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

April 6, 2015

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Published by Usborne Books on 14th August 2014
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Pages: 375
The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee.
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me.
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

There was one perk to me leaving a stupidly long time between reading Anna and Lola – I didn’t have to wait long for the release of Isla. Which is only a good thing in my eyes, but that said, this book would have been worth the long wait for. I know there’s a few people who didn’t love it as much as its predecessors, but for me, this really showcases Stephanie Perkins at her finest.

Isla takes us back to Paris, and back into the world of Josh, a guy who Isla has had a crush on since freshman year. A guy who is very good friends with this guy called St Clair…remember him? Of course you do. And Isla and the Happily Ever After takes us on a whirlwind romance between Josh and Isla, and I have to say, I think their romance was my favourite of the three that Stephanie Perkins has written. Josh and Isla’s interactions felt so much more real to me, and I just felt totally invested in their relationship throughout the entire book, through all the good and the bad.

I found myself reading Isla and the Happily Ever After so much quicker than I really wanted to, I wanted to be able to take my time, to really immerse myself in the world that Stephanie Perkins has created for us, but that didn’t happen. I literally didn’t stop reading until I had turned that very last page, and I know I say this a lot, but reading Isla and the Happily Ever After was such an experience and I’m actually quite sad I won’t get to read this book in the same way again.

Isla and the Happily Ever After took us on a journey through the good, bad and ugly side of love, and ultimately gave me the happily ever after I truly wanted from this book. To say I adored this book is an understatement, it was one of my favourite books of 2014, and I am incredibly grateful to Stephanie Perkins for creating a series of books that I fell in love with from the very first page.

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

January 19, 2015

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Published by Usborne Books on 28th September 2011
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Pages: 384
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.

That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola's past be the love of her future?

I didn’t think it was possible to love a book more than I loved Anna, but I was wrong. So wrong. Lola and the Boy Next Door wove its way into my heart and refused to let me go until I had turned the very last page.

Set in San Francisco, it doesn’t quite have the magic of Parish, but there was never any question on where this book should be set. Lola is more San Fran than Paris, everything about her, from her clothes to her family just fits in with that city.

Lola. Where do I begin? Equal parts crazy to utter design genius, I loved her. There was something about her that just appealed right from the start. She’s far from normal, and that is most definitely not a bad thing. Lola is Lola and that’s that.

Cricket. Oh my. I think every girl secretly wishes they had a Cricket (human, not insect) living next to them at some point in their lives. The way he cared for Lola made my heart ache. Everyone deserves their own Cricket. Unfortunately, Lola and Cricket weren’t as plain sailing as they should’ve been. Max, Lola’s boyfriend, stood in their way. And my gosh, he was a total dick. Literally. I spent the majority of my time willing Lola to get rid of him, the idiotic, egotistical oaf. Compared to Cricket, he stood no chance with Lola. He didn’t love Lola, he just used her as a toy and I hated it.

I honestly thought I would never say this, but I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door more than I loved Anna and the French Kiss. (I actually just typed that. No going back now.) This is probably the most perfect, romantic, contemporary young adult series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I seriously urge every single one of you to start reading it if you haven’t already.