Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: August 14th, 2014
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, #3
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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, Étienne, 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.

my rambles

I don’t think it’s possible for Stephanie Perkins to write a book that will not make me giggle with happiness and squeal at the adorableness of her stories. I have loved each and every one of her books, starting with Anna and the French Kiss, then Lola and the Boy Next Door, and now most recently Isla and the Happily Ever After. I’ve always been a little late when it comes to reading her books (I think I read Anna almost 2 years after it was released!), but I’m always regretting that I didn’t read them sooner. Isla and the Happily Ever After was no different. Now that I’ve read it I can say “READ IT NOW” to all of you pushing it back on your TBR. Just do it.

Not only does Stephanie Perkins write another couple’s story in the perfect way, but did you read that part of the synopsis where it says cameos from Anna & Etienne and Lola & Cricket? A-Huh. We get a very special ending that really ties all three books together as companions. Definitely worth the wait for the ending. I loved it!

But back to the main storyline: Isla & Josh. Out of all of the books, I found Isla to be the character that was most relatable. She was a lot like me — shy, quiet, likes to read, hopeless romantic. (Yup, that’s me right there ^) So for that reason I really liked her story. I pictured myself in her shoes.

And JOSH. I liked him. But really what I loved was the romance between Isla and Josh. It was kind of unexpected in that it read more like a New Adult romance. It was sexier and grittier than Stephanie Perkins’ other two books. It was something different, and I liked it. Even with the slight difference, it still read like the “classic” Stephanie Perkins that we’ve come to love.

My one nitpicky thing it that the romance between Isla & Josh seemed to intensify really fast for the short amount of time they were together as a couple. I guess that’s just one of things that gave it more of a new adult vibe.

Other than that, I found Isla and the Happily Ever After to be just as the title says for the series: a happy ending that satisfied my love for each of the couples. It was a little more serious, but still had Stephanie Perkins’ trademark cute and sweet storyline and characters! Stephanie Perkins has done it again, and I cannot wait to see what she has plans to write in the future.


15 thoughts on “Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

  1. I have this on my TBR pile! I started reading the first few pages but I put it down as I wanted to read The Infinite Sea but I’ll definitely be picking it up soon. Great review! <33

  2. It took me so long to read this book because I was so scared it would let me down. I had lent my copy to my friend first to have her read it and she said it was her least favourite so I was like UM. But then I read it and LOVED IT.

    I thought that the writing in this book seemed a lot more mature and I liked how Stephanie Perkins decided to focus on a different aspect of a relationship. Like instead of a budding one, one in action but that still needs work. I do agree that their relationship seemed to intensify really fast but I guess that was just because Perkins didn’t spend a lot of time developing that part? Because that wasn’t the focus I guess but still, it WAS a bit fast. But then everything else happened and it was like oh yay.

    Also it never occurred to me during Anna that Josh was so swoony?? Anyway great review! I loved hearing your thoughts about Isla. (:

    1. I’m SO glad you ended up loving this one!! I completely agree about the maturity of the writing and I think it worked really well with the couple. And I felt the same way with Josh! It now makes me want to re-read Anna and Lola to relive the characters now that we know how it ends!

      Thanks Annie! 🙂

  3. I too also noticed that Isla was a grittier story, but I do remember reading a lot of posts that Perkins wrote about going through a hard time in her life and she was also depressed for a while and almost didn’t finish the book. It definitely showed, but I’m happy that she finished the story because that means she overcame the depression spell and came out better than before. 🙂
    Even when she isn’t well, she still writes an amazing story. Great Review! 🙂


    I still haven’t read Anna and Lola yet, but I’m kinda embarrassed to buy the book in the store because I don’t know how my parents would react if they see “French kiss” written on the cover lol. Isla and Josh sound so cuuuute! Wait, NA romance? Is it somehow too “disgusting”? I can’t handle that because yeah I’m hopeless romantic, but I love light romance novels! 😛 Thanks for the review. Loved it!

    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books

    1. That’s so funny because I have the same problem!!! I don’t own Anna for that same reason…I got it out of the library as an eBook. :O I did buy Lola and I got Isla out of the library as a physical book because the titles were more tame haha. And not really disgusting, just more mature and sexually oriented I guess I would say? Nothing explicit. 😛 And thanks, Jillian!

  5. I LOVED the ending, that one Anna and Etienne scene … *swoon* I also thought Isla and Josh’s relationship became something way too quickly, but I think it had to be done so we could see more of how they deal with their problems together, not how they get together as a couple. I don’t think I liked it as much as you did, but I still enjoyed it 🙂

  6. This has been on my TBR pile for months, and I’ve just been continuously putting it off (maybe I’ll get to it at some point over Christmas break?). How does it compare to Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door? Which Perkins book do you like most?

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