Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla Martin is a seventeen year old girl from New York attending the School of America in Paris. The summer before her last year she meets a classmate at a café in New York. But it isn’t just anyone, it’s Joshua Wasserstein, the guy she’s had a crush on since her first year at the school. Believing that he would never fall for her after their embarrassing encounter, Isla returns to Paris only to find out that her crush has a crush on her. They start dating and for a time everything Isla has ever wanted seems to be in her reach. But after a reckless choice Isla and Josh is forced to spend some time apart and Isla starts doubting not only their love but Josh as well. Her hopes and dreams seem, suddenly, further away than ever before.

On this, the third time that I read Stephanie Perkins’ Isla and the Happily Ever After, something changed. I've loved it before but now I found it almost childish. Isla is a shy girl whom I see myself in, at times, or at least did before. The way she was thinking throughout the novel, the way she acted and the choices she made no longer felt like me, like something I could completely understand. At times she was too naïve and at other times too doubtful. A big part of the story is spent going over her regrets and her sadness, but I couldn’t feel any compassion anymore.

It’s weird seeing something that I liked so much before has changed, but I realized that the actual novel hasn’t changed, but instead it’s me. It’s sad, because I really want to continue loving Isla and the Happily Ever After the way I used to, but I know that nothing will be the same again. I know for sure that I will return to this novel again in the future, but I also know that it won’t be as soon as I’d thought. However, for people who love contemporary novels, Perkins’ stories are among the best in my opinion and I will still recommend them to anyone who is in the mood for something light, something sweet and something that I think we all hope to have, one day.