Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Love of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

This book kept me up all night reading… but Anna and the French Kiss remains my favorite in the series. Isla and the Happily Ever after was super sweet and enjoyable, but it’s bittersweet quality left me a little too sad — it reminded be of the brilliance of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in many ways. 

9627755

Series: Anna and the French Kiss, Book 3

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4.5 stars

Description:

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Review:

This book kept me up all night reading… but Anna and the French Kiss remains my favorite in the series. Isla and the Happily Ever after was super sweet and enjoyable, but it’s bittersweet quality left me a little too sad — it reminded be of the brilliance of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in many ways.

Isla and the Happily Ever After is a slight misnomer. (Ending spoilers!) Although it does end in an eventual happily ever after style, with kisses and plans for the future, it takes a heck of a long time to reach that point! This did mean that there was romance earlier on in the book — much earlier than in Anna and Lola’s stories, which both take the entire book to end up with the “true” love. In Isla and the Happily Ever After, the love comes first — then peters off for a short while, which was lovely at the beginning, but made it even more sad at the end (before the real ending, of course).

What I loved about this book were the brief scenes with Anna, St. Clair, Lola, Cricket, and the other characters from the former books. It felt like a special epilogue or bonus short story built right into the sequel, and they were very enjoyable, although disappointingly brief.

I really loved Lola’s character, but I couldn’t stop comparing Josh to St. Clair/Étienne, and St. Clair always came in first. Despite this, Stephanie Perkin’s writing style is exactly what it was in the last two books, and I read the entirety of Isla and the Happily Ever After in a day and a half — unable to put it down for even an instant! Luckily it was published in early September, so I was able to read it before the busy school homework and assigned reading season fully kicked in (this review is a little overdue).

The instant I finished Isla and the Happily Ever After— way past my bed time, and on a school night of course — I wanted to pick up Anna and the French Kiss and read the entire series over again!

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