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Isla og den store kjærligheten PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Isla og den store kjærligheten
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Published May 3rd 2016 by Aschehoug (first published August 14th 2014)
ISBN: 9788203259173
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Isla har vært hemmelig forelsket i Josh siden første år på internatskolen i Paris. Når de tilfeldigvis møter hverandre i sommerferien hjemme i New York, blomstrer romantikken og livet er vidunderlig. Men når hverdagen kommer, settes forholdet på prøve. Er det ekte kjærlighet de føler for hverandre?

30 review for Isla og den store kjærligheten

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    MY HEART IS BROKEN, BUT MY HEART IS TRUE. Wowzapants: I have a lot to say. LET’S GET TO IT. (No spoilers.) Let me start with the question everyone wants to know: is this your new favourite Stephanie Perkins? Unfortunately, not even close. My order is officially Anna, Lola, and then Isla. Before I get into the meat of this all, please know that I didn't hate it. I really enjoyed most of it. I flew through the entire thing in one day. Stephanie Perkins knows how to write some truly adorable moments. MY HEART IS BROKEN, BUT MY HEART IS TRUE. Wowzapants: I have a lot to say. LET’S GET TO IT. (No spoilers.) Let me start with the question everyone wants to know: is this your new favourite Stephanie Perkins? Unfortunately, not even close. My order is officially Anna, Lola, and then Isla. Before I get into the meat of this all, please know that I didn't hate it. I really enjoyed most of it. I flew through the entire thing in one day. Stephanie Perkins knows how to write some truly adorable moments. But that wasn't enough. Anna and Lola also had cheesy and wonderful moments. But those moments came mixed together with depth. This didn't. 1) Certain Scenes vs The Entire Plot: My biggest sentiment with this book was that I LOVED a lot of scenes, but didn’t really like the plot overall. Stephanie Perkins kept showing me why I love her in specific moments - like Barcelona, ohmygod - but as a whole this story was badly paced and badly plotted. So I’m left looking back at wonderful snippets - seriously, Barcelona, ohmygod - but not really caring about the plot overall. I never felt that we were moving somewhere, I never felt a legitimate progression of time. Things were happening, I suppose, but never excitingly. 2) The Characters: I didn’t care about the characters. I sincerely didn’t know it was possible to say this about a Stephanie Perkins novel. I mean.. WHAT. WHAT. The whole reason we love Anna and St. Clair and Lola and Cricket is because they feel real. They feel touchable. They feel like people we could meet. Admittedly, Josh wasn’t bad. But Isla? Who was she? I still don’t really know her. Her sisters? Meh! Her supposed “best friend”? He felt like a random side character. And that is tragic, because one of the things I loved about Anna and Lola is that everyone felt important. Everyone felt like an important piece of the puzzle, and even if I didn’t know a character fully because it wasn’t their story (e.g./ Meredith,) they felt dear to me and as though they would have an important story someday -that they weren’t just here as a supporting character to someone else’s story. 3) The Setting: I mean. Cmon. CMON. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll probably end up saying it a thousand more times: In Anna, Paris isn’t just the background, it’s a character. In Lola it wasn’t AS impressive, but the sense of incredible atmosphere was still there! Not here in Isla. We spend time in Paris? Meh. It could have been anywhere. We spend time in NYC? Meh. NYC is a place I’ve personally visited, a place that is wonderful and dirty and grimy and amazing and here it was meh. The only moment I felt the passion of the area was in that Barcelona moment and it was glorious but it was a dying spark of hope. 4) The Themes: Not a single person on this planet is denying that Anna, Lola, and Isla are loves stories. The main theme is love. About the characters better knowing themselves so that ultimately? They can find love. This is not a flaw. This is wonderful. I love seeing love happen. I LOVE IT. And in Anna? I saw love happen. In Lola? I saw love happen. In Isla? I saw an obsessive crush happen and then explode into instalove. I couldn’t support was being preached in this book. That love is about obsessing over others because magically they’ve always loved you back? I’m sorry but no. I kept hoping that Perkins would say “You see all the obsessing that Isla has been doing? It’s been unhealthy and wrong!” but instead it was made okay and even desirable and cute. It wasn’t cute. Also the jealousy. Jealousy is a left thing, folks. You’ll feel it, I’ll feel it, we’ll all feel it. It played big roles in Anna AND Lola but there it was resolved. It was seen as ugly. Here? It was glossed over. It wasn’t resolved. It was left hanging and that made me sad. 5) The Plot Conflict Wasn’t Conflict: It’s tricky to say too much here without spoiling so I’ll keep it short: the main problem here? It wasn’t a problem. I couldn’t root for it to be solved because it wasn’t a problem. The whole time I was just sitting there thinking “HAVE AN EFFING CONVERSATION AND IT’LL BE EFFING SOLVED,” because it wasn’t a problem. It was one person thinking something and then what? The reader was supposed to accept that as a problem? IT WASN’T A PROBLEM. How am I supposed to care about the plot if it’s just drama? *grrrrrrr* 6) Josh: Again, I’ll keep it short because I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but there wasn’t enough Josh. I get it, yeah, yeah, this is Isla’s story, but the whole point is that it isn’t. It’s THEIR story. Anna&Etienne, Lola&Cricket, Isla&Josh. I’ve finished the book and I still don’t get why the heck Josh likes Isla. I’m not saying that out of spite: I seriously don’t remember a reason. With the past couples it was about the couples having to work together, but here it wasn’t at all. That’s sad. I really liked Josh and his part was smushed down to “love interest” instead of “complex character.” 7) My Favourite Scene: My favourite scene of this book was when we got to see the other characters. And that, to me, is the final nail in the coffin. It's a total cop-out, it doesn't even count: how can my favourite scene be the one that doesn't focus on the main characters of this book AT ALL? Obviously it makes sense that I would be attached to the scene because I’ve loved Anna and Lola for so long, but man. Nothing came close to that scene. I literally was wishing that Isla would disappear so I could just revel in the presence of the old characters because they? THEY were magic. I’m sorry that this wasn’t the review we all wanted. Throughout my reading of the book I was part joy (because like I said I DID find cute stuff in it that made me smile and kept me glued to it) and part dread. I wanted to love it. I’ve been waiting for this book for more than two years. I fought the literal gods to get my hands on an arc. I wanted to love it, but I didn’t. I have to be honest with myself and with you guys. This book wasn’t as good as the other two, and apart from the others it doesn't stand well alone. MY HEART IS BROKEN, BUT MY HEART IS TRUE.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    “There’s no story,” I say. “I saw you one day, and I just knew." ^This pretty much sums up the most of this book. First, let's be clear: I enjoyed Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. They were pure romantic silliness, I know, but I liked the characters, the cute flirtations and the mindless entertainment. When this third book was released, I bought it immediately but some negative reviews from my friends put me off. I think I always expected to return to it eventual “There’s no story,” I say. “I saw you one day, and I just knew." ^This pretty much sums up the most of this book. First, let's be clear: I enjoyed Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. They were pure romantic silliness, I know, but I liked the characters, the cute flirtations and the mindless entertainment. When this third book was released, I bought it immediately but some negative reviews from my friends put me off. I think I always expected to return to it eventually. Though, honestly, I wish I hadn't bothered. For one thing, there is literally no story for at least 80% of this book. In fact, I'm still struggling to see it. The other books are about the usual crushes, tensions and jealousies that come with high school romances - like I said, mindless entertainment - but Isla and the Happily Ever After does not even have that. The book opens with Isla drooling all over herself and being unable to function in the presence of Josh. A couple chapters in and we already know he likes her. A couple more and they're making out. Where is the tension? Where is the will they/won't they? Also, that aside, Isla's obsession with Josh is unhealthy and not even in a cute way. She literally stalks him online, looking up information about his family on Wikipedia and finding his house on Google. That's damn creepy. If it was the other way around, I would be afraid for the girl's safety. Plus, he is her entire life, her crush on Josh is the most defining characteristic she has. “I like Josh so much that I actually feel miserable.” “I’m dizzy. It physically hurts to look at him.” She goes on and on about him. She ignores her friend because she's too busy thinking about Josh. She acts like a self-centred brat because she wants to go gallivanting around Europe with him and - surprise! - she can't just freaking do that. The biggest problem these rich white kids have is whether to go to Columbia or la Sorbonne. I just don't care about them. Also, a guy who says “Your sister’s kind of a bitch, huh?” is way out of line, no matter how hot he is or how true it is. My sister’s a bitch too, but no one but me and my brother are allowed to say it (view spoiler)[love you really, Chels ;) (hide spoiler)] Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Pinterest

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    “'There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.'” Stephanie, I adore you, I really do. You bring me so much joy with your fluffy story-lines. But you always seem to be able to ground all the fluffiness with some maturity. This one lacked maturity. I did like it, but I just couldn't bring myself to love it. My problem in one sentence: the setting was colourful, the characters weren't. The setting was beautifully wistful. I mean it's hard for it not to be when it's set in a city “'There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.'” Stephanie, I adore you, I really do. You bring me so much joy with your fluffy story-lines. But you always seem to be able to ground all the fluffiness with some maturity. This one lacked maturity. I did like it, but I just couldn't bring myself to love it. My problem in one sentence: the setting was colourful, the characters weren't. The setting was beautifully wistful. I mean it's hard for it not to be when it's set in a city like Paris. Couple that with the various locations Stephanie chooses. An abandoned ancient arena hidden between Parisian apartments. A balcony reached only by conquering spiralling stairs and a trapdoor. They were always quiet and secluded which really added to the romance. Because of this, at its best, it was a sweet, desire filled romance, played out in alleyways and under the indigo ink pot of the night sky (couldn't resist putting in an artsy metaphor). It made the romance illicit in a way. As if the reader shouldn't be privy to it because at times it was just so quietly personal. But this was the novel at its best. Really, all I've written goes to the city itself rather than the characters. And good lord, Isla and Josh need to tone the drama down. The characters lacked maturity. Isla and Josh did not seem protagonist worthy to me. I kept asking myself: why them? Why did Stephanie choose to write about them? Or even, why did she choose to write about them at this time in their life? The storyline we were given seemed more like one of those sideline stories thrown into a 'chick-flick' movie - worthy of a few scenes scattered throughout the movie, during which we all indulgently nod and smile, waiting for the movie to return to our main characters. "Josh is a beautiful, messy, passionate work of art, and I'm … a blank canvas." I couldn't bring myself to root for them. It ignited my Romeo-and-Juliet-type reaction. Instead of squealing over the cuteness, I'm sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn wedged between my thighs wildly gesturing at the screen yelling 'you idiot, put the damn dagger down! Please, you 'love' each other? You just bloody met. These three year olds I swear to the everloving universe …' Our protagonists are each battling with their own brand of insecurity and because of this their relationship turned into one of dependence. They weren't ready for a relationship, and especially not a relationship born of a three year obsessive crush in which they only talked once . No, no, no, this isn't a healthy basis for a relationship, let alone between characters already dealing with complex mental issues. What this muddy stirring pot produces is a lot of 'I need you, what would I do without you?' and 'we have to go to college together' and an irritatingly insistent 'don't leave me, don't leave me, don't leave me.' Basically, a whole lot of melodramatic teen moodiness. Prime example, Josh has to leave Paris and cue an over the top tearful goodbye: "We were only given five minutes to say goodbye. I cried again. He used his favourite pen to ink the four letters L-O-V-E onto my fingers." Sorry Stephanie, it was just too fluffy, too starry-eyed, too melodramatic. Fans of Anna and Lola this one might be worth a read for the few scenes where our favourites come back for some very significant scenes. _______________________ Pre-review 25/10/2012: BLOODY HELL GET THEE ON MY BOOKSHELF ALREADY. Who else can't wait for another fictional guy to swoon over? Regina just doesn't understand us Basically me when reading about every one of Stephanie's beautiful so god damn beautiful guys: And then when I finish I'm like:

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat O'Keeffe

    THIS WAS SO ADORABLE AND FUNNY AND EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED TO READ! I didn't love it quite as much as Anna and Lola, and a few aspects were kind of frustrating, but despite that, I still really enjoyed it! I actually stayed up until 6am reading so I could finish it all in one sitting! I'll talk more about it in a video soon :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Aww, two rich, horny kids (one - a stalker, the other - a self-centered "artiste") are not allowed to travel around Europe without supervision and have sex anywhere they feel like. How tragic! Perkins' romances are getting worse and worse. 1 star because she can do better than this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melannie :)

    *tries to pull off an Etienne St. Clair* I CAN'T BLOODY WAIT!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sophia.

