‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ by Stephanie Perkins

This review may include spoilers

Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary |Genre
352 pages |Kindle Edition
August 14th 2014 |Published

Synopsis (GoodReads)
My Review:

When I saw the cover, I thought we (the readers) would be able to explore New York just like we did Paris in the first book. But no. It was so disappointing. Nothing about this book made me want to visit New York.

 

This book follows Josh (who was introduced in ‘Anna and the French Kiss’) and Isla (pronounced ‘eye-la’ was also in the first book). It starts off in New York, where Isla runs into Josh at a coffee shop. The encounter is cute and funny and I was instantly attached to the characters. I understood Isla in the beginning, I was also a shy teenager. It was nice to read about a character who reminds you of the person you used to be. And to know that you weren’t alone.

Josh and Isla’s relationship progresses quickly. It’s cute and it makes you feel happy but then you realise that you’re not even half way done with the book. I couldn’t even feel happy for them because I expected something bad to happen. I felt so uneasy because of that. Then when they kept on complimenting each other, it made me feel awkward. I felt too old to be reading this. I couldn’t relate to the Isla that is in a relationship, but I could with the Isla that’s alone.

What I related to was how Isla was feeling, her insecurities and her inability to take risks. This made me assess my actions. Maybe it would be better to take risks, than avoiding what you assume may or may not happen.

I liked Josh. I loved being able to learn about him and his perspective on everything that happened to him, through his graphic novel. This was a first for me, being able to understand what the character is thinking through the graphic novel he’s made of his life, being explained by the protagonist. I was able to understand how hurt he was when certain things happen to him. What was disappointing was learning that he didn’t really like Isla from his first year in SOAP but only when he had no friends around him, that’s when he truly liked her.

Later on, characters from the first two books appear. The friendship between St. Clair and Josh seems genuine and quite lovely to read about.

Stephanie Perkins writing style and story-telling is engaging and easy to read. What the author does is, show the ups and downs of a relationship. How being together isn’t the end of the story. How a persons insecurities can damage their relationships. And how we must constantly push ourselves to break out of our shells we’ve made for ourselves.

I kept comparing ‘Lola’ and ‘Isla’s’ books with ‘Anna’s’ and I’ve realised that writers/artists can’t recreate something. If she did, I would’ve been annoyed. I don’t want to read the same book with different characters. The characters have their own journeys. Nothing will be the same as Anna and the French Kiss, there might be similarities but it will definitely not be the same so books must be treated as a singular work of art. Judge it for what it is not ‘does it live up my standards’.

Thank you for reading, I hope you’re having a great day

Alina

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