- “Isla and the Happily Ever After” by Stephanie Perkins
- Young Adult Contemporary Romance
- Read as an ebook
- 5/5 stars
- Finished September 8, 2014
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.
So this book took me forever to get through, relatively compared to “Lola” and “Anna” and I’d read someone elses review first and I knew this one was going to be different. I do enjoy how Perkins writes similarly to Sarah Dessen where the characters all exist in the same universe, and unlike other people I was NOT ready to say goodbye to these characters.
But I wasn’t ready for Isla either. Again, I thought it dragged and was kind of annoyed by parts of it, but I thought it was sweet and I just wanted to be a passerby watching all of this happen in real time.
But then the breakup scene happened and I shamelessly started sobbing. I realized that I see so much of myself in Isla, that it was throwing me off. I have a tendency to not really like characters that resemble myself much, which is a psychological thing I should figure out at some point, but everything she said in the limo scene with Josh just shattered me, because it’s exactly how I feel about relationships and even the thought of being one. It petrifies me, and it broke everything to read a character saying the exact same things I’ve felt.
This is why I read, this is why so many of us on this site read, for moments where a character has a breakthrough that you realize that you needed just as much. Or just to know, if even for a brief moment, that someone else in this world, even if it’s just a fictional character has spoken the words you’ve always wanted to say, or felt the feelings you thought you were alone in feeling. Maybe this is a silly book for me to see that in, but in my mind, there is no silly book, especially when it gives you an experience like this.
“You know exactly who you are. You know how to be yourself, but you also know how to be a different kind of yourself on television and society…I don’t know any of that. I’ve never cared about anything like you’ve cared about your work. I don’t even belong to a single country. I’m nobody. I’m nothing.”
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