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.
Isla has never really felt like she belonged. Dividing most of her life between Paris and New York, home is a fluid concept. One thing she is sure of though is that she has been crushing on way-out-of-her-league Josh since the first time he spoke to her freshman year. But the brooding young artist would never give her a second thought, right? One chance midnight run-in, though, changes everything.
In Isla and the Happily Ever After (Dutton), Stephanie Perkins ties up her series with as much love and laughs as we have come to expect from Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Adorable, sweet and tender, Isla left my heart feeling incredibly full.
Once again, Perkins brings the setting of Paris to life, making me desperately want to walk the same streets as her characters. And this time she ups the ante by incorporating the lovely Barcelona. This series should be cross-categorized in the travel section of book stores because the whole time I’m reading I’m just itching to see all of these places she describes in such beautiful detail.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this series was how different the characters and their relationships are from each other. They are not the same characters in different packaging, but rather all have their own unique personalities and experiences. Isla is more sexually experienced than Anna or Lola, and comes off as quite confident in her sexuality, even though she struggles with self-esteem in other aspects of her life.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the intensity of emotion between Isla and Josh had me anxious. Isla’s stress had me stressed. I’m still not convinced that her and Josh’s relationship is a healthy one—I think they still have some issues they need to work through to really make that happily-ever-after work.
Even with all the laughs and the aww‘s and the tears, my favourite thing about Isla and the Happily Ever After was the cameos of the characters from the previous books. LOVE them! And now I have a new character to add to that list in the form of Isla’s best friend, Kurt. He stole the show on every page. I know this is the conclusion to the series but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that Perkins will add one more story; I think Meredith deserves a happily-ever-after, too.
This wasn’t my favourite book of the series (Anna holds that title), but Isla definitely won a place in my heart. A satisfying and heartwarming happily-ever-after, indeed.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (4/5 hearts)