Isla and the Happily Ever After – Review

Is it possible that I’m worthy of being loved by someone whom I love?

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.

I knew I was going to love Isla. And I did. Isla is shy, sweet, but self-doubting. She reminds me of my two roommates, who are also painfully shy when it comes to boys and romance. I’m hoping that they, like Isla, will also get a happily ever after. Josh is a bit of the rebel bad boy, but he’s got a soft heart. He’s an artist, which is sexy, but more than that Isla and Josh are sexy. Just the two of them, all on their own. I’m convinced they could stand across from each other, untouching, in a snowsuit and the tension would be hot enough to burn them alive.

I don’t have a lot to say for Isla, because seriously? Stephanie Perkins just blew me out of the water (like always) and I’m still trying to recover. I binge-read the last 200 pages of this book in an hour and a half. What I loved about Isla and the other two books in the series was that the story doesn’t have any set direction; what I mean is that, the story feels like it’s falling into place naturally, and not following Event XYZ. We know it’s about Isla, about Josh, but we’re not given much more than this. Because of this, I’m not waiting for things to happen, I’m not anticipating The Big Event, and not knowing where the story is going makes me tear through it crazily, makes me just tumble helplessly into their story.

Anna was about finding your place in an unfamiliar setting (even if that place was with a boy), and Lola was about being brave enough to grow up and make hard, mature decisions. Isla has its own meaning. Isla is about loving yourself enough to stop harshly criticizing yourself, and learning that it’s okay to be loved, and that you are worthy of it.

Isla and the Happily Ever After was a spectacular finish to the Anna and the French Kiss series. Isla is a little more tough to read as a standalone, but it can definitely work. I loved seeing Anna and Etienne, and Lola and Cricket again, and I was delighted to find that this book is not just about Isla’s happily ever after, but about the wonderful endings all three couples experience.


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