Sunday, 6 September 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


This was yet another of my summer reads, after I read both Anna and Lola at some point over the past year.  I have been waiting so long to read this as I was so scared of disappointment, until I finally allowed myself to this August; and, as much as I liked it, I did have a few problems with it.

Firstly, as is always the case with Stephanie Perkins, I loved the romance element in this book.  I liked how realistic Isla seemed in relation to her crush on Josh, with this adding some unexpected humour to the beginning of the book.  I also liked how the romance happened alot quicker than in the first two books, even if it did feel slightly too quick in my opinion; lets just say that I wasn't a huge fan on how they got together.  But nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading about their relationship, particularly as they began to encounter problems that they had to learn to overcome.

One element which I seem to have many mixed views on is the characters.  I found myself loving most of the side characters, such as Kurt and Hattie, but then not being too keen on the two main characters, Isla and Josh. Starting positively, I loved Kurt and Isla's relationship and liked seeing a friendship like theirs in here.  I also liked how much Hattie contrasted him, with the relationship she has with her sister being an argumentative one instead.  But most of all, I just liked how both of the characters evolved throughout the book, with their personalities growing so much.

However, as much as loved these two, I found myself having some problems with the main couple in this book.  I don't know why exactly, but I could just never seem to really connect to Josh at all really, with him as a character being someone I just didn't click with.  And as for Isla, as much as I related to her (especially in the beginning of the book) and did seem to connect with her more, in the middle of the book particularly I found her to be slightly immature and kind of irritating, although she did redeem herself towards the end of it.

Now, I couldn't do this review without mentioning setting, which for this book is both New York and Paris.  Once again, I adored both of these backdrops, with the return to SOAP being a welcome one.  My only problem, and it is honestly just a little niggle, is that we didn't see more New York/ Manhattan, as I would have loved to have seen more of this, new setting as well as some of the returning setting.

Finally, I feel as though I have to talk about the ending, or at least the last fifty or so pages of this book, as they honestly redeemed this book so much in my eyes.  Firstly, I loved seeing the resolution between Isla and Hattie, as well as seeing Isla finally realize some things that she was wrong about.  But most of all, I just loved seeing the return of all the characters throughout the series, with everyone coming back for what I can only imagine is the perfect ending of the series.  And no matter how badly I couldn't connect with Josh, that scene was just pure amazingness.

So, I'd have to say that, all in all, I did enjoy this one.  It certainly didn't knock Lola and the Boy Next Door off the top spot for my favourite one out of the series, and I would properly also have to give Anna second place, but that doesn't mean that this wasn't a good book.  It gave a great ending to the series and I can't wait to see what Stephanie Perkins has in store next!


Character(s): Kurt
Scene(s): Isla and Josh's first date
Isla reading Josh's book
Quote: "The best relationships are the ones that are as happy and content in silence as they are in action."


Song(s): Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift
Let's Love - Echosmith 
Other Book(s): Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith


4/5 stars 

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