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!

  • I rarely leave remarks, but after reading some of the comments
    on Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Joyousreads.

    I do have a few questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be simply me or does it
    look like some of the remarks appear as if they are coming from brain dead folks?

    😛 And, if you are writing on other online
    social sites, I would like to keep up with
    everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of the
    complete urls of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • I agree that she has a way with Contemporary and writing characters and settings and stories that just make you fall in love. I am so glad she wrote this book after hearing about her personal struggles. And she was one of the sweetest authors I have ever met. Endless adoration for her and this series. Bravo Perkins!

  • Ellen @ Quest Reviews

    Loved this review. I agree with how you rate based on enjoyment. I definitely feel like I could have nitpicked this book in my review, but I had absolutely no desire to.

  • So glad you enjoyed it so much after the long wait. My copy just arrived last week and I can’t wait to dive in!

  • I haven’t read a Perkins book yet but it sounds like I definitely should, these wistful, dreamer romances sound so lovely, especially set in different places around the world. I love the way you described Isla and Josh! Great review Joy!

  • Oh, yes, I agree with everything you said. Technically, honestly, I didn’t pay a bit of attention. I was too swept up in Isla’s story. Seeing Anna and Etienne and Lola and Cricket was wonderful as well. 🙂

  • I’m DYING to read this. It’s in my TBR pile but I’m debating whether to tear it open right now. I fall more in love with each book. This is such an amazing review, by the way. I’m glad you loved it! <3

  • Oh everyone seems to love this series and I confess that I’m curious at the end. The first book was translated in French too and the reviews were great. I need to try it one day. So glad you had a wonderful time with it.

  • Ah, I’m glad you loved this. And now that I think about it, some of the small things that bothered me about this book (occasional drama overload!) are actually true to the teenage experience. I think I did say in my review that Isla did feel like her age to me, which doesn’t always happen in YA, where I often think that characters come across as in their twenties…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  • The characters and setting does sound easy to love

  • I actually like Kasie West too, but I tried with Anna, and it simply didn’t grab me at all. But on the other hand, I’m not really a contemporary fan at all, so I’m not surprised. I love seeing so much enthusiasm for these books. It makes me think that I should try again. I know I’m missing out.

  • Wonderful revie, Joy! I’m excited to start this series now!! I just need…time with school and all and first need to finish reading ARCs 😛 But you will see Anna’s review soon 😉

  • P.S. I’m sooo thrilled you loved Worth the Fall! I can’t wait to see your review! 🙂

  • I swear, I felt like I might live or die with some of my romance drama in my teen years! So yes, I was very much the drama queen *cringes*! I’ve been so worried to pick this up, but I know once I start it I’ll get wrapped in the story. Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

  • Aahh, so glad you loved this one! It’s my favorite of Perkins’s books and it just GOT me somehow. Gosh. Now I want to re-read it AGAIN. 😉 Fantastic review, Joy!

  • Christy

    Well hell. I never got around to reading Anna, but I know a lot of people love these books. Maybe I’ll give them a go now that all three are out. No waiting between books for me. 😛

  • Eileen @ BookCatPin

    Yes!! I loved everything about this book!

  • Wait a minute, Isla also makes a stop in Paris? Oh my word. I need this in my life now. Not only is this my favorite city but I loved reading about it in Anna. Anna and Lola were two of my favorite all time books. I even read Lola in two days. I haven’t read Isla yet because I have so many books to read, but I guess Im gonna have to go out and get it anyway. This review really makes me want to go get a copy now.

    It has to be my favorite thing about Stephanie Perkins. She makes the settings and city a character of their own in the book. That is quite something.

    Oh, and I loved this: “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.” – nice writing and great review.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  • Wonderful review. This sounds like an amazing read and I really want to dive in the story.

  • I haven’t read this one yet since I’m waiting for a paperback version. Most of the copies available are still in hardback which is quite expensive for a book that I’m not anticipating for. I read Anna and the French Kiss but I didn’t like it that much. Lola and the Boy Next Door is much better though.

    I’m so glad you like this one. Most reviews I read are all positive too.

  • Yay! I really loved this one as well. 🙂

  • Amazing review Joy. <3 I'm so happy you loved this book 😀 Everyone seems to be loving this book ;p and I do think I would enjoy it too. Maybe. But I did not like book one 🙁 and I know I would hate book two. Sigh. Maybe one day, though 🙂 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 I hope you will love what this author writes next 🙂