    [[ DISCLAIMER: This review is going to be long ; painfully negative ; and full of spoilers. Also, I love Stephanie Perkins. I follow her blog and I think she's a genuinely great person. However, I do tend to treat books like the commercial objects that they are. So I'm not making this personal against Perkins. I am aware that it was a fucking struggle for her to write this book, and I am sorry, but I paid for it, and I was sorely disappointed. ]] Okay let's do this. I am part of the original rea [[ DISCLAIMER: This review is going to be long ; painfully negative ; and full of spoilers. Also, I love Stephanie Perkins. I follow her blog and I think she's a genuinely great person. However, I do tend to treat books like the commercial objects that they are. So I'm not making this personal against Perkins. I am aware that it was a fucking struggle for her to write this book, and I am sorry, but I paid for it, and I was sorely disappointed. ]] Okay let's do this. I am part of the original readership that has been following Perkins since the very beginning. I read Anna a couple months after it came out, and I loved it. I waited 2 years for Lola (that's a long time) and hated it. I still decided to wait for Isla, because it was going to be set in Paris again, and, well, because it looked fucking cool. We all waited a lonnnnng time for Isla. Several years. My expectations were damn high... And it was just not worth the wait. Obviously I'm not the first one to point this out, but we have in this book a serious characterization problem when it comes to Isla. In the first book, we had Anna who's this cute, clueless film addict with the cleaning disorder. Despite that somewhat specific characterization, I think Perkins had sort of found the good balance between a well defined character and someone the reader could easily identify with. Anna is awkward, inexperienced with boys, not amazing in class, and she's got money issues. And she falls for the hot guy who has a girlfriend. All this is realistic. Because let's face it, in real life, a lot of hot boys ARE taken. Therefore befriending a hot kid who has a girlfriend is complicated, since you have to strike a balance between being friendly but not too flirty, and you also kind of hate the girlfriend, and it's all so confusing. I thought that the way Perkins described all that was on point. Also, it took forever for Anna and St Clair to get together. Okay, it was overly long and dramatic, but in real life, it usually does take MONTHS before something happens with the guy you like. I liked that authenticity: that whole thing before they get together, where one month they're close, then they're not, then he compliments her and she makes such a big deal out of it. I just felt like, yes, that does happen in real life! It IS tedious in real life. And sometimes boys do lead you on, and it fucking sucks. Anyway, my point being, the first book was overall realistic and Anna very likeable. Then we had Lola. She was, in my opinion, way too characterized. It was really hard for me to relate to her because of the way she dresses, which was extreme even for a hardcore hipster, and because of her extremely specific family situation, and her love life too. That's where for me the series started going downhill. Also the story was more juvenile. Now, Isla. Characterization issues I saw that a lot of people disliked Josh in the story. I think he was at times overly dramatic, but I did love the artistic aspect of his personality. That’s why I was so impatient to read the book before it came out and on that aspect, the book met my expectations. I just thought it was usually well written, all his trances, his room, his cramps, or when he paints the tree house. Or better yet, when he draws her necklace and captions it “Why does she wear it every day?” Oh, I loved that. Yes, I totally swooned. The Perkins magic worked for me right there. No, to me the main problem was Isla, and Isla and Josh. We're told (rather than shown) that Isla loves high heels, and that her room is very well decorated. She's petite and cute and shy and yes she's a redhead. Okay. Basically that's everything we know. Her family felt very fake. She doesn't have ANY other friend beside Kurt. Doesn't have any hobbies, either, which Perkins tried to make into an actual personality trait but it didn't work. She just felt like a stupid Bella Swan 2.0 who has no life interest other THAN GOING TO DARTMOUTH because that’s where her boyfriend wants her to go. And remember which college Edward Cullen wanted Bella to attend? Yep. Dartmouth. I didn't like her relationship with Kurt. She insists on saying that despite the autism he's a normal kid but if that's the case, then just treat him like a normal kid. You don't have to sleep in the same bed every night. That's just weird, especially when Isla starts dating. Then she's talking morning wood with Josh and she says she's seen it on Kurt before "but it's fine since we're such good friends", and then Kurt talks about Isla's breasts and the whole time I'm just like What?! Josh is jealous and asks for explanations, and I thought that was legitimate because, honestly, I don't know anyone who would keep on doing that past 18. I don't know. Maybe I'm just not a big believer in boys/girls friendships but something was off with that relationship and it made me uneasy. (Taking Kurt to the treehouse in the afternoon and then going back with Josh in the evening? ew.) Pacing and lack of plot A huge problem in this book is the pacing and the plot. Literally nothing happens.. or not exactly. A few things happen, but the plotline is so empty that these little things are taken to an extreme to pretend something is happening. First off, the romance in this book appears wayy too fast. First chapter! I found it hard to believe that Isla was so high on meds that she didn't know what she was doing. I genuinely thought the first scene was a dream or a sex fantasy because it was so unrealistic. And that thing with the dress being wet and clingy was just so corny. So the thing is, school starts again so she's obviously obsessed with Josh and that's weird, but like okay. We've all stalked that one boy back in high school. But then he shows he's interested too and there's this awkward thing where the reader OBVIOUSLY knows that Josh thinks there's something going on between Kurt and Isla but Isla is fucking oblivious so she won't say anything to clarify the situation. That's the plotline for a few chapters, then Josh finds the courage to straight up ask her, then it's understood that they clearly like each other. Okay. They go on their first date, and they make out. Okay. Ensues what feels like a reallyyy long time (several chapters) where everything... is just perfect. they're oh-so-happy. Everything is great. Also, it escalates very quickly. They say I love you after what feels like 3 pages. I was just dumbfounded to see how ridiculous it sounds, yet it's all done so that we're actually supposed to take it seriously? And we're expected to actually swoon? even though it's pathetic? Yes. It is true that when teenagers get together, it is very intense and melodramatic very quickly. As the meme goes: “Teenage couples be like” This meme is literally the book. But the thing is, even if that's how it sometimes is, I don't want to see that in a book. Because it's juvenile and it's so corny. It makes me ROLL MY EYES. Back to the nonexistent plot. So they love each other after 3 days, and it's all perfect but as a reader, you're obviously... well expecting something. Because something has to happen. Conflict, right? So I'm here waiting turning page after page and then they start talking about Barcelona. I get it. They’re horny, and obviously they can't do it in the treehouse or idk in a hotel in Paris because then it wouldn't serve the plot SO they decide to go to Spain. Fine. Problem one: NOTHING is said about the money. NOTHING. We get that they're spoiled rich kids. But it'd help if they'd at least acknowledge it. Instead of snapping their fingers and going to barcelona like it's normal, or accepting to fill out applications to Dartmouth without ONE thought regarding how much money that implies. Nu-uh, in Isla's world, Dartmouth only means Josh. So they go to Barcelona and the sexual tension is supposed to be very intense but it’s honestly kind of ridiculous. They sleep together. Insert corny fireworks. Problem two: the sex scenes. They're bad. I think it's a good thing that Perkins made her characters sexually active because after all, the reader who was 16 when reading Anna is now, what, 20 or 21 when reading Isla so obviously they evolved too. But sex scenes are tough to write and they need to be well written to serve a purpose. This: "His breathing is shallow. Rapid. I lower myself onto him. We gasp. Our arms wrap around each other, and we move together, watching each other, checking in with each other with our eyes. Is this okay? What about this? This? It builds. Faster. I want him closer. I want him deeper. I want him, want him, want him. His eyes close and so do mine, and we finish as we started. Together." [End of chapter] Sigh. I'm sorry, I just think that's bad writing. Perkins used a similar writing style in Lola to describe the sex scenes too, and I don't understand why the editor didn't try to do something about it. Those short sentences make the reading experience very uncomfortable and awkward. Okay. Then we get to the next problem. Josh gets expelled: so the drama begins Well that was definitely my biggest issue in the entire book. When Josh gets expelled, Isla’s reactions were sooo blown out of proportions, so dramatic, it made me lose all the respect I had for her. It literally felt like Josh was dying or going to war. Isla, fucking take a chill pill, he’s just going back to America. You’ll see him in like TWO months! The writing was so excessively dramatic. Like they're on the train, going back to school where they know trouble awaits and Josh risks expulsion: "I want you to know that I love you", Josh says. "And I want to be with you. No matter what happens." My eyes fill back with tears. "Don't say that." "It might happen." "Don't say that!" His shell is cracking. "I love you. Do you still love me?" And then Josh almost has a panick attack, and she tells him she has "always" loved him. Then he asks for her to clarify and she says "Yeah, since our freshman year." lol that's not what "always" means, honey. Then we have the headmaster who lectures Isla about who's she dating and that she should be careful and she can do better blah blah - so cliché I couldn't deal. As if headmasters ever do give a fuck about who's dating who. Seriously. Also during that lecture Isla is thinking : "She's wrong. There's only one boy. And who am I to become without him?" When Josh actually has to leave the school : "We were only given five minutes to say goodbye. I cried again. He used his favourite pen to ink the four letters L-O-V-E onto my fingers. He held my face with both hands. "I love you", he said. "I love you. I love you." I could hardly see him through my tears. "I love you." I said. "I love you. I love you." So I'll spare you for the rest, because I suppose you’re getting my point, right? That’s what the book is like after Josh gets kicked out. It's insane how dramatic it gets. I don't get it. I couldn't feel for them because it was so fucking extreme, it just got to a point where it was downright funny. Also, I find it very unbelievable that Josh's mom would take away his phone like that. It was a pathetic excuse to make their discussions less frequent, but 1) Josh is loaded so he could have bought another one, or just go to an Apple Store or a McDonalds for the Wifi. Or borrow his FRIENDS’ phones? No? Right he doesn’t have any part from St Clair. I just think we have so many ways of communicating now. It seemed very unlikely that he would depend on his mom like that. Then there's the whole drama thing with the book he makes her read, and she freaks out, and BLAH BLAH useless break up for obscure reasons that I have failed to understand. The only thing that woke me up from my boredom was when Isla thinks this: Josh is a romantic. He likes being in love, and he craves love to fill the void left by his absentee parents. Maybe our relationship didn't happen quickly because we're perfect for each other, but because we each got swept away by it - him because of this insatiable need, me because of my pre existing crush. Did those three years of longing cloud my perception of reality? How well do I really know him? To which I answer: ON POINT Isla! For once in your life, you GET it. But obviously this book doesn't work like that, unfortunately for us, so she soon realizes that she's WRONG and there's nothing wrong in their relationship and of course they're meant to be. Some dumb resolution comes up and HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Because if there's one thing that this series doesn't have, it is mystery and subtility when it comes to titles. Random Nitpicks * Enough with the full body shrugs. What does that even mean. How can one full body shrug. THERE IS NO SUCH THING. * Anna and St Clair getting engaged. COME ON. Really. REALLY. It's not swoon worthy, it's so cliché and they're 19 and what is this? So unnecessary. Also you know there's a problem in your book when it's WAY more interesting to follow the old cast even when it's just for a couple of scenes than following Isla and Josh. By the way, I already had had that problem in Lola but once again Anna and St Clair come off as this stupidly perfect couple. Isla goes "Anna is the kind of naturally beautiful girl who doesn't know she's beautiful and St Clair is so perfect omg" Stop. It's so annoying. I don't need to hear how perfect they are. And then there's Josh who goes "Yeah, of course they'll stay together forever because well duh they're meant to be" and I'm just sitting here like yeah, and it took St Clair a fucking year to grow balls so that he could dump his gf and stop leading Anna on. BUT ITS TRUE LOVE YOU GUYS so the cheating was fine!!! * Also Perkins could not stop herself and did it again! She just HAD to throw in a bit of pro gay righ/love as always. And yes, it is STILL irrelevant to the story! First we had Meredith who's called a dyke and omg Anna will not tolerate it, and then we had Lola and her two daddies and now it's GENEVIEVE (awful name) who's bisexual y'all and her parents "LOVE" her new girlfriend omg so cool, go gays. (view spoiler)[Okay, sarcasm apart and as hard to believe as I make it seem, I am actually very supportive of gay rights too. the only thing is that I just hate it when it's casually thrown in books, because it's like subtle propaganda especially here because it SERVES NO PURPOSE to the story, absolutely none, other than allowing Perkins to throw in her own opinion. so thanks but not thanks keep it to yourself. (hide spoiler)] * At some point Josh tells her "You're way hotter than your sisters" and Isla goes (genuinely) "That's the most romantic thing you've ever said to me." Was I the only one who felt weird during this scene? I adore my sister and she's fucking gorgeous. But I don't want us to be compared. We're two distinct people. No? I don't know that just made me feel weird. * When Isla talks about the classic bitch at school: "Amanda was the Emily Middlestone of last year - the school's most popular mean girl." No Perkins, what you mean is, "Emily Middlestone is Amanda i.e, a one-dimensional, overly cliché mean girl that doesn't even really exist in real life, but I still had to insert her in this book because I needed someone to bully Isla. Just like someone bullied Anna and Lola." [[ ONE LAST THING. I know Stephanie Perkins suffers from depression. She’s expressed in several blog posts how hard it can be sometimes for her to get up in the morning, how worthless she sometimes feels, etc. I just want to say, if she ever reads this, that I fully support her. Yes, I know my review is harsh. I’m sorry. But Stephanie, if that’s worth anything, I still think you kick ass. Maybe I’m harsher with you because I know you can blow me away. And I love how you dedicate all your books to Jarrod. And you know what? That, at the end of the book: Finally, thank you for Jarrod Perkins. I'm crying now just because I typed your name. I love you more than anyone. Ever. Times a hundred million billion. Etienne, Cricket and Josh - they were all you, but none of them came even close. You are my best friend. You are my true love. You are my happily ever after. Damn. That literally killed me. That made me swoon more than any book ever has. Thank you for showing me that true love is possible, Steph’. Keep your head up! ]] (view spoiler)[ My review before reading: So I've just re-read Anna and the French Kiss and this is the last thing Anna says about Josh : "Josh … well, he still has to come to terms with the fact that we’re leaving and he’s staying. And he is staying. He squeaked by again, barely. He’s losing himself in his drawings, and his hands are in a constant state of cramps. Truthfully, I’m worried. I know how it feels to be alone. But Josh is an attractive, funny guy. He’ll make new friends." How awesome does that sound? I can't wait. *Sigh* Ten months to go. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    4.5 stars Ridiculously adorable, and a lovely, note-perfect ending to this series. Review to come. ------------------------------------------------------- The ARC is sooo pretty! [image error] And for those interested, you can get these cute buttons + decals (and possibly a tote) by pre-ordering the book at one of these stores: http://penguinteen.tumblr.com/post/88...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Saania Zee Jamal ϟ

