Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins)

islaandthe

The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee.
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me.
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.


This one is my favorite of this series! Yep, Isla and the Happily Ever After totally stole my heart! I loved Anna and the French Kiss and I liked Lola and the Boy Next Door too, but Isla was on a totally different level.

Once again, the writing of this book was flawless. It was funny and self aware, and it flowed so well. I really liked Isla’s voice, she felt real to me. Again, I really loved the setting, how it starts in NY and then we get to go back to SOAP in Paris :), it was awesome.

If there’s one things that all these books have in common is that all characters are unique, and Isla and Josh are no exception. Isla is quiet and shy, but once she opens up, she’s fun and easy going. Her insecurities broke my heart, but once again, they felt real to me, so much so that I was sobbing for a good chunk of the book.

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I love Étienne and Cricket, sure, but Josh… OMG! Where can I get a Josh? I had loved Josh during Anna and the French Kiss, but I fell in love with Josh during this book. One thing that made this book totally different and better for me was the fact that we actually get to see some of the events through Josh’s perspective and how he feels about things.

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The fact that Isla and Josh enter a relationship quite early in the book was a plus for me – even though I knew that something bad was coming – because it actually allowed me to read about their relationship and not just how they got together. This means we get to see them grow within it. Another thing that I loved was how well the sex was handled. This is the first book of this series in which both partners are equally experienced, which means that it flowed naturally and it made a lot of sense.

The conflict broke my heart, because it hit close to home. I think that Isla voiced the fears of a lot of people, but I absolutely loved how it was resolved. And this book’s message is so important… It’s ok to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life at the age of 18!

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Because I do live in Barcelona, I did love the chapter in which Isla and Josh are here. The descriptions of La Pedrera, Casa Battló, Parc Guëll and La Sagrada Familia were beyond perfect. I’m not a very big fan of Gaudí, but I do love these sights, especially Casa Battló and Parc Guëll, which are my favorite places in Barcelona.

#casabatllo #barcelona #gaudi #spain

A post shared by Cristina Afonso (@tinyobsess) on

I was overjoyed when Anna, Étienne, Meredith, Cricket and Lola appeared in the book. 😀 I was so happy about that whole subplot. And Isla recap of Josh’s comic about the events of Anna and the French Kiss – slight spoiler for Anna and the French Kiss –  was the best thing ever! Also, Kurt! How awesome was Kurt?! I really liked to see their friendship and how Josh and Kurt’s friends fit into their dynamic.

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In the end, I loved this book to pieces and it took the top spot in this series. It’s ok to not know what you want to do with your life. And sometimes you need space and time to organize your thoughts and feelings and realize what’s important. All the love for Isla and Josh!

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32 thoughts on “Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins)

  1. Cátia says:

    This book is great. The series is great too 😀
    I still can’t understand why a lot of people hate Isla and say that her book is the worst one

  2. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    What a great review, you perfectly summed up how I felt about this whole story. I was SOBBING, too, that book hit close to home and made me feel too many things at once, it was crazy. And damn, that Instagram picture is GORGEOUS, I can’t wait to go to Barcelona someday 😀

  3. Kat Impossible says:

    I am SO happy you finally read the series and loved it as much as Cátia and I did! I will admit to liking Josh best as well, but you know why I favour Anna’s book a tiny bit more. It just brings back so many memories of my time in the States and in France.

  4. Lois says:

    I could definitely relate to Isla’s insecurities in this book. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do but the fun and at times frustrating times is actually taking the time to try different things. I also loved that we got to reunite with our other couples. Anna and Etienne ❤
    Part of the reason I enjoy this series so much is because of how vivid the details were about our protagonists surrounding locations. It made me wan to desperately hop on a plane an go to all of these locations. 😀

  5. Josephine says:

    I loved this book so much! It gave me so many emotions it was a rollercoaster ride for me! This is one of the books that I actually enjoyed the portrayal of sex, which is a big thing for me, as you might know, Cristina!
    Josh is a seeetheart; he totally stole my heart too!

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