Isla and The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Book 3 in the Anna and The French Kiss trilogy
Genre: YA contemporary
This was a really strong conclusion to the trilogy. I thought it was cute and fun, and I loved nearly everything about it.
There wasn’t very much action, but I still enjoyed the read. It was a fun ride, even though it followed a fairly basic story-line that many contemporaries have. Despite that, there were a few things that made it stand out. I wouldn’t call them twists, exactly, because they didn’t have the same effect on me as something in a fantasy book would, but they weren’t expected, either. I especially didn’t see the scene following the Christmas party coming.
I really liked Isla. I thought she was very realistically portrayed and similar to a normal teenage girl. She was confident sometimes, but there were also a lot of times where she was unsure and awkward. She didn’t really have a plan for her future, even in her senior year of high school. She also had a passionate crush, and sometimes she said too much or said the wrong thing. Those might not go together, but I feel like that’s really close to how a real teenage girl would act. I couldn’t entirely relate to her, but there were times when I could. I liked Josh, too. He was also very realistic to me, and again, he seemed like a typical teenager (but a boy obviously haha). He had a lot in common with Isla, but his crush wasn’t as long-lasting or passionate, he did have a plan, and he was super artistic. I liked that he had emotions too, and that it was shown periodically throughout the story. I found it very unique that Josh was working on a detailed graphic memoir of his high school years. Granted, it was mentioned in Anna and The French Kiss, but it was expanded in this book. Isla and Josh’s families played a fairly big role, which was refreshing. I didn’t like Josh’s parents that much, but in some YA books, no matter the genre, parents or even entire families conveniently disappear. I really liked Isla’s family though, especially Hattie. She was bold and gave Isla a necessary new perspective towards the end. 🙂
This book was split between Paris and New York, and there was also a small portion of it set in Barcelona. I haven’t been to any of these places, but I could imagine them very easily while I read. Reading this book and just this trilogy in general has really made me want to travel even more than I already do. I want to go to France badly and experience what Isla (and Anna) did (although I’m pretty sure SOAP isn’t real, and if it is I wouldn’t attend). Okay, I’ll stop rambling. XD
There were multiple relationships in this book, but more romantic than otherwise. I was okay with that. I did like the relationship between Isla and Hattie once it smoothed over, per se, and the way everyone bonded in the end (Anna, Étienne, Meredith, Lola, Cricket, Isla, and Josh). But the romance was definitely my favorite aspect. Isla and Josh had an awkward start, but then their relationship strengthened and they were a fun couple. Their mishap (to put it mildly) bummed me out and so I was happy when they fixed everything. I liked Lola and Cricket a lot more in this book than I did in Lola and The Boy Next Door, and although they weren’t quite a fully mature couple, I could really see the potential they had together. But my favorite is still Anna and Étienne by far. They were so cute in this book, and I think my absolute favorite part was the surprise after everyone’s reunion/meeting. Basically, all three couples are just awesome. ❤
Like I said, there weren’t really any twists, so I’m skipping that part. That wasn’t a problem for me though (like I said). However, I did have two other issues. One was that I think Isla and Josh resolved things a bit too easily. I know that in books (and other works), some characters are just “meant to be,” but the revision was a bit like insta-love, except they already knew each other. I was happy that they got back together, I just didn’t find it incredibly realistic. My other problem was pretty minor and not really a problem, just a wish. I wish the cameos had played a bigger part. I was ecstatic when everyone did show up (and I kind of predicted it like 2-3 chapters earlier haha), but they were in just a couple of chapters. I’m not counting the Olympics scene on TV, because that was for about a paragraph. I love the characters from the previous books and I wish I had gotten more of them, especially since this is the last installment. And, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be picky: I really wish there was some sort of epilogue for all three couples. What were their (I’m also going to be cheesy) happily ever afters like? I wanted (want) to know and I didn’t get to. Again, it’s more of a desire than a problem, but I wanted to mention that.
I loved Isla and The Happily Ever After. It was a fun, cute, enjoyable read, and now that I’ve read the complete trilogy, I can say my favorite is Anna, followed by Isla, and then Lola. I definitely need to buy this book and the other two as well, and I know I’ll be rereading them later on. 😀
my rating: 4½ out of 5 stars
I plan on finishing The 5th Wave and then starting Redwall and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. 😀
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? Feel free to tell me in the comments! 🙂
Until next time- Olivia ❤