    Oh my. Oh my. If there's one thing I never expected to happen while reading Perkin's marvelous works, it's for me to curl up in bed and clutch my pillow with all my life as I sniffled away. But here I am doing that anyway. It's not for the reasons you may seem to think though– it's honestly really just the fact that I'm never going to be reading about these characters I've come to adore SO MUCH ever again, and coming to terms with that has left my emotions spazzing all over the place. But wow. Stepha Oh my. Oh my. If there's one thing I never expected to happen while reading Perkin's marvelous works, it's for me to curl up in bed and clutch my pillow with all my life as I sniffled away. But here I am doing that anyway. It's not for the reasons you may seem to think though– it's honestly really just the fact that I'm never going to be reading about these characters I've come to adore SO MUCH ever again, and coming to terms with that has left my emotions spazzing all over the place. But wow. Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie. I can't even begin to show my gratitude to you and everyone who helped spur your journey into completing this book; I don't know what I would've done without it. The Happily Ever After closure brought to not only Isla and Josh (who I may or may not hold closer to my heart than even ol' Étienne), but both OTP's from before, couldn't have been written any better than it was. Screw any claims of it being cheesily cliched or otherwise, my babies deserved this perfect ending! *unleashes crazy amounts of fangirling* Also, my dopamine would like to worship you for your spectacular ability to induce them like no other. What I especially love about this one was that we witness love bloom from a different perspective. Here, the two protagonists fall into step with what seems to be the perfect relationship quite swiftly -but convincingly- and it's the little struggles that follow we get to read about as compared to Anna and Lola. Because of this change, it didn't feel like we were reading yet another 'i-cant-stand-this-UST-build-up-anymore-so-get-together-already-please-dammit' (but I'm sure Perkins would've managed to make that absolutely enjoyable again anyway. In fact, I'd like more of it ASAP, yes please :3). There's not really much I've got to say about the romance that I haven't already said before about the others. The chemistry? Bound to sizzle. The cutesy moments? Endless with their originality and genuineness. And with characters who're more of the shy and reserved kind, I found myself forming even more of an emotional attachment to them. All I can say is that Isla and the Happily Ever After is finally one ending to a trilogy that most certainly won't disappoint. Not even close. ______________________________ Book Song: Bloodflood by Alt-J. ______________________________

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I feel like I've waited a hundred years for this book. I was so excited to get my hands on it. Now, I'm just so disappointed. A while back, I saw some negative reviews for Anna and the French Kiss that said the book was basically a bunch of rich teenagers whining over how their world wasn't perfect enough. I didn't actually have that problem with Anna and the French Kiss. I adored Anna and the French Kiss. Everything that happened in that book (albeit I will admit that Anna seemed snobby sometim I feel like I've waited a hundred years for this book. I was so excited to get my hands on it. Now, I'm just so disappointed. A while back, I saw some negative reviews for Anna and the French Kiss that said the book was basically a bunch of rich teenagers whining over how their world wasn't perfect enough. I didn't actually have that problem with Anna and the French Kiss. I adored Anna and the French Kiss. Everything that happened in that book (albeit I will admit that Anna seemed snobby sometimes) felt natural and relatable. No, I had that problem with Isla and the Happily Ever After. Isla and Josh were these tragically filthy rich kids who started dating each other and were convinced it was true love and proceeded to travel around a bunch in the way that only tragically filthy rich kids can and then they got torn apart because Josh's parents were too rich and had "standards" for him and it was all very, pathetically sad. Also, Isla was weak . Also, Josh was an asshole. I didn't like either of these characters. Which was a shame, because I so liked Josh in Anna and the French Kiss. Where to even begin? Let's start with Isla. Who is she? I don't even know. I read an entire book where she was the main character, and I don't know who she is. I know she likes Josh a whole lot. I know she has red hair and freckles, which makes Josh like her a whole lot back(??). Oh, and she liked comics. Which was very unique and quirky of her because she was the only other person in the school who seemed to like them, despite a later explanation of how common comic culture was in France. The only substantial thing I really got from her was how weak she was. She was so, so weak, and I couldn't stand it. She didn't know how to stand up for herself, she never asked the questions which could've gotten her answers. What's with the wallflower act, anyway? Is there a reason for it? We don't know. We don't know anything about her. I mean, I didn't need a big reason for her diffidence or anything. Anything would've sufficed. But we got nothing. We just know that she's a middle child, and somehow that's supposed to explain her to us. I know that Anna was kind of similar in this sense. She was a little withdrawn, sometimes holding back verbal comments for lengthy, internal observations. But at least she knew how to stand up for herself. What I hated the most was how Isla couldn't stand up to Josh. Because he was wrong. A whole, whole lot. Not that Isla was any better. But yeah, let's talk about Josh. Oh my god what a pretentious piece of shit. He made everything all about him. "Me me me ME" was probably his mantra or something. I can't believe this e-book was $10. His stupid graphic memoir made my blood boil. And not in the hot, sexy kind of way. Do you understand how fucking pretentious it is when people make you read their autobiographies? Autobiographies where you crop up. Not to mention how pretentious it is for you to write an autobiography in the first place when you're that young and not a whole lot has happened to you yet. No, seriously, let's be real for a second. You're an aspiring comic artist. You're trying to put together your first comic. What's the first brilliant idea that pops into your head? A comic book all about yourself. Who the fuck wants to read that? Where is the outsider appeal in that, at all? Would you want to read a "graphic memoir" about someone else's life? I don't fucking think so. So yeah, he and Isla have been dating for less than a month. And then he shoves this "graphic memoir" at her. I mean, if you're going to pull this narcissistic shit, at least wait until your relationship's more stable. NOPE. He's gonna do it now. With all the graphic bits of his sex life with his ex-girlfriend included, because those are the "ugly parts" of him. SERIOUSLY, DID IT NOT OCCUR TO YOU TO HOLD BACK ON THIS UNTIL MAYBE YOU HAVE A STRONG ENOUGH RELATIONSHIP TO WEATHER THIS KIND OF BULLSHIT? And it's brilliant, because Josh is your typical artist. Sensitive to any criticism, no matter how valid. So when he shoved that narcissistic junk at Isla, he for some reason expected her to love it. And when she didn't, because he illustrated his sex life with his ex-girlfriend and then made her read it and then wanted her opinion on it, he got offended and pissy. No, not at first--not that first time when he calls her and asks her opinion. Because Isla was too damn weak to say anything to him. No, he got pissy when she finally blew up at him during the limo ride. Because again, she was weak and couldn't talk about it with him directly and had to passively aggressively go at it until the conversation became something else entirely. AND HE ACCUSED HER OF CRITICIZING HIS WORK PURELY OUT OF BEING BUTT-HURT THAT HIS COMIC WASN'T ALL ABOUT HER. Oh lord, the audacity. And for some reason, Isla took all that shit from him and more. She acknowledged that he was right, it was all her fault, etc., etc. And I'm like, wait. Where's his apology for being a self-centered, narcissistic piece of shit--where he at least acknowledges that it's also his fault for pushing something like that onto her without even knowing what he was writing? Because he didn't. He was writing about himself, but he's a teenager. He didn't know who he was yet; he still had a lot about himself to discover. And he pushed all that self-discovery on her, so much so that it completely eclipsed the readers getting to even know Isla in this book. Sanjita was right. Rashimi wasn't right for Josh, and only Isla could be. Because Rashimi was a person who actually had standards and opinions and ambitions, and Isla didn't. Isla was soft and malleable and a big blob of nothing that Josh gladly molded to his own preferences, and I cannot believe I followed her as a protagonist for 339 pages. As to their actual romance--holy shit, I've never read a romance book without so much as even a smidgen of heat. I kept rolling my eyes throughout the book at Isla and Josh's every interaction, first few chapters aside. Because once they settled into a relationship, it was a downward spiral from there. He was a terrible influence on her, ignoring her grades and any possible future for herself that might be uniquely hers to decide. Sure, she needed to take "risks", but not those risks. Not the risks he was deciding for her, dammit. He was crooning to her the way your bad-influence druggie boyfriend would, and then he accused her of not being "adventurous" enough whenever she said no. NO. Fuck you. Respect her right to say no if she doesn't want to completely mess up her academic life like you have, alright? Oh my god, the audacity of this kid. The entire time they were being all lovey-dovey, I just kept waiting for the hammer to fall. It was obvious their foundation was completely unstable, that they were doing everything wrong. Even if things turned out alright for them (like they did in the end), I knew I wasn't rooting for them. There was absolutely nothing to root for. Two rich, spoiled kids going to a fancy school in France. Oh, the agony. Like I said, I know that this was the basic premise for Anna too, but I didn't feel that privileged vibe as strongly for her book. This book just felt like it was trying way too hard, forcing everything to seem dazzling and romantic. Which is where the nauseatingly hipster theme comes into play. Wow, the hipster thing. Okay, I know that quirky teens are like, the rage these days. And hey, don't get me wrong, I'm totally down for that if their quirkiness doesn't eclipse the actual plot of the story. But it did. Oh, look! A quirky girl wearing a quirky compass necklace with a quirky cartographer best friend, and she falls in love with a quirky boy with a quirky drawing talent that is like, on point, y'know? None of the usual hurdles that real artists his age have to leap through, he's a perfect transcriber of real-life-to-paper as attested by Isla in the cafe. Never mind that if he really did possess that much talent, he would be a fucking prodigy and he'd be a lot more well-known than that. Nah, his talent's just kinda normal. Your basic everyday thing, because he's an artist, and that's what all artists are like. And it's just all so quirky, because she has a secret place that's all hers that's named the Treehouse and the quirky artist boyfriend comes over and paints a quirky mural for her and also they have quirky body art sex and everything's just fucking quirky. I think I rolled my eyes so hard they fell into the back of my head. The only reason I gave this two stars is because of Anna and Etienne, and Lola and Cricket.

