Release Date: 14th August 2014
Edition: US hardcover/Kindle edition, purchased
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’ beloved series.
After falling in love with Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Year I waited over two years for this book and my expectations were high. Isla and the Happily Ever After was incredible and so worth the wait.
Isla is an adorable heroine. I have to admit that I didn’t remember her from Anna but I loved how shy she is and how genuinely that’s put across. I often hear protagonists being described as shy and then they go on to launch themselves into big social situations, sass complete strangers (usually hot boys) and have a razor comeback for everything, but Isla isn’t like that at all. She forgets to speak and when she does it’s often not what she wanted to say and when she manages to say something witty, she internally congratulates herself! It’s only when she gets to know the people she’s with that she becomes comfortable and confident. Serious props to Stephanie Perkins for accurately portraying shyness.
The realness of Isla just continues. I thought that the way she kept calling Josh her boyfriend in her internal monologue was just adorable. It was almost as if she couldn’t quite believe it – it was the result of a three-year crush, after all – and had to reinforce the idea for it to be real! Isla and the Happily Ever After is such a vibrant and true portrayal of falling in love and how dizzying, but confusing and painful it is. It made my heart ache in all possible ways. I loved that Isla and Josh had their issues. They got scared and did silly things, there were confusions and miscommunications and, finally, a squee inducing happily ever after.
I adore this companion trilogy and though I’m sad it’s over, I can’t wait to see what Stephanie Perkins brings to the table next. I’m pretty sure I’ll love it though.