Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla (pronounced Eye-La like Island) attends the School of America in Paris and has had a hopeless crush on Josh since their freshmen year.  The two meet up one summer while home in NYC, and it is the start of a whirlwind romance that consumes them both during their senior year of school.

This is the final companion book in the set that includes Anna & the French Kiss and Lola & the Boy Next Door.  Characters from both books make cameos in this book as well.  Josh is a secondary character in Anna & the French Kiss, but here he gets a (sort of) starring role.  I loved Anna and Lola; unfortunately I did not love Isla.  In some ways she might be the character I relate to the most, but her complete and total obsession with Josh made the story seem kind of flat.  At times this book almost felt like it was Fatal Attraction instead of the You've Got Mail vibe I've gotten from Perkin's other books.  I missed the humor, I missed the secondary characters and the setting all playing a more important part of the story.  Instead I was trapped in Isla's head where the only thing I could see or feel was her desperate obsession with Josh.

Eventually Isla did grow on me, once she and Josh physically had to be separated and she had to function on her own, and I did think her best friend (Kurt) was a sweet character, but all in all this wasn't my favorite of Perkin's novels.  I hope she continues to write, and I look forward to seeing what else she will come up with, but I will miss the characters I've grown to love so much.  Maybe one day down the road she will revisit them.


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