Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Penguin on August 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Amazon • Book Depository •
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Seal noises were made. I fell off a bed. Twice.
Notice: These reactions are to the UK PAPERBACK EDITION not the US Hardback so all page numbers will refer to the Usborne Published edition.
(Except not really a review, more like an extended freak out)
Guys guys guys. Okay this is going to be a bit jumbly because it’s 2 AM and I just read this book for 3 hours straight WITHOUT REALIZING HOW MUCH TIME HAD PASSED. Oh my Goddddddddd.
Okay, so Isla. Let’s talk about her. She’s fun and quirky and basically like all of Perkins’ heroines–adorable, fleshed out, quirky, and just absolutely amazing. It was interesting seeing everything (like Anna, Etienne, Josh’s relationships with everyone) from her eyes and I just LOVED HER SO MUCH. Out of all three girls I’m going to say I can relate to her the most (because she’s feminine, but not crazy, and she does get a bit stalkery with her crushes.) She’s absolutely adorable and I just LOVE her and I just. I just. GUYS. GAH. She’s just so much fun, but it’s also heartbreaking because she’s a quiet kind of girl. She doesn’t know what others think of her and she…doesn’t really want to know I guess. She has low self esteem and it was devastating because we could see how amazing she was–she just didn’t.
Josh was amazingly complex in ISLA–not that we should be surprised. As a minor character in ANNA and not showing up at all in LOLA, I sort of missed his moodiness and in ISLA we learn more and more about him and can we just talk about how I absolutely adored him? I can’t even tell you how wonderful Perkins is at bringing her characters to life, but she really did. Of course there’s still a fictional element to it, but there’s just something else that makes it feel so real. As the third book in the series we know almost all the characters in this story now–and it’s just amazing seeing Josh again and seeing more of his character.
Also, Isla and Kurt’s relationship? I LOVE it. Platonic friendships FTW!
There are things about these books that just make you sigh and wish your love life was written by Stephanie Perkins. Each of her books are always so significantly different, but all as lovable and all as absolutely stunning. In ISLA, I can’t even begin to tell you how perfectly Perkins captured a crush. Yes, Isla was a bit stalker. Yes, that’s how my friends and I are with our crushes. (No hopefully no one from my school is reading this.) And it’s just personally satisfying and absolutely squeal-worthy that the guy she likes likes her back (and that the dude was so much more romantic than my crush. Granted, significant age difference but STILL. That’s a story for next time though.)
With natural Perkins wit, humor, and heartbreak, Isla and the Happily Ever After definitely won’t let you down. It’s a dazzling book of a romance that’s easy until insecurities get in the way and a story that had me squealing and tearing up and wailing in the middle of the night.
I feel like there are a few people who didn’t love this book as much, but as a teen I can say that everything Isla did was completely how teens would react to something like this. We’re not all those infallible YA heroines and the way it’s captured is simply brilliant. I can’t stress my love for this book enough guys. I can’t.
Also: ETIENNE. AND ANNA. AND CRICKET. AND LOLA. AND ALL. OF. THEM. ARE. THERE. GAH.