  11. 5 out of 5

    emma

    It is with great pride and deep sadness I present to you, the three stages of rereading Isla and the Happily Ever After. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Stage one: hope. Stage two: anger. Stage three: depression. How do I even explain to you how excited I was to reread this?! I’ll try, I guess. Gotta ~set the scene~. Anna and the French Kiss is THE guilty pleasure book for me. I’ve read it probably 3 times, and it still makes me feel all lovey-dovey whenever I pick it up. (That feeling rarely It is with great pride and deep sadness I present to you, the three stages of rereading Isla and the Happily Ever After. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Stage one: hope. Stage two: anger. Stage three: depression. How do I even explain to you how excited I was to reread this?! I’ll try, I guess. Gotta ~set the scene~. Anna and the French Kiss is THE guilty pleasure book for me. I’ve read it probably 3 times, and it still makes me feel all lovey-dovey whenever I pick it up. (That feeling rarelyyyy happens even on a first read.) So why was I excited to dive back into this one? BECAUSE WHEN I FIRST READ ISLA, I WENT AROUND SAYING IT WAS ONLY INFINITESIMALLY WORSE THAN ANNA. What a goddamn crime. I’d like to formally apologize. Anyway. So, recently, in my reread bonanza, I was all, How have I not reread Isla? If it’s almost as good, what’s stopping me? And I eagerly picked it up. ONLY TO BE DEALT THE MOST CRUSHING BLOW OF ALL TIME. It’s the surprise that hurts the most. I was fully defenseless. Like, @Stephanie Perkins: I expected a swoony romance and immersive images of Europe and New York and a fun protagonist and a crush-worthy love interest. Just a fun, flirty, fluffy time. Instead, I got insta-love and a really annoying girl and repetitive plotlines and meh settings and general ickiness and an actually kind-of-okay guy, and even HE seemed confused as to how he didn’t get a better book. But we’ll get to all that. Strap in for a long and bumpy ride, mes amis. The biggest offense of all might exist entirely in my mind, but I f*cking hate when YA books pander to their audiences. I’m talking fantasy protagonists who loooove to read, or Twilight-esque series wherein a supernaturally hot (get it?) guy falls in love with an Average Girl. And I got a hell of a lot of those vibes from this book. We follow Isla, who has had an unrequited crush on Josh for three f*cking years. (Very tragic.) Despite sitting next to him in many classes, when this book begins, she has interacted with him twice. Two times. Deux fois. One, two. That’s it. That’s the foundation for love we’re working with. But that’s not what really angers me. (Well, it is, but we’ll get to that later.) What ANGERS me is that Isla has had this crush for three years, and then it turns out HER CRUSH LIKED HER BACK ALL ALONG. How magical. Almost...fictional, wouldn’t you say? But anyway, Isla is also deeply insecure. Deeply insecure, and stuck in unrequited love? Sound like anyone you know? To me, it sounds like a stereotype of the target audience of this book. And using what you believe to be the secret dreams of teenage girls in order to sell copies? But my deep-rooted pessimism and distrust of The System is showing, so I’ll move on. I didn’t even get the swoony romance I wanted! I got insta-love. Josh (the subject of the aforementioned millennia-long crush) and Isla were Official™ within, like, fifty pages. It was totally insta-lovey. Because, again, Josh liked her alllll alongggg, you guys. That’s why they never talked for three years. Because they were so totally overcome with love. But I want to rant about Isla for about a thousand words, if you’ll allow me. (Just kidding. You couldn’t stop me if you tried.) Isla is...what’s the word?...oh, yes. THE WORST. Being trapped inside of her head for hundreds of pages was the most horrific fate I could possibly imagine. Isla’s entire stupid life (or lack thereof) revolves around Josh. It did before they ever even, like, made eye contact for more than .25 seconds, and it gets even worse after. I can’t even believe this is a narrative with a 4.11 rating on Goodreads. I can’t believe I gave this five stars just a couple years ago! Okay, so, let me take you through this. Isla is the #1 student in her class - but only, she makes clear, because she has nothing better to do. (In other words, before she has Josh to do.) Isla has no ambitions, no top choice school, no clue what she wants to do in the future. Which is fine. It’s not your fault if you don’t know what you want to do yet. I’d argue that you should still, like, care about figuring out whether you want to go to college, or at least finding one you can attend. But whatever. But...the second Josh moseys on into the picture, she has a plan. Guess whose plan? Yes. Josh’s plan. Josh suggests a plan, based entirely on her following him to HIS plan, and she just goes with that. (How many times can I say the word “plan”?) By the end of the book, Isla still has no clue what her major will be. She just knows she’s living with Joshy. And that they’ll “never be apart again.” Which, gross. But it all leads me to the question: WHO THE HELL IS ISLA? She has no ambitions and no dreams. All I know about her is that she reads adventure books, and she HARDCORE likes Josh. (Hopefully clear by now that this is a toxic level of adoration, IMO.) I would say that she’s smart, but it’s later revealed that no, Josh is smarter than she is, he’s just toooo cool to try. BECAUSE OF COURSE. To finish up why Isla is the worst for all time forever, I gotta delve into the plot. So after one or two hundred pages of happy-happy-joy-joy, some drama happens. Obviously. I won’t go into specifics, but it’s hardly even a spoiler to say they break up at one point. And it’s like instant regret and months of heartache and whatever. So obviously, we’re supposed to root for them to get back together and be all, “You two are so silly for breaking up!!!” I know this for two reasons: one, it’s a YA contemporary, and 2) that’s how literally every single character reacts. I’m sure you can guess what I’m going to say next. It’s that I fully wasn’t rooting for them. Here’s the thing. The reasons for their breakup are really legit. Like, yeah-just-stay-apart levels of legit. Isla argues that she’s a placeholder in Josh’s life because his friends left and he likes the feeling of being in love. And I was all, ...Oh. Like, that adds up. This book can never decide whether Josh did or didn’t love his last girlfriend, but I think he did. He certainly was into that bod. And he sometimes acts like a total scumbag to Isla, which doesn’t exactly make me think that it’s a whole different breed of relationship. So...do you understand why I cringed every time they said they were going to be together foreverrrrr? And then, when the time rollssss around for Isla’s mind to be changed, just in time for the dumb old Happily Ever After the title promises...nothing changes. Some girl (who we pointlessly hear about all the time) tells Isla the reason is she’s good for Josh is that she’s “soft” and won’t prevent him from f*cking around all the time. Which is an obviously terrible foundation for a relationship. That may change Isla’s mind, for some reason, but it does NOTHING FOR MINE. THEY’RE SO CLEARLY INCOMPATIBLE. WHAT THE HELL. I should’ve written this review exclusively using Gordon Ramsay GIFs. Anyway. I kinda like Josh. He’s funny and passionate and smart. Even if he’s a total d*ckweed sometimes. I JUST DON’T LIKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP AT ALL. At the best of times, they’re icky and obsessed with each other. All other times, THEY TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE SH*T. Ugh. Some romance. Relationship GOALS! Two people who bring out the worst in each other. On top of all of that hatred I just described, the ending scene I loved so much the first time (with the cameos from Anna and Étienne) felt really cringey and forced this time around. And none of the settings felt real, like they did in the first book. And the plot was just so repetitive. “Isla loves Josh. Josh loves Isla now, and, guess what, he always did! They are happy. Now there is drama! Now they are happy again. Now there is drama! Now they are happy (forever after, presumably).” The same characters were cycled through in the same way: Kurt, Hattie, the other sister, the ex-friend whose name I forget. Then throw in some cameos from, you know, actually likable characters at the end, cross your fingers and hope your readers fall for it! It’s not an interesting plot. Like, at all. This oft-quoted line sums it up: “There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.” Yeah, okay. But do you see how that’s not good for a book? How tragic for you, Isla and Josh, that life doesn’t just up and allow you to be together. That you start off the book as minors and have responsibilities to your education. That your parents’ money can’t BUY YOU OUT OF THE REPERCUSSIONS OF LEAVING THE COUNTRY SO YOU CAN F*CK EACH OTHER. God. I need to stop. I can’t remember a time before I was writing this review. Bottom line: instalove, boring plot, intolerable protagonist, more bad things. I AM VERY UPSET.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maram

