Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Dutton | Hardcover, 339 pages
Publication Date: August 14th, 2014
Young Adult | Contemporary Romance
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, #3
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss series ends with this lovely book. I fell in love with her characters and her stories, that the thought of saying goodbye induces a mild ache in my chest. Some people rate on a book’s literary merits, I rate based on enjoyment. All three books from this series have received the 5-star rating from me. A clear indication that no matter their flaws, I couldn’t have cared any less.  Much like Kasie West, Ms. Perkins can write contemporary like it’s nobody else’s business. I can guarantee you that when I pick up her book, it’s going to be read in one sitting.

Isla couldn’t come fast enough. With a couple of years between her and Lola, the anticipation was at a fever pitch. It was a bit scary, knowing that the wait I had to endure can only be compensated by a brilliant read.  But as soon as I was introduced to Isla and Josh, all anxieties just faded away. As usual, Stephanie seems to know exactly what her readers want. It’s the romance that we all wish we had when we were kids. When we fantasized about being filthy rich with little to no supervision from the parental units. When we crushed on a boy that didn’t even know we exist, until we did. It comes complete with the angst of not knowing what the other feels and to be eaten up inside by the tempest of our own. Admit it, we were drama queens when it comes to love when we were teenagers. Stephanie Perkins just wrote it down for us word for word. Le sigh.

She makes it so easy to fall in love with her characters and the setting. She describes everything in such a beautiful way that her readers are either transported, or liable to book their next trip to wherever the setting was. It happened in San Francisco (Lola), and it happened twice in Paris (Anna and Isla). It’s quite an experience seeing a city through her eyes. So much poetry and so much emotions. She does the same with her stories and characters; they are so alive.

I am going to miss waiting for her books. I know she had a difficult time with Isla but I’m glad she didn’t let the pressure of publishing for the sake of publishing get to her. I’m glad she waited until this book was perfect for her fans. Because it was just that: absolutely perfect!

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