Title/Author: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher/Date published: Dutton, August 14th 2014
How I got this book: bought a shiny hardcover
Goodreads summary: 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.
So we read Isla for Book Club October and it was AMAZING! 3 of us loved it and our fourth member not so much, she actually DNF-ed it, but we still gushed about it over dinner (sorry Mel!). It was probably one of the most anticipated books of 2014 and it was very much worth the wait!
Let me start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of Stephanie Perkins' writing. She manages to pull me into the story and it just flows and I wanted to keep reading and had me laughing and going NOOOOOO!!! and just made me FEEL everything. It was awesome.
I liked Isla, she and Josh made sense together and the way their relationship developed felt real. And then they were blissfully happy and I was like: we have over half of the book left, this has to go wrong somehow right?? And it did. And it was painful and I wanted to shake Isla and tell her to stop sabotaging her relationship and just OMG I could just SEE it go down like that and it was awful.
But the book isn't called Isla and the Happily Ever After to mess with you, it's really a happy ending and I adored it. It was sweet and just fit Isla and Josh's personality and their bond and it made me swoon and just all the happy sighs.
I really liked the way sex was handled in this book. It was realistic and even though it's obviously a big deal, it wasn't overly so. Am I making sense? It was just a natural part of their relationship and also: I can now never look at bunnies the same way again (you'll know what I mean if you've read the book), so thanks for that.
I also loved the return of Anna, Etienne, Cricket and Lola, I so love those characters, especially Etienne with his 'Anna and I are headed out for a celebratory dessert. I'd ask you all to join us, but I don't want you there', AWESOME. If Anna one day decides she doesn't want him anymore, I volunteer to soothe his broken heart!
I could probably go on and on about all the things I loved about Isla and the Happily Ever After, especially after re-reading some of the quotes (which are all AMAZING), but I'm just going to say this: READ THIS BOOK. And Anna and the French Kiss (which is still my favourite of the 3 and now I'm dying to re-read it) and Lola and the Boy Next Door and let them make your heart happy, like they did mine.
My rating: 5 stars