Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

IATHEA.jpgPages: 339

Goodreads Rating: 4.11 / 5 stars

My Rating:  5 / 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: August 4th 2015

Publisher: Speak

Summary (Goodreads):

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.

My Review:

Review also posted on Goodreads

“I am taking risks. I’ve learned that if I never leave those areas of my life that feel comfortable, I’ll never have a chance at a greater happiness.”

I haven’t read Stephanie Perkins’s book in a long while. Her contemporary novels are heartwarming, romantic and smile inducing. For the last book in this trilogy, it has one of my favorite tropes: crush-to-lovers-romance.

The story sets in Paris, France as our protagonist Isla Martin has a long time crush on Joshua Wasserstein. They had brief encounters in the past but Isla cherished those short moments. Their last encounter was in Summer on Manhattan, New York that sparked their interest with each other. As their Senior Year begins, Isla gets to know more about him. From brief encounters to casual hangouts and eventually romance develops between them.

Isla being with Josh feels nice as if she’s floating in the air. It’s daring, sweet and refreshing. They break the rules and travel to Spain for romantic getaways. As a couple, they face challenges and personal issues like: Josh’s family drama, his previous relationship with Rashmi, Isla’s doubts and insecurities etc.. which made their relationship rocky.

Is this relationship a kind of distraction to escape their problems or will there be a happily ever after?

Imperfections and all, I can relate to Isla Martin. She’s timid, understanding, patient and transparent. She may have insecurities and self doubt but I love how she conquered these negative qualities to boost her confidence and realize she’s a wonderful person who deserves to be loved. Josh is annoying at first but he’s charming and adorable in his own way. I don’t like he always gets his way, not acknowledging Isla as his girlfriend or made her feel as a “distraction”. He made mistakes in life which hurts a lot of people who mattered / once mattered to him. This talented rebellious artist fully expressed himself truthfully even with flaws. He made an effort to make up with his mistakes and proved to Isla that he genuinely loved her for who she is.

I ended up loving their story because they have great character and relationship developments. They help each other in their low moments, worked on their miscommunication and continue to inspire each other no matter what happens. On the side note: It’s so nice to see Etienne, Anna, Lola and Cricket for the very last time. Highlight to view spoiler*I squealed when St. Clair proposed to Anna!! ❤ ❤ ❤ So freakin’ romantic!!! I CAN’T AJSKAHKLH As always, Cricket is still awkwardly adorable.
* End of spoiler* Their presence in this book feels nostalgic and I’m truly going to miss them all! :”> Cricket Bell is still my favorite guy but Isla Martin is my favorite gal.

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