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

islaTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Series: Anna and the French Kiss, #3

Author: Stephanie Perkins

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.

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.

Review:

Hello, all!  I feel like it’s been a million years!  But, I’m happy to be back with a new review, my first review of the year!  This is actually the first book that I’ve finished this year (aside from rereading The Perks of Being a Wallflower).  I’m also reading this other book called The Physics of Immortality, but that isn’t exactly a book for “light reading.”

Isla and the Happily Ever After has been sitting on my shelves since August, even though I already knew I’d love it.  Stephanie Perkins’ books are perfection on paper.  The third and final book in this trilogy focuses on Isla and Josh, who was a prominent character in Anna and the French Kiss.  He definitely had a bigger role to play in this book.

In Isla, we got to see a lot of Josh that I don’t remember seeing in the first book.  We also get to know about who he is in general a lot more, since he’s one of the main characters.  He was so sweet and perfect and ugh.  *Mentally adds him to my never-ending list of book boyfriends*

Isla was… meh.  She got really annoying toward the end of the book.  I felt there was a lot of unnecessary drama that she created.  I could kind of relate to her, though.  I’m not really sure how to feel about her.  Again, meh.

I LOVED Kurt.  I was sad to see that Anna kind of pushed him aside once Josh came into the picture.  I’m glad Kurt was able to find the Right Way (*nudge nudge, wink wink*), though.  I just wish that Isla had made more friends instead of focusing all of her attention on Josh only.

This book was so exciting, though.  I read it in two sittings, and I don’t know why I had the motivation to pick it up, considering I haven’t done something like that in a long time.  I feel so spontaneous xD

Of course, we had cameos from Anna, St. Clair, Lola, and Cricket, which was amazing.  Unfortunately, they were talked about more than they actually were there.

5/5 stars to this beauty!  I love, love, loved this book.  I only had a few problems with it, but I’m letting them slide.  Overall, this series was fantastic.  I think Anna was my favorite, then Isla, then Lola.

What did you think of this series?  Are you thinking about picking it up?  Let me know!

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2) by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the boy next doorTitle: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Summary: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded 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. -Goodreads

 

Review:

2013 Review

**Warning: Spoilers!**

Anna and the French Kiss was incredible and I really, really loved it!  I had no idea that it was the first book in a series, and there were two Stephanie Perkins books on the shelf when I got French Kiss.  The second one was Lola and the Boy Next Door, and luckily, I’d picked up French Kiss because I would have been VERY mad if I’d read Boy Next Door first and then found out it was book deux.

I’d actually started this book when I was first getting comfy with YA, but for some reason, I never finished it.  I don’t think I got very far.  I’ve always leaned more toward fantasy fiction and stuff like that, and I don’t think I was into contemporary or romance or anything like that during that time.

Reading Boy Next Door’s synopsis didn’t have me thrilled.  I was wondering if this book would be as good as French Kiss, and the cover didn’t impress me at all.  But HOLD THE PHONE!  When I saw that this was based in San Fransisco, I was thinking, “Oh, no flipping way…”  I had high hopes that Anna and St. Clair from French Kiss might stop by to say hello, considering they moved to San Fransisco after leaving France.  And they did!  Anna worked at the movies and St. Clair always hung out there with her.  Aww!

I didn’t like Lola much.  I have this weird thing with main characters where I usually don’t like them too much.  I don’t know why…

I hated Max.  Y’know.  The boyfriend that was five years older than Lola: “Max is careful by nature.  This is why he never drinks or smokes pot–”  When I read this, I was like, “Well, that’s never a bad thing.  And then, I finished the sentence: “…never drinks or smokes pot on Saturday nights.”  Because on Sundays, Lola’s dads made them have Sunday brunch or something like that.  But, seriously, I think I cackled madly for a good two minutes because I really hadn’t expected the sentence to end like that.

Soon after that, we find out that Max’s band is called… Amphetamine.  *silence*  Like drugs, right?  That was my reaction to that.

Anyway, Cricket was adorable.  I mean, I liked St. Clair WAY much more than Cricket, but he was pretty cool, too, building and stuff.  OOH, OOH, HE’S A CHILD OF HEPHAESTUS!!!  Heheh…

Lola’s dads were AWESOME!  Andy was the cool, more laid back one, and Nathan was the more stern one.  But they were both very protective of her.

Aleck, Cricket’s bro, was hilarious, though he didn’t really play a large part in the book.

I really hated the fight between Lola and Cricket.

I liked the complexity of Lola’s background, and I liked that she built a small relationship with her mom, Nathan’s sister.  Nathan and Andy actually adopted Lola from her mother.

Favorite Lines:

Cricket springs backward.  “This is my roommate, Dustin.  Dustin, this is Lola.”

“Huh,” Dustin says.  “I thought you were gay.”

I’m going to rate this a solid 3/5 stars.  I’m excited for the next book!  I did like Lola and the Boy Next Door, but it wasn’t Anna and the French Kiss.  I really, really didn’t like Max.  I guess my favorite characters were Cricket, Andy, and Nathan.

