Isla and the Happily Ever After
Written by: Stephanie Perkins
# of pages: 340
Average Rating: 4.16/5
My Rating: 5/5
Published in August 2014
Read in June 2015
Summary according to Goodreads
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.
All of the stars. This was probably the best book that I read this year. Stephanie Perkins is phenomenal and knows how to write the best characters. I loved how awkward Isla and Josh were, it made them so relatable. Having a crush on someone you don't think you have a chance with sucks, but was depicted very well in this novel. It is obvious that she can write characters very well, and I even found myself relating to Isla's best friend in moments throughout the story - she made me want to care about everyone.
I never knew what to expect with this plot, which made it very hard to put down. There was a lot of travelling in this novel, making me want to pack a bag and get on the next plane out of Toronto. Between New York and Paris, Stephanie created an atmosphere that felt real. She would describe scenes beautifully, and was easy to put myself in the story as if I was there with the characters.
My only issue with this novel was the pacing. The timeline is roughly a year, but at time I felt like weeks would pass without a good transition. Events jumped around making it feel a little bit rushed...if that makes sense. It wasn't a big enough problem for me to take away a star, and instead I was thrown back into the drama of Isla and Josh.
Bringing previous characters back into the story was amazing and helped provide some closure from their stories. I think Anna and the French Kiss will always be my favourite, but Isla is a close second. Throughout this novel I laughed and cried, and it broke my heart but then put it back together. It was truly a rollercoaster reading this story, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Overall I loved this novel and companion trilogy. I can't wait for Stephanie to write more books, but until them I recommend everyone pick up these books!