Isla and the Happily Ever After

In the last installment of her trilogy, Stephanie Perkins takes her readers back to Paris and SOAP. Here we meet Isla, the shy, smart girl who's had a crush on Josh for like, ever. He's cool and funny and a very talented artist, but Isla has never had the courage to really talk to him. Until one night in June, the summer before their last year of high school, when they stumble upon each other in a café. She might be a little high on the drugs gotten after removing her wisdom teeth, but they share a few hours together that Isla cherishes through the rest of summer. Though she's sure nothing will change between them, coming back to school only brings Isla and Josh closer. They start dating and Isla is over the moon. She's never wanted anything more than this. But she soon learns the hard way that there's more to a story, than just the happily ever after.

It is not my first time reading Isla and the Happily Ever After, nor, I'm sure, is it the last. It is, however, the last book in Perkins little trilogy (Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door preceding it). The lives of these three girls are beautifully woven together, yet they're all so very different. It was clear for me early on that Isla would be my favorite. She and Josh are perfect for each other and I loved how they fought to be together and faced their biggest insecurities to grow as human beings and take their relationship to the next level. It’s a book about figuring out who you are as much it is about being in love. A lot of what Isla thought and felt are things I think and feel as well, and maybe that’s why this is my favorite out of the three.

I know this is a book that I will reread many times, because it is very mature in the way both main character acts (well, for the most part). What I’m trying to say is that this is a novel about two eighteen year olds in love who still needs to face many responsibilities. Isla in particular is very bright and have a lot of good things to say, but so do Josh and even though I know the words they say aren’t said to me, I still take them to my heart. I see myself so much in this book and I adore Perkins writing, how powerful the story is at times, but also how light and fun some parts are. I love her characters, so full of life that you almost think them real. This is a great read and I recommend it strongly.