    --- PROS: ✘ Isla's best friend, Kurt? ✘ I can’t think of anything good but at the same time I don’t want to leave this blank CONS: ✘ CRINGEY instalove ✘ The characters were such crybabies ✘ CRINGEY banter ✘ The plot? was ALL OVER the place ✘ CRINGEY relationship moments. ALL OF THEM. ✘ I’m confused ✘ CRINGEY writing style STAND-OUT SCENES INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO: ✘ "I've desired/loved him for 3 years but he never noticed" ✘ "l'm wrong, he felt the same!" ✘ "He's my bf now, YAY!" ✘ “I hate my bf’s ex!” --- PROS: ✘ Isla's best friend, Kurt? ✘ I can’t think of anything good but at the same time I don’t want to leave this blank CONS: ✘ CRINGEY instalove ✘ The characters were such crybabies ✘ CRINGEY banter ✘ The plot? was ALL OVER the place ✘ CRINGEY relationship moments. ALL OF THEM. ✘ I’m confused ✘ CRINGEY writing style STAND-OUT SCENES INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO: ✘ "I've desired/loved him for 3 years but he never noticed" ✘ "l'm wrong, he felt the same!" ✘ "He's my bf now, YAY!" ✘ “I hate my bf’s ex!” ✘ “omg, he's getting expelled from school!” ✘ “omg, my life is over now that my baby is getting expelled!” ✘ “I hate my bf’s ex!” ✘ “omg, we’ll never see each other again!” ✘ “omg, he just said on NATIONAL TV that he doesn’t have a girlfriend!” ✘ “omg, we just broke up for no good reason!” ✘ “I hate my bf’s ex!” ✘ “omg, he got me A PRESENT!” ✘ “omg, we’re BACK TOGETHER!” ✘ “omg, I think I’m ok with my bf’s ex because her sister is my friend again!” ✘ "WE'RE FINALLY LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER!" I will NOT re-read the first two books in this series because I’m hella scared and don’t want to trash my fetus faves. Buh-bye. --- I read the first two books in this series about 5 years ago and I remember them being a kick-start into reading contemporaries. Now I wonder whether my tastes have changed (since I 5-starred them both), diving into Isla and the Happily Ever After for the first time...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claudia B.

    Oh, book, you were so beautiful. So so perfect. I'm in love with Josh and I'm still in love with St. Clair and still think that Cricket is the most adorable thing in the world. Maybe the romance moved a little too fast but then I remembered that for the other two books we had to wait until the end for the couple to kiss I get together or etcetera and I was more than okay with it. Josh was such a sweetheart. I knew I would love him. I just had this feeling with him. I'm swooning just remembering Oh, book, you were so beautiful. So so perfect. I'm in love with Josh and I'm still in love with St. Clair and still think that Cricket is the most adorable thing in the world. Maybe the romance moved a little too fast but then I remembered that for the other two books we had to wait until the end for the couple to kiss I get together or etcetera and I was more than okay with it. Josh was such a sweetheart. I knew I would love him. I just had this feeling with him. I'm swooning just remembering how cute he was. I'm a happy happy happy reader. BEFORE READING The cover's so pretty it makes me want to cry <3 And I'll have this book my hands in just... THEY MOVED THE PUBLICATION DATE SIX MONTHS (!!). Excuse while I cry my time out...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Keertana

    Sometimes, you can just feel when a novel is about to change your life. Isla changed mine. Stephanie Perkins knows the deepest corners of my heart; the spaces where the darkest secrets and most tragic insecurities lie. In Anna, Lola, Isla--in them she painstakingly reveals, piece-by-piece, the fears I hesitate to lay before even those most beloved to me. But, in doing so, she reminds me that I am not alone in my swirling thoughts. To sit down and curl up with a Stephanie Perkins romance is to los Sometimes, you can just feel when a novel is about to change your life. Isla changed mine. Stephanie Perkins knows the deepest corners of my heart; the spaces where the darkest secrets and most tragic insecurities lie. In Anna, Lola, Isla--in them she painstakingly reveals, piece-by-piece, the fears I hesitate to lay before even those most beloved to me. But, in doing so, she reminds me that I am not alone in my swirling thoughts. To sit down and curl up with a Stephanie Perkins romance is to lose yourself in the flesh-and-blood ideal that you are human; you belong on this Earth. You, with your quirks and flaws and ugly parts, are not an anomaly. I experience such a personal, visceral reaction to the tales Stephanie Perkins weaves. In Isla I could not help but become lost in the lines of Josh's artwork, the strokes of his dreamlike love, or the coils of tension which dictate their tragic love story. Perkins does little to re-build Paris, for location is of next to no importance to either Isla or Josh. Where Anna comes to realize that her home is St. Clair, Isla and Josh measure their romance in distance. Josh returned three hours ago from D.C. Josh's flight left two hours before Isla arrived. Josh is seated across the table from Isla but it feels as if he is across the Atlantic. It's curious, to me, that I re-call my favorite scenes from Anna based on their setting. That heart-warming reconciliation atop Notre Dame. When Etienne buys Anna a collection of love poetry from Shakespeare & Co. Or that moment when St. Clair rests his foot against Anna's in the movie theater as they watch a screening of "It Happened One Night." With Isla it feels as if every moment of the novel melts fluidly together. Isla. Josh. Isla and Josh. Their limbs intertwined, their hearts beating as one, their silent spaces. In comparison to Anna and Lola, both which read--from the surface--to be "just another" contemporary romance with a blossoming love story, indomitable hurdle, and all-too-happy reconciliation, Isla is intense, explosive, and--dare I say it?--sensual. It feels distinctly foreign from any brand of American romance, merely because it is such a tangle of limbs, mess of hearts, and all-round love affair. What Isla and Josh share is far more than a simple love affair but the pacing, the sensation, the hit-you-in-the-feels emotions...surely nothing but the movies can feel this way? But Stephanie Perkins not only forces you to believe it on paper, she makes you believe it in life too. I want a romance like Isla and Josh; passionate, understanding, and messy. Forget Anna and St. Clair, Lola and Cricket, because Isla and Josh are the love story I never even knew I craved. Like I said, this woman knows my heart better than I do. For readers, Isla will most likely surprise, not because of its protagonist, but rather because Josh comes alive in a manner we never knew possible until this tale. We imagine we know him through Anna's lens but, in truth, it's such a tiny facet of the person he truly is. What I love most about Josh, beyond his encompassing, incredible artistic talent, is the fact that he is far removed from the ideal boyfriend. Not only is he on the verge of being expelled from high school but he treats those threats with disdain, ignoring high school for he believes he has found his true calling. On paper, I wouldn't want to know Josh, let alone date him, but through Isla's eyes we grow to see him as more than the qualities which define him. Yet, for me, Isla remains the soul of this novel. Whether it be her insecurities, her strengths, her weaknesses, her mistakes; I understood her. I felt connected with Anna, likely because of her initial out-of-body experience in arriving to Paris and, later, because it's simply impossible not to root for her. With Isla, though, I felt a kindred spirit. I'm not petite or pale or ginger. I don't share Isla's physical appearance and, even mentally, I am not nearly as introverted or painfully frightened as she is. But I used to be. And, even now, I sympathized with Isla's struggle to break out of her bubble. Even now, I feel scared about my unknown future and the adventures college may bring--but like Isla, I'm more excited than scared. I lose myself in a book. I use studying as a coping method to forget about the difficulties in my life. I typically have nothing but time on my hands to devote to school work that when I do decide to pursue an endeavor solely for myself or take time to meet a friend it shows in a slight drop in my GPA and the unfairness of life hits me all over again. So many lines in this novel felt as if they were straight out of my head that I could scarcely believe it. Isla, in many ways, chronicles my own journey of growth, albeit in a far more romantic way (isn't that always the case, though?). Moreover, Isla is the romance novel I've been clamoring for; the one which explores the hurdles in making a relationship work. With Isla not only must Isla come to terms with the tight friend circle Josh shares outside of the school they both attend but Josh, too, must learn how to ingratiate himself into Isla's already-established lifestyle and friendships. It's a dance, in so many ways, finding that perfect space where real life, friendship, and romance can all exist as one and, as Perkins writes it, it isn't easy. Not in the least. I could go on about Isla for ages and, likely, still be unable to reveal anything concrete about the story without spoiling the tale for you. It's passion. It's adolescence. It's growth. It's Stephanie Perkins. Of course it's goddamn perfect.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Haleema

