ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Bridgit Mendler as Isla and Benjamin Stone as Josh
Song: What If by Colbie Caillat
Goodreads Summary: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
This is the third and final book in Stephanie Perkins’ contemporary series but in my ranking this is my second favorite book, after Lola and the Boy Next Door. I gave it a 4.90 rating, I only have teeny-tiny problem about this book.
For most people, probably it’s not a problem. Don’t get me wrong, this book is SEXY, it is. Also, I am mature enough to handle books that include sex and profanity. What I dislike in this book is the overpowering lust and sexual desire of the characters, their desperation to sleep together is what made me uncomfortable some parts when reading this. I understand that sex plays a big role in a relationship, I just didn’t like how it was presented here. Another thing is that though there is depth in the love history of these two characters, it didn’t feel as realistic as it should be. There is a possibility that someday the person we like, will take interest in us too, even if we’ve spent a long time dreaming about them. It is very rare, like once in a blue moon probably that the person who’s ignored you for the longest time suddenly decided that they want to get to know you. This story, Isla had always been in love with Josh ever since freshmen year but they did not really connect exactly how they should have so Josh ended up with Rashmi. On their senior year, Isla finally got a chance to get to know Josh intimately and they just kind of hit it off from there.
I can’t even begin to explain how much love and adoration I have for this book! Josh and Isla still occupies my mind until now, even if it’s been about 3 days since I finished reading this. That is how I know that the book is part of my favorites list because I could not stop thinking about the characters. Mind you guys, I only have a few books in my favorites list because I’m still picky with story lines despite my infinite love for contemporary reads!
To be honest, I’ve never read a book more than once but after this series I became more inspired and driven to start the habit of rereading.
What made this book realistic are the struggles of the two characters because it blossoms from personal issues/insecurities. It shows that an individual’s personality really do get in the way, or for that matter, plays an important role in a relationship–it can either make or break you. This book shows that relationships are not all about happy endings and sweet talks, it’s messy and it gives a lot of time for the individual to assess and confront his or her own issues in life. The personalities of Josh and Isla leaps off the page just because you get to know them through their self-assessment and realizations. While reading this, I’d doubt that you won’t for once question yourself, or imagine being in their shoes, having to makes decisions in the same scenarios.
Their story creates a lot of impact in a deeper level of analysis, it triggers a lot of emotions. It ranges from happiness to longing to regret and other feelings that most of us try to avoid because we can’t keep up with the extremities of such emotions.
And while we’re on such subject, I shall come clean and say I AM IN LOVE WITH JOSH. I mean, out of the three books of course (who am I kidding, he definitely makes it to the list of my fictional boyfriends). He’s sexy and smart, and his art skills are a definite bonus! Having such guy who is not afraid of being sweet and hopeless romantic is totally swoon-worthy. Josh is actually the right mix of good and bad.
Like in Lola and the Boy Next Door, family was given highlight in this book. For Isla, it was her relationship with Hattie, her younger sister. As for josh, it is the misunderstanding and wrong notion about wealthy families, wherein they only care about appearances. Josh’s parents doesn’t give much affection to him as much as some parents would but you can’t deny how much support they give him when it comes to his artistic passion.
Probably the most realistic part of this story is the friendship of Sanjita and Isla. In the beginning they had a falling-out but towards the end, they tried to catch up with each other’s lives BUT their friendship will never be the same as it first was. And that is the truth, when a friendship gets cut for whatever reason, there’s only two outcomes: either you guys don’t ever patch up or you enter a different level of relationship (friendship), most likely one step back from how it used to be before the misunderstandings.
The three series definitely found its way to my heart. It hurts to know that it’s only up to three books but we all know that our favorite stories will live eternally in our hearts and minds. Stephanie Perkins is a genius for creating such a wonderful and inspiring series. If you haven’t read this, I highly suggest that you pick it up! YOU WON’T REGRET IT—definitely worth the read.
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Currently Reading: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare