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

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Publisher: Speak
Publication date: August 4, 2015
Pages: 368
Source: Purchased
Summary (via 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 Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

 

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This was a great ending to the series. About partway through the book, I was a little apprehensive about how it would play out, but I needn’t have worried. Stephanie Perkins delivered with the other two books, and she delivered here. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

We first saw Isla in Anna and the French Kiss, and with all the books having been published already, I knew she’d be having her own book. I was excited to see more of her since we only saw a couple moments with her. This book started off strong, and I found myself rooting for Isla and Josh the entire way. I’m sad that the series is complete. I’ll definitely have to reread these books over and over again. I loved that we got to see Anna & Étienne and Lola & Cricket, even if it was only a short time. And when they showed up in the book, it was fantastic! I’m pretty sure I swooned!

 

Isla was an adorable character. I felt like we were a close match in personality, like maybe her and I were the best match when it came to the leading ladies in this series. She’s nervous a lot, a bit neurotic at times, and her confidence in herself was pretty underwhelming and almost nonexistent. I really liked that Kurt, her best friend, helped her out along the way. After all, what are best friends for? He was a great character, and I loved how fiercely Isla defended him and stood up for him.

 

Josh was probably my least favorite out of all the boys from the series, but I still liked him quite a lot. All of the boys in this series are seriously swoon-worthy. He was definitely added to my book boyfriend list. His drawing skills were described amazingly, and I wanted to see everything he’d drawn. Oh be still my heart, artistic Josh.

 

There were so many great moments throughout the book, but a few of my favorite lines were: “People always laugh, because they don’t expect words like shit to come out of someone so petite, someone with a voice so quiet, so sweet.” and “He never side-eyed me with that particular brand of I-know-you-like-me weirdness.” and “‘There’s no story,’ I say. ‘I saw you one day, and I just knew.'”

 

Final note: The ending was fantastic. The pairing was super cute, and I loved that Isla got her Happily Ever After. I’m so upset that it’s taken me this long to find these adorable books. Where have they been all my life? READ THIS SERIES IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!!!

5 stars

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publisher: Speak
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Pages: 338
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

 

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Cricket made this book for me. I liked most of the other characters, but I LOVED CRICKET BELL! The book was a little slow at first, but I fell in love with this book by the end. I ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Lola was harder for me to relate to as a main character than Anna was, and that detracted from the story a bit for me. She’s so outgoing and exuberant that someone who’s introverted and likes flying under the radar (i.e. me) wouldn’t really be able to imagine themselves in her place. But with that said, she was still an interesting character. Her outfits were kind of outrageous, and I admired her commitment to her style. I usually end up wearing the same familiar clothes, while she never wants to wear the same outfit twice.

 

I loved Lola’s parents, especially Andy. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re really not a traditional family. Yet they’re exactly what Lola, and the story, needed. I absolutely loathed Max. He was pretty much every bad boyfriend personified in my opinion. I wanted to punch him at least a few times while reading.

 

CRICKET! OH MY GOD! I loooooove him more than I could possibly express. He’s so sweet, so thoughtful, so adorable, so everything. He chases after Lola! Yes you read that right. A boy chases after a girl! He’s #1 on my book boyfriend list right now. I really wish there was a Cricket in real life for every girl. Cricket is more than enough reason for everyone to read this book. He’s so worth it.

 

For readers who liked Anna and St. Clair, or even those who didn’t, we get to see quite a bit of that pairing in this book. I was happily surprised by how much we did see them, because I thought we’d only see a glimpse here and there of them. I hope we get to see appearances in Isla and the Happily Ever After of both couples.

 

I made way too many updates (18) on Goodreads while I was reading. There were so many swoon/squeal worthy moments that I couldn’t resist. Some of my favorite lines were: “It’s easy to talk about things we hate, but sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why we like something.” and “’And your tight pants,’ I add. Cricket makes a startled choking noise. OH DEAR GOD. WHY WOULD I SAY THAT?” and “‘I like being different.’ ‘And I like that about you,’ Cricket says. ‘But I like the real you best.’”

 

This is such an amazing series so far. I’m simultaneously excited to start on Isla’s story, and sad that the series will be over. I’ll definitely be rereading these books.

 

Final note: This was a great book. Cricket is worth rereading this book over and over again. If you haven’t read this series, you really should. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

5 stars

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: December 2, 2010
Pages: 372
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

 

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This was my first time reading this book, and I LOVED IT! I read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. I really liked Anna and I adored Étienne St. Clair. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

I absolutely loved the Paris setting. I’ve never traveled outside the United States, and Paris is one of the places I want to see. This book made me want to see Paris even more! Even though Anna is kind of reserved/shy at first (I’d be the same in a foreign city, or any city really haha), she eventually explores the city thanks to Étienne St. Clair.

 

I did like most of the characters in the book. Only a few got on my nerves, and it was mostly minor characters and usually only sometimes. I absolutely loved reading the interactions between Anna and Étienne St. Clair. They made me smile, they made me laugh, they made me want an Étienne of my own! I also really liked the group of friends. Sure they fought amongst themselves at times, but what group of teenagers doesn’t fight?

 

Okay I’m just going to get this out of the way. I hate cheaters, but I still didn’t have a problem with this book. I mean it’s not like they’re doing it or anything. But they do have an emotional connection that’s a little too much for “just friends”. I’m not saying it’s excusable to do that, but sometimes you can’t help who you fall for.

 

Étienne St. Clair is the newest addition to my book boyfriend list. I found his character so adorable, so funny, so many other things. I loved the English accent and that he was also fluent in French. I could listen to him alternate between the two languages all day. His little quirks (crooked bottom teeth, messy bed head, nail biting, etc.) made him even more adorable. When readers get to the end, I don’t understand how everyone can’t be in love with him. After all the things he did for Anna throughout the book, besides being her best friend, I just couldn’t help myself. The last couple chapters were so great, especially the last few lines of the book. I don’t know how many times I squealed while reading this book. My heart melted, my heart soared, and did so many other things. If you haven’t read this book yet, read it!

 

There were so many great lines and moments in this book. A few of my favorites were: “I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.” and “If there were an Olympics competition in hair, St. Clair would totally win, hands down. Ten-point-oh. Gold metal.” and “Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” But my favorite part is the last few lines of the book. I don’t want to post them here though, so you’ll have to read the book to see why I love those lines so much.

 

Final note: I loved this book. I bought the entire series after I read this book, and I can’t wait to read the other two books. Such a great romance with a healthy dose of friendship and teenage angst set in a beautiful foreign locale. What more could you ask for?

5 stars