by Hazel Ureta
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. / Read reviews: Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
OMYGOODNESS, THIS BOOK! Stephanie Perkins does it again, making me swoon over the love stories she beautifully creates.
Waiting for Isla and the Happily Ever After, the last book of Perkins’ fabulous companion series, was incredibly tough, especially because its release date was pushed back a few times. With the anticipation the waiting had built up, I had high expectations for this one… and I’m happy to announce it fulfilled each one of them and gave me even more.
There are many reasons why I love Isla and the Happily Ever After that I don’t even know where to begin! The story line was great; the setting—Manhattan, Paris and another European city—was to die for! I couldn’t get enough of reading the book.
But like the ones before it, the heart of this book was its characters. Isla was lovely! She totally had the “crushing-so-hard-on-this-boy” vibe down. Anyone who has ever had a crush will be able to put themselves in her shoes. More importantly, she was realistic and easy to relate to. Throughout the book, she learns to take chances and trust herself enough to be loved by someone. Her character development was not only fantastic to read about, but also inspiring.
Meanwhile, perfection is the only word I can use to describe Josh. Don’t get me wrong—he has his ugly parts and we see him tackle these issues in the book. But, oh myyyyy, everything about this beautiful, beautiful boy made me swoon so much: his artistry that jumps off the pages; his honest, mushy heart that makes me want to hug him; his charming smile and words that make me grin like an idiot and fall for him even more. I did not expect this because Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss was my favorite guy, but now I’m also a huge fan of Josh. (Stephanie Perkins, what magic do you do in creating these fictional boys?!)
And then there are the other characters I also enjoyed reading about. Like Kurt, Isla’s best friend for the longest time who has Asperger’s and knows Isla all too well. Also, Hattie, Isla’s sister who was annoying at first but whom I couldn’t help but adore in the later parts of the book. And then we also see characters from the previous books: Anna, Etienne, Cricket and Lola! It was awesome to see them even for a short while. Those who enjoyed the previous books will love their scenes in Isla and the Happily Ever After!
But being the hopeless romantic that I am, the romance was my favorite part. The chemistry was wonderful from the start, but the love that grows between Isla and Josh? It’s hopeful, vibrant, true, heart-aching in the best way, and just INCREDIBLE. People dream about a love like Isla and Josh’s and rarely do they find it.
It is impossible not to fall in love with Josh and Isla and everything about this book and I’m sure Stephanie Perkins’ readers won’t be disappointed. I could not be happier with this amazing happily-ever-after story. ☁