    And who am I to become without him? That's it. That is the problem of this book. The dependence. Glorifying and romanticizing the idea of depending on someone for your happiness or well being. Not being able to imagine a life without this person. Not even acknowledging a life before you even knew this person existed. This is the entire book. Now there was a time when I loved Anna and the French Kiss and all its pretentious characters, the fluff, and the exaggeration of teenage love. There was a t And who am I to become without him? That's it. That is the problem of this book. The dependence. Glorifying and romanticizing the idea of depending on someone for your happiness or well being. Not being able to imagine a life without this person. Not even acknowledging a life before you even knew this person existed. This is the entire book. Now there was a time when I loved Anna and the French Kiss and all its pretentious characters, the fluff, and the exaggeration of teenage love. There was a time I was charmed by St. Clair. There was a time when I loved the idea of a boy cheating on his girlfriend to be with someone. There was a time when I thought all that shit was cute. And that was a long time ago. But it's not cute. It's maddening. Firstly, I will not be talking about Perkins' writing or her plot. This review is more about the characters. I'll start with the main character. Isla is a 17-year-old girl who doesn't have life figured out yet, except that she's been madly in love with Josh for three years. She's annoying, pretentious, needy, and expects everyone to kiss her feet and put her first because of what she's gone through. She reminds me of Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries. She uses her past experiences to manipulate others into doing what she wants them to do. She has no friends besides Kurt. Therefore, she spends most of her time studying and inadvertently placing herself at the top of her class. According to her, it "just happened." As if getting to the top of your class is as natural as growing pubic hair. It just happens. Lol, what the fuck is she on about? Is she not conscious of her decisions? Is she disregarding the fact that the process of getting to the top of your class involves actual hard work, intelligence, and sacrifice? Throughout the book, she continues to act all self righteous with her claims when clearly she is full of shit. And I will mention these instances through two of the main male characters, Josh and Kurt. Her relationship with Josh is very unhealthy. They both claim that they were madly in love with each other since the very beginning. Beginning meaning when they used to see each other do mundane shit like walking or reading a book at Starbucks, not actually sitting down and spending time with each other. Her life begins and ends with Josh. These two can't ever imagine a life where they are separated or think for themselves. Their plans always revolve around each other. It just makes me feel as if I'm not knowing Isla herself, but only the Isla that is with Josh. There was barely any character development. Now about the false sense of self righteousness she has. She mentioned several times that she wants to be included in the "ugly parts" of Josh's life... except when he was with Rashmi and not her. Except when things were about Josh's friends and not her. Except when it was about Josh himself and not her. And those parts were "ugly" according to Isla. She never wants to respect that he too once dated Rashmi. She is always telling him or implying how repulsed she is with his previous relationships. Does she have any comprehension of how people are? That they don't just revolve around one person? She also cries to him, saying that she was only in, like, 8 pages of his entire book, finally acknowledging that he actually had a life before her. Of course he did, but why cry over it and make things awkward? Why ruin a beautiful and personal moment? And even when Josh insinuated that she was a selfish piece of shit for doing that, she CONTINUES to criticize more of his scenes and the transitioning instead of taking a hint. And we all know she doesn't actually care about the transitioning or the blank spaces or whatever the fuck she thinks she knows about his book. That's just her pathetic way of asking WHY AM I NOT EVERYWHERE. There's something called common courtesy and she's got none. So she cries and cries and makes everything about her. So Josh, being Josh, changes his book just to fit her damn needs. Just to ease her insecurities. Why the fuck should HE have to change his personal form of creativity? Why the fuck was she even criticising such personal work in the first place? Who does that? Instead of bettering themselves and putting themselves first, especially Isla, they use each other to fulfill their needs. I am obviously not against all relationships and I am not shaming those who naturally find their beauty through others. That happens to most of us at some point in our lives. But what happens when things change? When those same people you thought you would spend the rest of your life with are not in your life anymore? Then who do you depend on? You have to become your own anchor. It's never easy but it's worth it. And it's just what I have seen my entire life. That you cannot fully depend on someone. And in Isla's case, she was never her own anchor. She never came to terms with herself. Thus, I could never relate to her. By all means, feel free to express your opinion on this matter because it is complex. I am not the narrow minded bitch some people think I am. I wanted to save this for last because it's just downright infuriating. Kurt is Isla's best friend. They've been together for ages. Yet none of that matters to me because I cannot get over how Isla treated Kurt throughout this whole book. She claims that she knows a lot about him and that she can't tolerate when others treat him bad when all she did was use him and throw him away when he didn't do what she wanted him to do. As if he's a machine she can handle. Especially when she yelled at him for not being able to lie for her when she decided to go out with Josh. Why, for once in your life, couldn't you just lie? That's all you had to do. I'm sorry, but was she not aware of Kurt's autism? Or does she get to simply throw that away so that things go exactly as she planned? That's such a fucked up thing to say. She is blind to everything else except Josh. She is blind to how she makes Kurt feel. And that is not something I can call "romantic." That's destructive. Not once did she ever think Oh. Maybe I am a raging bitch to my best friend and I need to get my fucking priorities sorted. Kurt may be her best friend but she does absolutely nothing for him. She treats him like shit and uses him when she wants to freak out about Josh. She spends her time with Kurt, but talks about Josh 24/7. And even after Kurt mentions how much of a shitty person she is to him, she completely ignores it, claiming that she's already going through a more painful experience and she doesn't need more problems in her life. I have absolutely no sympathy for a girl like Isla. And the one time I was looking for her to genuinely apologize for treating Kurt like that (since she apologized to Josh of course), Kurt apologizes to her. I'm sorry I couldn't lie for you. Kurt apologizes to Isla for not being able to lie for her so that she and her boyfriend could have their beautiful adventure. An autistic person had to apologize for not being able to do what others can. Kurt had to apologize for something he has little to no control over. I have an autistic sister. I have personally seen people use her and tell her to do things for them all while knowing exactly how she is and why she cannot do it. And it hurts me. It hurts me because I have seen my sister apologize and cry to me for not being able to do what others can. For not being able to stand up for herself like I can. How is this right? Fuck this book for using autistic people like puppets. For changing them to suit other people's needs. Kurt never had an actual role in this book. He had no substance, no free will. He wasn't even himself by the end of the book. He was just there so that Perkins can seem more open and look cool for representing an autistic person in one of her books. When she actually did little to nothing to bring justice to his character and his condition. When she actually knows nothing about what autism is. This book was just awful and problematic in so many ways. Also, I could have related to the main character if she wasn't such a rotten bitch and so self centered.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    I really can't wait for this book and I hope to love it just as much as I loved Anna! (which btw, is quite a whole damn lot!) Taken from the author's blog - this will be my Josh from now on :D So, I read this today... "Finishing Lola was the hardest thing that I have ever done. It left me mentally, physically, and spiritually barren. I was close to quitting . . . everything. It's taken me a long time to recover, and I'm only feeling like myself again now, about six months later. As I've learned wi I really can't wait for this book and I hope to love it just as much as I loved Anna! (which btw, is quite a whole damn lot!) Taken from the author's blog - this will be my Josh from now on :D So, I read this today... "Finishing Lola was the hardest thing that I have ever done. It left me mentally, physically, and spiritually barren. I was close to quitting . . . everything. It's taken me a long time to recover, and I'm only feeling like myself again now, about six months later. As I've learned with many hard situations in life, the only thing that can really heal a person is time. What I'm saying is this: I need more time." [if you wish to read more, it might be on Steph's blog, but I took it from here.] So I thought.. yeah, for me as well finishing Lola was quite hard (to read, that is). But I am happy... because this being said I think that this time Stephanie will write again for herself not for the audience, and I will enjoy once again her story (yeah, i know that bunch of you loved Lola, but I didn't.. sue me! And I know that some of you didn't like Anna, but I did, and I hope that Isla will be more like Anna and less like Lola.. deal with it!) So what I am saying is that I understand her, I hate pressure too, and I hope that she will take her time and enjoy writing the next book (and all those that might come after Isla). I love her writing and I can't wait for more! ----------- Sneak Peek update: [18 jun 2014] ------------- Well, I can't judge a book by the first chapters but it seems cute so far. Josh has been my favourite character in "Anna and the french kiss" so I can't wait to hear more about him. He strikes me as really alone and sad, hopefully this story will bring him his happily ever after. -------- Post-reading quick note: [18 aug 2014] ---------- I am not really sure how I feel about this story. In terms of ratings, this is a 3/3.5stars book for me. That's simple. And I don't even feel bad about it, as it will soon rain with 5stars reviews, I assure you. Everything else though is all different shades of complicated. Note: those are real spoilers in the spoiler tags, though not precisely major ones. The beginning was actually incredibly cute and funny (even a bit childish, though in a pretty good way), up until Barcelona (view spoiler)[ when everything started to fall apart - for them and for me (hide spoiler)] . The ending was also absolutely romantic and sweet, not only because of Etienne & Anna & Co, but also because Josh is such a sweetheart. -- Also, as a personal note - I am petite and as a teen I've been quite shy, so I could relate to so many comments and moments in the story. I kept giggling and imagining that some scenes were meant for me specifically. -- But it's the middle part that I had to struggle with, it was probably Isla that I didn't connect with during those times (view spoiler)[ and the temporary absence of Josh made it even more difficult (hide spoiler)] .. Truthfully, it was all.. too much. The misunderstandings and the miscommunication and the silly jealousy and all those insecurities. It took too much paper space and I kind of forgot how much I liked Josh and Isla together (as a couple) to begin with. They barely knew each other and then there was all this drama that felt quite a bit exaggerated and overdone (view spoiler)[ - and Isla can say whatever she feels like saying, but she did like the edited book because there was more of herself and less of Rashmi in it (hide spoiler)] . You might say that this happened in "Anna..." too, and I won't be able to tell you why it worked better in that book. I did like Isla, I do love Josh, but they did the same mistakes the other couples did before them: they spent too much time being miserable just because they couldn't speak their mind and say they were sorry, or better yet just kiss and make up (already!). The thing is... I dearly missed the magic of unknown places, I missed the romance, the falling in love. Josh is an artist, his story should've left me breathless, but there was too much angst on Isla's side that I could barely feel all that. But again, I loved the ending - for the book and for the series. It left us in a sweet place and it put a big smile on my lips. "Isla and the Happily Ever After" is a nice story and I do feel that other people will enjoy it a lot more, even with all the confusing/frustrating moments in it. Full review to come soon... ____________________________________________ Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO) ____________________________________________

