book review, review

Book Review: “Isla and the Happily Ever After” by Stephanie Perkins


Date Read:

June 21st, 2017 – June 29th, 2017

Rating: Rating system 2.5


Physical Hardback


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, Γ‰tienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true loveβ€”set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelonaβ€”is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Review (Spoilers!):

Why do people like this series so much? First of all, I don’t like Stephanie Perkins’ writing style. She includes random, impertinent facts about a character in the middle of an intense moment, destroying the train of thought. She annexes the spaces between words of phrases like “Ohmygod” and drags out the vowels of a word to show that the character is exaggerating a syllable. She also repeats phrases too many times, an example being when Josh and Isla would say that they love each other they would say it three times in one sentence. Then there were sentences that I didn’t understand at all, even after rereading them over and over. There were few translations for the French phrases. My brain cannot wrap itself around the concept of French on its own. When I saw French in italics and things weren’t explained, I cringed and rushed to find the next set of English words.
I actually liked this book in the beginning. It made me laugh. I even fangirled a bit. But once I got halfway through, things started going down hill from there. I found it hard to believe that Isla and Josh were in love. I loved their witty banter and undeniable chemistry, but their relationship moved too quickly for my liking. Their first time was inconsistent and unrealistic. The step by step actions included sounded like a scene described in an adult novel, but the terminology used was PG.
I liked Josh. I thought he was a well-rounded and developed character. I liked Isla up until the halfway point. I understand that she was insecure, but it was so extreme that I worried for her mental health. When you reach the point of self-sabotage and self-loathing that drags you into a near depression, you need to get some therapy. Some insecurities seemed to come out of nowhere, too. It was natural for her to be jealous of Josh’s ex, but she dwelled on it too much and let it fester in her heart. I hated how selfishly she reacted to the first draft of Josh’s novel. He loved Isla and he poured his heart and soul into this work. He let Isla see every side of him and she judged him for it. During their fight on Christmas break, I was just lost and confused reading about her round about reasoning behind breaking up with him. I didn’t realize until later that she was just letting her stupid inhibitions get to her.
Reading about the post break up months made me want to DNF this book. Pages upon pages of Isla wallowing in self-pity: the pain she created! I hated how she didn’t have a life outside of Josh and her one friend. She claimed to have a close relationship with her family, but you hardly see it. It’s terrible that her romantic relationship had to end just so she could get some character development.
I was told this was a happy book. I got 139 pages of happy and 200 pages of crap.

Book Review Card - Isla and the Happily Ever After.png


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