and St. Clair, wow. They were there for only a little bit but their essence was there in Josh, in his loneliness and his art. 

To those waiting to pick this one up and those who may not have enjoyed Lola, give this one a go. If anything I've described sounds like something you would enjoy then rest assured that I wasn't able to capture enough of this book to really give you a feel of exactly how amazing it is. It is incredible. I am heartbroken to know that there is no more. 



  1. AWW. Your review makes us love this book even more. The truth is, it's our least favorite of the 3 -- but hey, it's still awesome, and that puts it ahead of tons of other books out there! You're so right that Isla is a very believable teen, with insecurities and uncertainties. And the evolution of her relationship with Josh was great.

    Can't wait to read whatever Perkins writes next!

    1. Aww thats too bad! But I completely agree, these books have there own little category. I think this one tied Anna for me, I just really loved it.

      At this point I'm Perkins' slave and will read anything :)



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