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

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Romance

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date: August 15, 2014

Hardback: 339 pages

Stand alone or series: Last in a trilogy of companion novels

How did I get this book: Bought

Let’s start with a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

What I thought:

AHHHH. *flails* *fangirls* *squeals*

Okay. *breathes* Let me try to actually put into words my feelings for the final book in this lovely, sweet, amazing trilogy.

I’m not going to lie, when my friend Georgie recommended Anna and the French Kiss to me, I was doubtful. This is not the usual type of book I read. At all. But I picked up Anna and then Lola and I fell in love. Stephanie Perkins is a wonderfully gifted author who makes you swoon, laugh, cry, and feel ALL THE THINGS.

This book was different from the other two though. It’s not like in Anna and Lola when we ship the two characters the whole entire time until they finally, beautifully fall in love with each other. Instead, Isla and Josh begin a relationship pretty quickly and fall for each other. HARD. And then the book follows them as they go through some stuff. Instead of being about the characters finding each other, this book was about them finding themselves and what that means in a relationship. A lot of their problems are self-inflicted, but this is what allowed them to learn about themselves. Yes, it was a little over-dramatic at times. I mean, just have a conversation with each other, geez!

I have loved Josh since the beginning, you guys. I couldn’t wait for him to come back. He’s wonderful: funny, charming, brooding, creative, all the things I like. Honestly, I just didn’t think there was enough of him in this book. Instead of being like the other two books and having a couple (Anna & St. Clair / Lola & Cricket), it mostly felt like this was Isla’s story, which it is, I know. But I could have used a lot more of Josh. Also, at times, the relationship between Josh and Isla was weird for me. It felt a little too instalove-ish at times, which you guys know I hate. Sometimes I honestly just wanted to ask Josh why he even liked Isla. I mean, I like her; I think she’s my favorite narrator of the three, but it was one of those “You’ve been in love with him forever and guess what? He’s always loved you too but couldn’t do anything about it.” Blah.

But then sometimes I was just like, “AH. Isla is so great.” She thinks and talks just like we do.

“You know that because you asked me out, you’re the one who has to pick the place, right?”
Throat. Dry.
Dry throat.
All of the dryness in my throat.
“Whatever you suggest.” He grins. “I’ll say yes. You’ll definitely get a yes. If that helps.” (Page 75)

On the other hand, if I could just have a mix between Cricket and Josh, that’d be great. K? Thanks!

So then there’s this thing that happens on page 313. I had to close my book for a minute or two to just savor it. I almost cried. Okay, I actually did tear up a little. This book made me so happy, you guys. This was the best way to end this little trilogy.

I had issues with this one sometimes, but overall I loved it. It was just what I wanted: a sweet, adorable ending to this wonderful story. Isla grew up and learned a lot about herself throughout the book, which I really appreciated. I think I liked her so much not only because she talks/thinks like us, but because she was flawed, insecure, and unsure of herself. She was able to realize all of this (with the help of her best friend – you guys know I like a good friendship story) and go fix it. A+ on the maturity and the friendship story, Steph!

I hope that this review is actually helpful because it kind of seems like a jumble of thoughts to me. I liked it. There you go. 🙂

Also, I’m going to a book festival in two weeks and Stephanie Perkins will be there and I CANNOT wait.

The bottom line: Cricket is still my favorite boy out of the trilogy, but Isla is my favorite narrator. She’s just like us. Yes, I had a few issues with this book, but overall, this was a wonderfully sweet ending to this trilogy. Just what the doctor ordered.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Reading next: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

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SUNDAY FUNDAY: WEEK IN REVIEW [11]

The lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started Sunday Funday as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week.

August 11 – 17, 2014

This week was pretty great. Definitely more fun that the week before. Highlight of the week? I had my first blogger meet up! I met Annette (aka Booknerderie) in person. She drove up to my house Friday and we saw The Hundred-Foot Journey Friday night. On Saturday, we went to B&N and bought Isla and the Happily Ever After. We spent a couple hours reading and drinking coffee, then went to the comic book store. It was so much fun! I’m looking forward to going to visit her next.

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I also made plans with my friend Georgie to go to the Decatur Book Festival the last weekend in August. I am SO PUMPED about this. Stephanie Perkins, Maggie Stiefvater, Jennifer E. Smith, Lauren Myracle and a bunch of other awesome authors will be there. CANNOT WAIT.

