Review || Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Format: Ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


"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. 

I was so excited to get my hands on this book. Ever since I read the two firs tones, Anna last year, and Lola earlier this year, I have been eager for this book to get out. However, this book was not what I expected. I wanted to love the book, I really did. However, with all the problems I had with this, I really could't justify giving more than two stars.

The insta-love was way too sickening to me, and I didn’t think it felt real at all. Yes, there were parts in the book I liked that were teeth rotting cute, but they didn’t extent further than that. I felt like Isla just loved the idea of Josh – she has been crushing on him for forever, and when she finally has him, she still sees him as this perfect thing. He was put on a way too high pedestal. It seemed that Josh just needed someone to be with. Like he didn’t know how to function as his own person/without a girlfriend – and Isla was there to fill that void.

I never felt like I really connected with the characters. They just felt kind of flat to me. I found that I didn’t care all that much for either Isla or Josh, which is a bummer. Isla seemed incredibly week to me. She didn’t actually know how to stand up for herself and she just took everything Josh threw at her. She didn’t even question it, at least not in the beginning. I think she relied way too much on him.

At places where she needed to defend herself, and stand up for herself, she couldn’t, and I felt like she blamed herself way too much. I get that characters have to have flaws and bad habits. However, they don’t work on them, or even acknowledge them, it becomes an issue (at least for me). Which is why I have a problem with the characters. That being said, I did like Isla, as a character, a whole lot more than Josh.

Every time I thought josh might do something nice and redeem himself, he just went and fucked his chances up. He constantly pissed me off, and I must say, that I found him to be a bit of an asshole. He didn’t seem very likable at all.

I was missing some more conflict – in the first many chapters everything just felt too easy, and I more or less just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when it finally did, I wasn’t really surprised. A lot of the couple’s problems, I feel, could probably have been solved by just talking to each other, instead of just making assumptions. They made everything a lot bigger problems than they probably could have been. However, even with the couple’s “problems” I was still missing a main conflict in the book.

One thing I really loved about the book was that we got to see the other characters again. Seeing Anna & Étienne, and Lola & Cricket was like a fresh breath of air. I loved the interaction between them, and it was nice to get another little glimpse into their lives.

Another thing is, that I still very much adore Perkins’ writing. I still love her writing style, even though this book didn’t really did anything for me.

In the end I felt that they might be better off without each other. I’m honestly not sure that they will have a happily ever after. Maybe this is just a 'happily for now'.

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