Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Romance // Contemporary
Format: Physical Copy
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 (goodreads).
The ending to a beloved series couldn't end any sweeter! I was sad to have to close this book.
Plot: Isla and the Happily Ever After filled me with such giddy feelings as well as heartache. When I first read the synopsis, I thought their "chance encounter" was code for "hook up" - it's not. Isla and Josh's love story is innocent, albeit a bit rushed. The "meat" of the story takes place little over two months - filled with teenage angst, infatuation, and too-soon "I love yous." Regardless of the pacing, I fell in love with Isla and Josh's timeline.
Characters: I adored Isla because I saw a little bit (a lot) of me in her character. She's quiet, an overachiever, and has terribly low self esteem, while Josh is her complete opposite. I didn't like Josh in the beginning, because I found him to be undeserving, but like all Perkins characters, I grew to understand him. The synopsis boasts cameos from previous couples and characters, and while it was nice to see them, I felt that their presence took away from Isla and Josh. Anna and St. Clair cameos worked better in Lola and the Boy Next Door because they were imbedded in the storyline, here they are written in the storyline just to show how cute they are.
World Building: I went into this book thinking that I was going to be treated to the same Paris that took my breath away in Anna and the French Kiss. Unfortunately, we don't get nearly as much France, or SOAP for that matter. Perkins still has a way with words that transports you to a new world, which is why I will devour anything that Stephanie Perkins writes.
Short N Sweet: Isla and the Happily Ever After is a great ending to this lovely companion series. I just wish that I could stop comparing it to Anna and the French Kiss!