Books read: I finally finished reading One of Us by Tawni O’Dell (review tomorrow). I also read all of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins yesterday (review either tomorrow or Tuesday), which I LOVED. Obviously.

I also read the first two issues of The Wicked and the Divine, issues 19 and 20 of Saga (I’m beyond obsessed), about 15 or 20 issues of Batman and Robins, the first several issues of Batman Incorporated, and I think that’s it. I’m a little comics-obsessed. But I’d say two books and 20-30 issues of comics is a GREAT week.

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TBR: This week I bought Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid and The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (on Amazon; should be here this week). They’ll both be at the Decatur Book Festival in two weeks. Definitely need to read their books before then.

Non-bookish things I’m excited about:

DOCTOR WHO premieres on Saturday!! Yay!

Teen Wolf. Duh.

It’s bookish, but I believe I’m going to see The Giver this week.

Also going to see Let’s Be Cops with my brother. It looks so funny.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This is my first time participating in Waiting on Wednesday, so I thought I’d share a book I’ve already said I cannot wait to read. I’ve already read and reviewed a 5 chapter sneak peek, and OH MY GOODNESS, I CAN’T WAIT.

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterPublisher: Dutton (Penguin Group)

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Release date: August 14, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Why I can’t wait:

I mean, do I really need to explain this one. I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, and I CANNOT WAIT to have Josh back. I also really like Isla as the narrator so far. Also, Cricket will be back, you guys. He’s one of my absolute favorite book boyfriends, so I’m ready to swoon all over again. Also, Annette from Booknerderie is going to come up so we can go buy the book and read it together. It’s going to be a fangirl party and I’m definitely looking forward to that.

Sneak Peek Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: Dutton

Expected Publication Date: August 14, 2014

Stand alone or series: Last in a trilogy

How did I get this book: Sample via NetGalley

NOTE:I was provided with an e-ARC of this sample via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Dutton and Penguin Young Readers Group for letting me read this.

YOU GUYS! Josh is back!! AHHH. This sneak peek was the first five chapters of the book. My review will be pretty short because of that, but I just had to talk to someone about it.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

What I thought:

YES. I kind of almost just want my review to be that and only that. YES.

I’ve only read five chapters so far, but I think Isla might actually be my favorite of the three girls. She’s quirky, a bit of a loner like me, sarcastic, kind, and adorably crushing on Josh. I took several notes that were basically the same thing: “hahahaha” or “aw” or “cute!” Isla’s secret crush on Josh is charming. It reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger: totally head over heels for someone but pretty much unable to speak properly when they’re around. Here’s an example of an exchange I lol-ed over:

He watches me quietly for another minute. “So…you were serious? You wouldn’t mind if I sketched you?”

“Yeah, I’d love that.” I love youuuuuuuuu. “What should I do?”

I doubt anyone is really worried, but this book is going to be just as adorable and sweet and funny and lovely as the other two in the series. Isla’s best friend is named Kurt Donald Cobain Bacon, and while I seriously hope we get an explanation for that name, I know I’m going to love him, too. I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s very literal in the way he interacts with other people and I can just tell he’s going to be a source of humor in the book.

I can’t wait to see how Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket tie in. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Cricket again. 😉

The bottom line:

Is it August yet?

Have any of you guys read the sneak peek of Isla and the Happily Ever After? What did you think? Or if you haven’t read it, can we just fangirl over the fact that Josh is back in the comments?

Make sure you add the book to your Goodreads shelf!

Bout of Books Challenge: Books I’m looking forward to

So today’s Bout of Books challenge hosted by River City Reading is to create a list of the books you are looking forward to.

Here’s my Bout of Books update post so you can keep track of how I’m doing!

I made up a list of five of the books I want to read this summer. You can see all of the books I want to read by adding me on Goodreads.

Here are three that are already published:

1. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer

2. The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

The Museum of Intangible Things

3. The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi

The Chance You Won't Return

And two books to be published this summer:

4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Expected publication date: August 14, 2014

5. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will

Expected publication date: June 3, 2014

 

Apparently I’m looking forward to a lot of YA/romance. What books are you looking forward to, published or not? 

If you’re participating in Bout of Books, link me to your update post so I can keep up with how you’re doing? 🙂