Wednesday 27 August 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

I waited with baited breath to finally be able to read the finale of this companion trilogy and oh my god it was amazing! I fell back into the world of adorable characters with tough home lives, the blend of languages and cultures in Paris and New York, and the incredibly moving love stories. 

Even though I'm sure most of you have already devoured this by now, the book tells of Isla in her senior year of SOAP and finally getting the attention of her crush Josh. We've met both of them before, Josh being St Clair's best friend and Isla being the shy girl in some of Anna's classes. It was really nice to come back full circle to SOAP and their love story and I instantly cheered on Isla and Josh's relationship. It was slightly different to Anna and Lola in that they got together quite soon but had more struggles during their blossoming love. I actually really liked it this way, as it showed the development of their relationship and them both as independent people. It was less a fairy tale ending and more of a grown-up look at the high and lows of a relationship. 

Isla and Josh complimented each other, much like Anna and St Clair and Lola and Cricket; they were both dreamers but Josh was incredibly talented with his art and Isla reads of adventures rather them going on them herself. But as they got to know each other, they both came out of their shells and did the things that scared them, whether it be breaking some school rules or standing up to the parents. They had their struggles, as mentioned, and they had to tackle them by themselves. One thing I really loved about this was that even though it broke my heart, I completely understood Isla's need to take a step back and deal with her issues first.

Of course there has to be a happy ending and the final showdown, as it were, takes place back in Paris with all the old favourites and a somewhat unexpected surprise that had me crying with joy! I skipped through the last few chapters with my heart bursting, just so unbelievably happy that everything came together as it should. Perkins has written another winner and although I'm sad to see the end of these stories, I will continue to love them with all my heart.

Published 14th August 2014 by Dutton. 

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