Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

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


Hardcover, 339 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by Dutton

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, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
(Goodreads Synopsis)



Ah man. I really, really, really wanted to love this book. And well, I only liked it. Anna and the French Kiss was just sooo adorable and charming. Lola and the Boy Next Year was just soooo quirky and whimsical. But this one, well, it was just toooo schmoopy and dramatic.

The story gets off to a great start. The characters draw in the reader immediately. Isla, like me, is the middle of three girls. She is quiet, unassuming, and smart. Josh is an artist complete with a rebel without a cause mentality. Naturally, these two are perfect for each other. However, the story that surrounded them just didn't quite hold up.

Romance to me is all about the build up and tension that radiates off the page. I love witnessing the process of falling. I love feeling my heart skip beats with excitement or squeeze with despair. That didn't happen in this book. These two just skip over all the good parts. What's left to fill in the story is some overdone drama, schmoopiness, lots of tears, and only one brief visit from Etienne St. Clair. 

And then, in the last chapter, all those feelings find their way onto the page.

Overall, strong start with a strong ending...but with a sludgy middle.

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