Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I read this book in one day, with only a few short breaks for food. Seriously. It was soooooo good.

5/5 stars

Genre: YA contemporary romance

cover isla and the happily ever after

Amazon description for Isla and the Happily Ever After:

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.

As with books one and two, book three was perfectly adorable, unique, and heartfelt. This book returned to Paris, but took place simultaneously with book two, which was an interesting touch. Isla was probably the most relateable of the three protagonists for me. I felt connected to her shyness, the way she puts herself down without even realizing it (don’t read too much into that, I’m just saying it was nice to have an introvert, instead of extroverted Anna and Lola).

Josh’s character was surprisingly complex. His artsy side, mixed with his politician’s son side, mixed with his sort-of-a-slacker side, mixed with his lonely side–everything worked together to create a vividly real love interest. Unlike some romances, where I feel like you never meet the guy beyond one main internal conflict (usually involving the protagonist’s love), Perkins took the time to flesh out her love interest as much as her main character.

The plot of this book was fascinating. So different from books one and two, and pretty much everything else I’ve read.

A short intermission of spoilers, skip over this bit if you haven’t read the book.

Lola and Josh get together really early on in the book. It was great to get to see your OTP together for large plotty portions, unlike most books that end the book as soon as they are together, but it also added SO MUCH TENSION. I think the main reason I read it in one day was I knew that something had to go wrong, and I had to find out what. And when it did go wrong–OHMYGOD, I couldn’t put it down.

Spoilers over. Please come back. Thanks

I cried a lot during this book. Especially the ending, which tied up all three books so perfectly. I fangirled again when Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket showed up again. It was perfect.

I WANT MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES. WHY DID IT HAVE TO END????

Seriously, if you even like contemporary romance a little, or if you like cute stories, read these books. Definitely one of my favorite series I’ve read this year.

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