  17. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    4-4.5 ish stars If I had to descibe this book in one sentence, it would be "typical." It's cute, and i'm sure if it's midsummertime and you're looking for something light and cutesie, this would completely fit the bill. I guess reading this back-to-back with Lola wasn't the best idea though because they were two both very predictable and light stories. I liked this significantly more than Lola, but I still gotta say that Anna takes the cake. I loved how you get to see all of the stories intertwin 4-4.5 ish stars If I had to descibe this book in one sentence, it would be "typical." It's cute, and i'm sure if it's midsummertime and you're looking for something light and cutesie, this would completely fit the bill. I guess reading this back-to-back with Lola wasn't the best idea though because they were two both very predictable and light stories. I liked this significantly more than Lola, but I still gotta say that Anna takes the cake. I loved how you get to see all of the stories intertwine, and especially how you got to see Anna and Etienne's relationship progress in the background of each story. It was so cute!! But the focus of this book is Isla and Josh, who I thought were a spectacular couple. The middle got frustrating because of the angst, but in this case, I totally understood Isla's thought processes and her fears, so I was able to connect with her somewhat throughout the middle of this book that got very angsty. You can't really go wrong with cutesie relationship books like these, so it was enjoyable overall. I like Stephanie Perkins, but dare I say it, I don't really understand the hype behind her. The first book in this trilogy was really really good, but don't feel like you need to continue with the rest just because it's a series. The rest, in my opinion, were just kinda okay.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    So the thing that really gets on my tits about the Sex and the City movies is that they totally a blow a hole through the conclusion of the TV series, which tied up every single loose end in quite a feat of writing: you've all read and watched those series that end in a black screen and leave the audience furiously hanging (prime example being The Sopranos) and don't pretend you weren't royally cheesed. I know I was. There's also those series that you wish would end because they've gone too far, So the thing that really gets on my tits about the Sex and the City movies is that they totally a blow a hole through the conclusion of the TV series, which tied up every single loose end in quite a feat of writing: you've all read and watched those series that end in a black screen and leave the audience furiously hanging (prime example being The Sopranos) and don't pretend you weren't royally cheesed. I know I was. There's also those series that you wish would end because they've gone too far, we're in way too deep, and the characters have already played through like seven arcs to the point where they're not even characters anymore, they're like fan fiction. You know those series. Like Supernatural or Nip/Tuck. (I loved Nip/Tuck but please don't tell me that you thought the LA seasons were anywhere near as satisfying at those set in Miami. I was mildly interested in the storyline with the girl who tried to poison Joely Richardson, and when Kimber did meth, but that's pretty much it.) I think the only thing I actually liked about the SATC movies was that Charlotte got pregnant. That was it. I hated that Stanford and Anthony got together because the whole point of their hatred for one another was to subvert the trope where two characters who are gay ALWAYS end up together just because they're gay (also I LOVED Marcus). I hate that Samantha and Smith break up because their relationship defied the idea that being sexually fluid and having a long history of sexual partners means that fidelity is impossible: Samantha found the person who understood her and who she wanted to spend her life with without even trying. What does that say? Stop carving yourself up into a different person just to find love. Stop letting your life revolve around it. It'll come to you. There's also the fact that I'm in love with Smith and I think he's by far the best male SATC character. I also hate that Steve cheats on Miranda, and basically, why? Why did the writers even do that? Steve would never cheat on Miranda. Steve and Miranda, even when they were dating other people or arguing about that damn puppy or running away from each other on the street, always had eyes for no one but each other. Miranda walked away from Dr. Robert (this dude honestly needed to step back, take a breath, and fucking chill) to be with Steve even after Robert confessed his love. Steve had a serious relationship with Debbie that he immediately gave up to be with Miranda. Yes, things change down the line and people's feelings evolve but Steve and Miranda's relationship went on for years. They were together and apart almost as many times as Carrie and Big were. And yet they always came back to one another. Steve was the making of Miranda in terms of her emotional story arc - while Charlotte's arc was about how perfection is unattainable and sometimes it's the imperfect people who are truly perfect for you, Miranda's was about being strong enough to let other people into your life and to separate being independent from being selfish. It was an incredible piece of character development. But then suddenly Steve blasts out of character and sleeps with someone else? He was always the more committed of the two. Ugh, I could write an 800,000-word thesis on Steve and Miranda! Carrie and Big are the worst part of the movies because, like I said before, all of the tied ends for them are completely undone. It's debatable whether or not Carrie learned anything over the course of the series, or rather anything as substantial as Charlotte and Miranda. I guess Carrie learns to come to terms with who she is - not the marrying kind, or the mothering kind, and that's okay, because being a woman doesn't mean that you are compelled to have a ring on your finger or a baby to breastfeed. That's cool. Makes sense. Big's development, on the other hand, ran deep: Carrie spent years chasing after him because he was unavailable, when he finally realizes that he's wasting time that he could have spent being happy with Carrie because of his own selfishness, their dynamic flips and he goes after her. He's a selfish commitment-phobe and he realizes this when finally Carrie tells him to fuck off and leave her alone once and for all. For a guy who's been famously unavailable for years, running to Paris to find her was huge. And then. AND THEN THERE WAS THE MOVIE. What in the fresh hell were the writers thinking by having Big leave Carrie at the altar? Why are Carrie and Big even getting married? A pivotal point was when Carrie threw up over the idea of getting married and then Big understood her: "You're not the marrying kind". Carrie threw a wobbler but deep down she knew that he was right, and that he knew her better than anyone, because Carrie never wanted to be married or have a child and Big embraced that. Big was a fucking jerk for most of the series but you can't deny that he and Carrie were a match made in...not heaven, and not hell, but someplace in between where things fit nicely together. They were a match made in IKEA. But all of that gets flushed down the shitter with the movies. Big was an interesting character because he was written so that he teetered juuuust on the edge of being hatable, but didn't quite take the plunge. You kinda have to like him because Carrie's so obviously in love with him for the entire show, just like Rachel was in love with Ross from the moment he touched her butt and she laughed at him, even after the beach thing, even after the break thing, even after Emily and the baby and Dermot Mulroney on the balcony. Alas, the movies ham-fistedly tear apart Big's strange, guilty likability and make him the villain of this story. There's even this dumbass attempt to make it Carrie's fault for planning a lavish wedding, even though he didn't object to it, even though she looked beautiful and happy, even though it was just one fucking day and even if he didn't like that the wedding was a "circus" he should have just gritted his teeth and let it be as retribution for all the ways in which he'd stabbed Carrie through her heart in the last ten years. I cry every single time I watch the first movie because it's just so fucking horrible how it goes down. It's not even nostalgic tears or tears like, "oh, this is bad, but it's going to be okay!". It's the kind of tears I cried when I watched Up. Tears of abominable sadness. This book gives me similar feelings - not that it's sad so I cried until I was licking mascara off my lips, but that it takes the charm and the beauty and the wholesomeness of the last two books and makes something that just barely works. It's not that I hated Isla and the Happily Ever After but did I think it was necessary? No. Did I need to watch as the sweet, intelligent beauty of the last two books was crowned with a volume that's little more than two people crying and fucking and then crying again and then sabotaging their own relationship? No. This is the movie to Lola and Anna's TV series. The only good part was Anna and St. Clair getting engaged, which made me cry because it was sweet, just after Isla and Josh made me cry because they're a pair of idiots who need their noggins knocked together. I kinda liked Josh in Anna's book, but only in a superficial way. We got a glimpse into Isla, and how she protected Anna when Anna was scrapping with that girl in the dorms. But was there a glimpse of that brave, reserved girl in this book? Nada. Isla, like most of Perkins' heroines, cries constantly. She cries when she eats and when she sleeps and when she goes on dates and when she sits on the roof. If you make a character cry enough, it stops having any kind of impact. I feel like critics would write this about me if my life were a reality TV show. 'This Kiki character is okay, but does she have to keep fucking crying? Make it stop.' Like the movies butchered SATC's essence of four women going their own ways, finding people they could love but still adoring each other above anyone else, Isla butchered Perkins' prior charming innocence and subtlety and gave us this great bulldozer of running and chasing and snot running down people's faces. It was a clunky melodrama where Anna and Lola's stories were sweet and tentative. I enjoyed the sex positivity and the frankness of the way sex was portrayed but nothing else about Josh and Isla's relationship screamed HEALTHY to me. The whole thing consisted of Isla begrudging Josh's upbringing and Josh sabotaging this fabulous education he's been offered and both of them being so immature that their "love" is doomed to fail. What I love about Perkins is that she captures the dramatics and the theatrics of young love - at least, she does for Anna and Lola. Their stories were filled with just the right level of melodrama, the writing just deft enough to keep them likeable even as they flopped around doing the stupidest shit imaginable. But Isla's story is like a pantomime and even with all of this sparkle and flair and running around and crying like the world is ending, I was left feeling sort of empty. My mother says that what she hates about Ross and Emily's relationship in Friends is that they're always running. Always breathless and whirling around and rushing off and being so impulsive that it's not even cute, it's grating. Granted, she would probably rather have root canal than watch a car chase or a fantasy movie, but I get where she's coming from. Isla and Josh are like Ross and Emily. They're like Carrie and Big in the SATC movies. They go a step too far and it fucks up the magical atmosphere and the romance of the stories they were built on. This is the problem with series finales, I guess. You hear more complaints about middle books, but it's always the finales I dread the most. They either get it or they don't; you either leave the series inspired or disappointed. I suppose this one's the latter.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner

    I like the cover. I just wish we got to see Isla and Josh on the cover just like we did with previous couples. OMG! This book has softened my cold heart. I cried two times- when Lola and Cricket appeared and in the end because this book was beautiful. It wasn't as good as the first two but it was good in it's own special way. I loved the way Stephanie incorporated her own personal issues into Josh's character. It took some courage to write a less bubbly version of herself. I got used to her easyg I like the cover. I just wish we got to see Isla and Josh on the cover just like we did with previous couples. OMG! This book has softened my cold heart. I cried two times- when Lola and Cricket appeared and in the end because this book was beautiful. It wasn't as good as the first two but it was good in it's own special way. I loved the way Stephanie incorporated her own personal issues into Josh's character. It took some courage to write a less bubbly version of herself. I got used to her easygoing way, even when her characters were dealing with serious problems. Isla was so much darker and moodier than Anna and Lola. Josh was a mystery almost until the end. And even now, I'm not sure who he is. He's not afraid to cry in front of Isla so i give him props for that. He was abandoned by his friends a couple of times and he felt everything else was always more important than him. Isla is the only Stephanie's female character I didn't have anything in common. So far, I could see a lot of my traits in not only Lola and Anna but also in Etienne and Cricket. Now, even Josh. But I can't find anything similar between Isla and myself. Maybe that's a good thing. Mrs.Perkins took a step farther with the sex scene. I have to applaud her for that. It's not a easy thing to write about, especially since a lot of young readers love her work. Can't believe this trilogy is finally over. I'm already looking forward to the day when I'll re-read them all. I'll never forget them and Stephanie Perkins will forever be on my auto-buy list.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ninoska Goris

    Español - English Sin ninguna duda, este es mi libro favorito de la serie. Se ve mucho crecimiento en los personajes y adoro a Josh. Aunque me pareció forzado darle un final conjunto a las tres parejas de la serie en este libro. -- Without a doubt, this is my favorite book of the series. You see a lot of growth in the characters and I love Josh. Although it felt forced to give a joint end to the three couples in the series in this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    “I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?” When I first saw that this book would be about Josh and Isla, two characters that have first been introduced in AATFK, I must say that I wasn’t too excited about it. He just didn’t seem to be a very interesting character in the first book but I think I had that impression because you just didn’t le “I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?” When I first saw that this book would be about Josh and Isla, two characters that have first been introduced in AATFK, I must say that I wasn’t too excited about it. He just didn’t seem to be a very interesting character in the first book but I think I had that impression because you just didn’t learn a lot about him in the first book except that his girlfriend and he spend almost every free second together. But his girlfriend isn’t there anymore which allowed him to get into a new relationship and quite early in the book, you actually realize that Josh is quite an interesting character. I really liked how you learn a lot about his past and also about the time that was written about in AATFK. You get to learn a little more about Anna and St. Clair’s relationship from his point of view and you also learn the entire story of Josh and Rashmi’s relationship which was very interesting. I also loved his passion for art and really hope this book will one day be made into a movie just so that I can see someone draw what Stephanie Perkins described in this book. Sex also played quite a big role in this book. In AATFK it was only mentioned once or twice but in LATBND it was already a bigger part of the story, so it only made sense that it would play an important role in this book even though it isn’t often discussed in YA books. I also loved that this book’s plot was different from the plots of the first two books. In AATFK and LATBND we had one person who was in a relationship while the other person wasn’t and over the course of the book, they slowly realized that they’re more than friends. But in IATHEA they get into a relationship at an early point of the book and so you get to read about how their relationship develops and what problems they have to face. Another thing that I loved is that we got to see Anna, St. Clair, Meredith, Lola and Cricket again. I just love how all three books in this series are connected with each other and the scenes with those characters almost made me cry in happiness. If you haven’t read the book yet, go read it and you’ll exactly know what moment I’m talking about. But there were also two things that annoyed me a little and made me not give this book all five stars. For one, Isla was a little annoying at some points of the books even though she was by far not as annoying as Lola sometimes was. Furthermore, the ending of this book was incredibly cheesy. It was just way too much for me and even though I really like Josh and Isla, I just couldn’t enjoy the last scene of this book even though they’re a cute couple. All in all, this was once again a cute and quick read and I really enjoyed it. I still love Stephanie Perkins’ writing style and she remains one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors! 4 out of 5 stars for “Isla and the Happily Ever After”.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    I do enjoy young adult romance- no secret but it’s a different matter when a book has nothing else but romance in it-that I’m not a huge fan of. I’m afraid and I regret to say that for me, Isla and the Happily Ever After falls under that category. Despite the awful love triangle, I have to admit that I still liked Lola and the Boy Next Door and despite the soap opera vibe of the Anna and the French Kiss, I could honestly say that it’s still my favorite of the three. I’m not sure what happened w I do enjoy young adult romance- no secret but it’s a different matter when a book has nothing else but romance in it-that I’m not a huge fan of. I’m afraid and I regret to say that for me, Isla and the Happily Ever After falls under that category. Despite the awful love triangle, I have to admit that I still liked Lola and the Boy Next Door and despite the soap opera vibe of the Anna and the French Kiss, I could honestly say that it’s still my favorite of the three. I’m not sure what happened with the third or maybe that’s exactly it, nothing much happened unless we’re talking about what happens when someone knowingly asks you “did something happen between you two?” I do appreciate the settings (which include Manhattan, Paris and Spain) and the minor characters, particularly Kurt and Hattie who were mainly the reason I decided to stick with the story. I also liked the last few chapters especially when the characters from books one through three reunite but for the most parts, I felt like there isn’t much in it except for a girl’s beyond serious obsession over a boy, boy eventually reciprocating the feeling and then lustful desires fulfilled only made a bit complicated with something not really complicated but eventually resolved with a happily ever after. *le sigh* I have a feeling that this is just a strong case of “it’s not you book, it’s me” so allow me to usher you to a more positive and really enjoyable review of the novel. Ayesha’s review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Major

