From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.
Stephanie Perkins really knows how to make readers swoon. Even if you don’t like her books, you have to admit there are moments in them that just make you want to swoon. They also make you look at the world a different way.
Like, I can no longer look at rabbits without flinching after reading Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Before I start this review, I’ll let you know that I was so hyped up about this book that I read it within three hours (total time minus all the breaks I had take because of pesky things like work, lunch, and sleep). The thing is, after I finished it I sort of had a tug a war with myself. While I did swoon over Josh, loved the romantic scenes between him and Isla, and liked the St. Clair and Anna cameos, Isla was probably my least favorite in the series. Which isn’t necessary a bad thing since I enjoyed all these books, but after reading Anna and Lola it was a bit of a downer.
I think what bothered me the most about Isla was the pacing. Josh and Isla fall in love incredibly fast and while Stephanie does this to get to the meat of the story, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would’ve been a better story if it would’ve been about Josh and Rashmi so that I wouldn’t be forced to sort of get over the insta love. And I wouldn’t have horrifying dreams about rabbits.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think Isla and Josh were cute together. They had their moments. The Barcelona scenes were wonderful and swoony, but it was hard for me to root for them when I felt that their relationship was at times superficial.
What I did like was the approach that Stephanie took with this story. I liked that we saw the pitfalls that can occur in a relationship. Those scenes were well done. I liked how Isla was a little bit unsure of herself and a bit of a blank slate. I know a lot of high school seniors who were just like her and that felt right.
I did get annoyed with Isla at times. I think my annoyances with her, go back to my annoyances with Anna. She’s a teenager and she’s going to be annoying at times. But the whole rabbit thing.
I loved bunnies and you sort of ruined that for Isla.
So, thank you.
As for Josh, I don’t know. There were moments I was swooning over him but compared to St. Clair and Cricket, I just didn’t really didn’t get as much a sense of self for him. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like him though. I just think because he and Isla go hot and heavy so fast I didn’ t long for him as much as I did for the other two boys. But did I swoon for him…well, yes. But just a little compared to well the other two.
What I did like about this book was that it’s very obvious that the author took chances. And does it work?
For the most part yes. While there are definite flaws in this novel, it was still highly enjoyable. Anyone who enjoyed the other two books in this feel good melt in your heart series, will enjoy this one. But is it the best…no.
Overall Rating: B. A nice send off, but the other two books kick its ass hands down.