Thursday, August 21, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After | 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.

Before the mobs of people swarm my door with torches and pitchforks, hear me out. I love a good love story as much as the next girl, but this was just ridiculous. 

First there was Isla, beautiful name, irritating personality. Insecurities are to be expected and with some of the things Josh did, they were even justified, but at some point it was too much. She was both highly insecure and obsessed with Josh, to the point where it would be considered stalkerish. She was smart, great, but she was willing to throw away her work and effort in an instance for a guy, and she wonders why she wasn't accepted into college. Anna and Lola both had their problems, but there were parts of them we could connect to and relate with. With Isla, she was just the annoying girl who creates unnecessary drama. She's the girl who pushes her family and best friends away for a guy, a decision I cannot respect. 

Then we have Josh. I didn't hate him. But in Anna and the French Kiss I shipped him with Rashmi, even though they didn't really work out I loved them together, so seeing him with another character really made this book hard to read. The communication between the two was awful. While Anna and √Čtienne's relationship was gradual and gentle, Isla and Josh's was instantaneous and intense. It wasn't believable. I don't believe that the one guy Isla has been crushing on for three years all of a sudden likes her back and has liked her for the past three years as well. 

In Anna and the French Kiss, the fact that the setting was in Paris made the story so much more romantic, with the trips to the movie theater and the Parisian restaurants we really saw why Paris was the city of love. With Isla, it didn't make a difference where they were. And to be quite honest, I didn't even know where they were half the time. 

I was so tempted to stop reading and I ended up just skimming the last couple of pages. Anna and the French Kiss had set such high standards for me, standards that Isla didn't match up to. My favorite part of the book was Anna and St Clair's cameo, which is sad considering the book wasn't even about them. I started hoping that maybe we would start following them inside, but no such luck. 

Overall I really didn't enjoy Isla and the Happily Ever After, it was a disappointment. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!