Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Publisher: Dutton
Publishing Date: August 14th, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages:  339 pgs
ISBN: 9780525425632
Source: Bought from Chapters

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

My Review: 

Well this has been one of the most anticipated books in the blogosphere. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised when my pre-order came early and after a pretty sad, tragic day for me I was happy to start it right away.It didn't take me long to get right into the story and I finished it in less than 24 hours. I may have stayed up until 3am to finish it.
I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like this book as much as Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door but let me tell you, I liked this book the best. Perkins did not disappoint and I will forever buy every single piece of writing this woman puts out.
The novel is a contemporary YA story following Isla (that's Eye-la, not Iz-la) and Josh. Both hail from the great NYC but attend a boarding school in Paris, France. The very same boarding school from Anna and the French Kiss. Josh and Isla both made their debut in Anna but Josh had a more predominant role. He was still a secondary character and it was very nice to read more about him and delve into his life.
I fell in love with both of these characters. Isla is slightly insecure and has trouble making friends. Her one true friend is Kurt, whom she has known since she was a child. Kurt has high functioning autism, otherwise known as Asperger's, and is a great side character. I mean the guy is named after Kurt Cobain. I grew up listening to Nirvana so there's no way I wouldn't like this character. Also, speaking of character names- Isla is named after Prince Edward Island. This is one of Canada's treasures and I have been lucky enough to visit there for the past 2 summers. Thanks for the Canadian shout out Ms. Perkins.
Joshua is the son of a man running for Senate. He is artistic and most of this friends graduated the year previous. The two fall for each other but things get a little complicated in their relationship. I can't say much except that this is the perfect read for the summer. You get glimpses of NYC, Paris and Barcelona.
Perkins has a way of writing characters that you adore. They aren't perfect and polished; they have their flaws but that just makes them all the more realistic. It is not only the main characters but also all the secondary characters that make this book well rounded. While I grew frustrated with Isla's sister Hattie for most of the book, by the end of the book she was endearing. We also get a few cameos from our favourite characters from the previous books. I may have gotten a bit teary during some of these scenes.
I quite enjoyed this book and I think that if you like contemporary novels with a cute storyline and beautiful settings then this is the book for you. This book is perfect for the beach because it is light and fun. I can't wait to see what Perkins comes up with next. 

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