    Stephanie Perkins slays. As the last in the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, I was very pleased to return to France in this book. This instalment takes place between two characters, Isla and Josh who attend the same boarding school in Paris. They are both characters that have been previously mentioned in Anna and the French Kiss. It is their senior year and they wallow through the struggles of the love, the future, insecurities, friendships, balance and happiness. I gave Isla and the Happily Ev Stephanie Perkins slays. As the last in the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, I was very pleased to return to France in this book. This instalment takes place between two characters, Isla and Josh who attend the same boarding school in Paris. They are both characters that have been previously mentioned in Anna and the French Kiss. It is their senior year and they wallow through the struggles of the love, the future, insecurities, friendships, balance and happiness. I gave Isla and the Happily Ever After 5/5 stars. I really enjoyed this book and especially liked how it tied all 3 books together. I was pleasantly surprised with questions that I thought wouldn't be answered in Lola and the Boy Next Door, were addressed in this book. (You can read about my questions and thoughts of Lola and the Boy Next Door here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) The first few pages I believed Isla to be quite a cringy character, until we learn that she was on pain medication and thus acting rather loopy. After understanding that and as the book progressed, I grew to quite enjoy Isla as a character, just as I did with Anna in Anna and the French Kiss. Josh was a very intriguing character, very different from the other protagonists in the series. I really liked him and am glad we got to explore his story. THE ENDING! You know if you've read this book was a very 'AWEH OMG SO CUTE MOMENT' (view spoiler)[ The way St. Clair proposed to Anna!!!! Freaking adorable. AND THEN JOSH STANDING OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN WAITING FOR ISLA TO READ THAT PART OF HIS MEMOIR LIKE GAAAAHH (hide spoiler)] I really admire how Stephanie Perkins creates such relatable, enjoyable and for the most part well-liked characters. Her books have this quick flow to it and is full of jokes. One of the main things I liked about Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After especially was the exploration of France and different countries. Discussing nooks and crannies of Paris and sight seeing places. I am actually going to Paris with my family this July so I loved to read about the hidden colosseum and other landmarks/cafes/cool places. I'm going to try to visit a couple of the places that I thought sounded pretty cool in the books. Overall, I am extremely happy with the book, these are like the rom-com's of YA and I love it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha

    Welcome to whatever this.....thing is! ✎ Chapter 1: (meet cute) Hmmmmmm ---Aren't Isla and gang basically a bunch of teenagers with first world problems. Girls are whiny and annoying(because stereotype) having cute-boy-won't-notice me syndrome and boys are sweet and cute and lovely and artistic and lovely and charismatic and funny and hawt and kind and everything and say quotes worthy sentences example “I don’t care about anything. But I care about you.” Hmmmmmmmmm There is a chance we might get Welcome to whatever this.....thing is! ✎ Chapter 1: (meet cute) Hmmmmmm ---Aren't Isla and gang basically a bunch of teenagers with first world problems. Girls are whiny and annoying(because stereotype) having cute-boy-won't-notice me syndrome and boys are sweet and cute and lovely and artistic and lovely and charismatic and funny and hawt and kind and everything and say quotes worthy sentences example “I don’t care about anything. But I care about you.” Hmmmmmmmmm There is a chance we might get diabetes from all the sweetness and adorableness around. Awwwwwwww Hmmmmmm sometimes the boys are whiny too. I’m eighteen, and my parents took away my phone. ---But we don't care anyway because FEELS. ✎ Some chapters later: (the main plot or lack of it) -INSTALOVE -A trip to Barcelona(+1 for that) -DRAMA -SOMEMOREDRAMA Hmmmmmmmmmmm *still doesn't care because St.Clair aka the French guy with an English accent who goes to an American school with a Canadian sticker on his backpack got a cameo* Definitely Awwwwwwww ✎ The End: I love yous, Happily ever after. Probably the best title to ever grace a book's cover. Even smarter than Anna and the French Kiss. X) Edited: 9/20/2016

  25. 5 out of 5

    grace

    4.5! So cute!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    AHHHHHH OH MY GOD. 5am and I have finally finished this beauty, I could not put it down. Freaking fantastic.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    2.5 stars. Ok so the first two books were super cute and definitely some of my favorite YA contemporaries (even if I wasn't a fan of how Lola treated Cricket). I flew through those and would totally reread them. This... was a bit of an effort to get through. I didn't particularly care about the characters OR their story. The only thing I really kept reading for was any mention of Anna, Etienne, Lola, Cricket, or the familiar SOAP setting. But otherwise the main story is how Isla finally gets to d 2.5 stars. Ok so the first two books were super cute and definitely some of my favorite YA contemporaries (even if I wasn't a fan of how Lola treated Cricket). I flew through those and would totally reread them. This... was a bit of an effort to get through. I didn't particularly care about the characters OR their story. The only thing I really kept reading for was any mention of Anna, Etienne, Lola, Cricket, or the familiar SOAP setting. But otherwise the main story is how Isla finally gets to date the guy she's had a crush on forever but isn't sure if she's worth being loved. Something about their romance was more irritating than cute, though.... I was honestly pretty bored and disconnected from the whole thing. The characters weren't as strong as in previous books, they didn't have as much development, aaaand there wasn't much of a plot overall. I kept waiting for the story to start. BUT seeing the small scenes with the old characters from other stories made me so happy :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    “Do adults realize how lucky they are? Or do they forget that these small moments are actually small miracles? I don’t want to ever forget.” 3.5/5 stars Isla was not as good as Anna but way better than Lola. I enjoyed returning to Paris, but some of the magic in Anna was lost. Out of all the guys I liked Josh the most. It was interesting to read about how the relationship between the protagonists unfolds - in comparison to them usually having the first kiss on those last 50 pages. I really liked th “Do adults realize how lucky they are? Or do they forget that these small moments are actually small miracles? I don’t want to ever forget.” 3.5/5 stars Isla was not as good as Anna but way better than Lola. I enjoyed returning to Paris, but some of the magic in Anna was lost. Out of all the guys I liked Josh the most. It was interesting to read about how the relationship between the protagonists unfolds - in comparison to them usually having the first kiss on those last 50 pages. I really liked that. Sexuality also plays a big part in this third installment, and it just seemed right. I did not have the feeling that it was rushed or awkward, no, it seemed fitting and it really surprised me, since sex is usually not a thing that happens too often in regular YA romance novels. Of course, the melodrama could not be missing and it totally annoyed me again, destroying what was a wonderful relationship. The ending was EXTREMELY cheesy. So cheesy. Cheesy. Find more of my books on Instagram

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jiana

    “There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.” I started Isla and the Happily Ever After with pretty low expectations. After reading Anna and the French Kiss and absolutely loving it, I picked up Lola and the Boy Next Door and absolutely hated it. This one turned out to be in between. I quite enjoyed it, but it wasn't as cute and good as Anna and the French Kiss. I would describe Isla and Josh's relationship as cute and annoying at the same time. Some parts I was grinning like “There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.” I started Isla and the Happily Ever After with pretty low expectations. After reading Anna and the French Kiss and absolutely loving it, I picked up Lola and the Boy Next Door and absolutely hated it. This one turned out to be in between. I quite enjoyed it, but it wasn't as cute and good as Anna and the French Kiss. I would describe Isla and Josh's relationship as cute and annoying at the same time. Some parts I was grinning like an idiot at how cute they were, other times I was rolling my eyes at how overly sappy they were. They're the type of couple who thinks it's the end of the world if they don't see each other a long time. Yeah, no. It's too sappy for my taste. Isla is... well, I really don't know how to describe her. She's adorable, but sometimes needy, immature and selfish. The way she handled issues related to Josh's ex, Rashmi, for example and how she treated her best friend, Kurt, at times, another example. As for Josh, I love him, okay. I love him a lot. I was excited to read his story ever since I finished Anna and the French Kiss. He's just so precious. He did mess up one big time in the book. I'm aware he didn't mean for it to seem that way, but come on, Josh sweetie, think. I absolutely loved the cameo at the end, basically all the characters from the previous books appear: Étienne, Anna, Lola, Cricket and Meredith. I smiled widely when Étienne showed up because I absolutely adore him. And Étienne and Anna are just aksjdsjkjksau, I love their relationship! Lola... well if you've read my Lola and the Boy Next Door review, you'd know I pretty much can't stand her and I never really cared for her and Cricket's relationship. Still, I loved the cameo as a whole! Weirdly, I enjoyed Stephanie Perkins's writing in Anna and the French Kiss. However, here? I didn't really like it. I was annoyed with it most of the time. I recommend this book because it serves its purpose. You want something fluffy, fast and cute? Definitely pick this one up, unless you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss before! Then definitely pick up Anna and the French Kiss first!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    During the first half of the book I was slightly disappointed because everything was just too cliche and they fell in love so fast, I expected more from Stephanie Perkins... But then, she did it like she always does! THIS WOMAN IS A QUEEN!!! She manages to have control over my emotions with her perfect characters and writing, this book was no exception! Isla and Josh were beyond cute and I fell in love with them from the very start (even from Anna and the French kiss!!). As I said, their relation During the first half of the book I was slightly disappointed because everything was just too cliche and they fell in love so fast, I expected more from Stephanie Perkins... But then, she did it like she always does! THIS WOMAN IS A QUEEN!!! She manages to have control over my emotions with her perfect characters and writing, this book was no exception! Isla and Josh were beyond cute and I fell in love with them from the very start (even from Anna and the French kiss!!). As I said, their relationship was slightly unrealistic to me but it all backfired later on, making it more believable. Their relationship captivated me I couldn't out this book down! It was nice to have a variety of scenery with this book! I loved going back to Paris but it was nice to have a bit of New York and Barcelona in there too! There is one part of this book when all the charcters from the series meet up and (I'm not going to spoil anything but if you've read it you'll know which bit I mean) I literally has goosebumps and was crying!!! These characters and their ADORABLE relationships are part of me and I really do love them to pieces! The ending was perfect too which just made everything even better!! I will love this series forever and I would absolutely love to see it made into films!! What an emotional roller coaster this series has took me on! I really do think these books have to be some of my favourites and I recommend them to all! Yes, they can be cringey and cliche but wHAT IS NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THAT??? Especially when it is done so well!! I will forever be thankful for the one and only Stephanie Perkins for this series, any book she writes in the future I will not think twice about buying! *hugs these books tightly for eternity*

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