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the french kissTitle: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Summary: 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? -Goodreads

 

Review:

**Warning: Spoilers!**

I’ve heard of Stephanie Perkins and her books, but I was never really interested in them until I saw this book, Anna and the French Kiss, sitting on the shelf at my library.

Not only did my recognition of the book urge me to pick it up, but Lauren Myracle’s review at the back did, too.  And we all know that I adore Lauren Myracle’s writing.

This book was written in first person in Anna’s POV, and in present tense.  It took a little getting used to because usually, the books I read written in present tense are in the dystopian genre.

This would be categorized into the contemporary genre, correct?  I don’t read much contemporary, and if you don’t either, Anna and the French Kiss is the PERFECT book to start with.  I absolutely loved it!

Okay!  Onto the review.

I felt the book started very hastily.  I suppose that’s good, getting to the point, but it was like, “Oh my God, my dad is completely crazy for sending me to a boarding school in Paris!  And my mom is even crazier for agreeing with him!  UGH!”  Complaints, complaints… Very realistic 😀  I just wasn’t sure how I felt about the fast start.

The book was so funny, though.  I really enjoyed the characters and their personalities and the dialogue.  Haha!

St. Clair kind of reminded me of Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare) just a tad…

There was a lot of sexual tension between Anna and St. Clair going on, which was awesomesauce 😀  She kind of fended him off in the beginning–DER!  He had a girlfriend!  And then it was really weird and during the Thanksgiving holiday?  Uh… I think St. Clair crossed the line a bit there.  That’s… borderline cheating!

The “friendship” between the two just oozed awkwardness.  Like when Dave was trying to ask Anna out in front of St. Clair, and Anna declined.  So Dave automatically assumed there was something going on between her and St. Clair, and they way they denied it made them sound so guilty, even though there really was nothing going on between them.  Yet.

I liked Bridgette, too!  Well… then when she and Anna had that falling out, I didn’t like her.  I felt like we didn’t really get closure between Anna and Bridgette.  I mean, yeah, Anna sent Bridgette that letter of apology, but we never really saw what came of that.

I liked Josh, too.  Not drunk-Josh, but sober-Josh.  And I didn’t like drunk-St. Clair, either!  (Though, it was kind of funny when he vomited on Anna.)

Favorite Lines:

“Thanks.  I forgot how to flip off the English.  I’ll use the correct hand gesture next time.”

“My pleasure.  Always happy to educate.”

HAHAHA!  That was a conversation between Anna and St. Clair.  I think they were in the fancy shmancy cafeteria at their boarding school.

~

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he says, handing me my ticket.  “Let’s see some dead people.” 

Another awesome conversation between Anna and St. Clair 😉

~

“Anna has a boooy-friend,” Seany chants.

Omg, isn’t that totally like the Lindsay Lohan “Freaky Friday” adaptation?!  I love that movie.  And the scenes were similar, too.  AND THEY’RE BOTH ANNAS!  😄 In “Freaky Friday,” when Anna’s little bro was all, “Anna’s got a boyfriend,” they were in the car.  When Anna’s brother from Anna and the French Kiss was like, “Anna has a boooy-friend,” they were in the car.  That’s funny.

~

“You don’t understand.”  He pulls his hand away from mine.  “My mum and I depend on him.  For everything!  He has all of the money, and if we upset him, Mum is on the street.”

This line was so sad.  Stephanie Perkins created some of the most relatable characters you could ever imagine.  The whole story was very realistic and it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be–princess-y and all that junk.

St. Clair’s family situation made me so sad.  I felt for him.

When he wasn’t at his fancy boarding school, St. Clair lived with his mom in San Fransisco, while his father lived in Paris with his many mistresses.  St. Clair’s father controlled him and his mother, and the whole relationship was sick.  St. Clair’s dad wouldn’t let his mom divorce him, but he had several mistresses in Europe. St. Clair hated his father, but loved his mother–who was dying of cancer.

And on top of that, his dad wouldn’t even let him see his mom!  Anna asked if his mom would ask for him, and St. Clair’s response was something along the lines of, “She wouldn’t disobey my father.”  Disobey?

And then that’s when St. Clair went out with Josh and got drunk.  And apparently, it was perfectly legal in France.  But the whole thing was so saddening and horrible.

It got really deep–which I didn’t expect from a romance novel.  Everything was so raw and realistic.  Like I said, I really liked this book and am giving it… 5/5 stars.  The ending was perfection and I can’t wait to pick up another Stephanie Perkins book!

Book Review Archive

Here are my book reviews in alphabetical order:

***Note: Some of these reviews are, well… let’s just say I’ve definitely improved on my book reviewing skills, haha!  Also, if the book starts with ‘The’, it will be filed under the first letter of the next word in the title.

Reviews with an asterisk (*) beside them mean that I didn’t complete the book.

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A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z