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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Book 3 in the Anna and the French Kiss companion trilogy

Young Adult // Categories: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin Books USA)
Format: Hardcover • 334 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Other books by Stephanie Perkins: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door

Filed under: boarding schools

I wasn't planning to read Isla and the Happily Ever After, but I spotted it at my library in the new books section and had to read it. After zooming through Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, I didn't have any doubts that I would end up loving this book. I WAS EXCITED.

To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. I know this book revolves around the challenges that Isla and Josh face rather than how they become a couple like in Anna and Lola, but I felt like I missed out on watching them develop and build those feelings for each other. Because of that, I wasn't able to fully understand how or why Josh liked Isla in the first place. Yeah, he thought she was hot, but that doesn't cut it for me. It's not that I want him to say exactly why, I just didn't feel like I could get it from who he is.

In both Anna and Lola, we see their settings (Paris and San Francisco) intertwined with the storyline, but I missed that in Isla. I was expecting to see Isla and Josh run around and explore New York City, but a lot of it took place at their boarding school in Paris. Even so, it seemed like it could have taken place anywhere. Barcelona came into the picture for a little bit, but that wasn't enough for me. I was just a little disappointed because I was expecting to experience a different city like I had in Anna and Lola.

I liked that Isla's best friend, Kurt, was part of the story. Having him around (as well as Isla's younger sister, Hattie) reflected a bit of who Isla is as a person. I enjoy a book a little bit more when friends and family are interacting with one another.

The "problems/challenges" that Isla and Josh had to go through weren't that intense or damaging to their relationship. It didn't give me that "NOOO WHY!!!" feeling and wasn't that big of a deal—probably due to Isla and Josh falling in love a little too quickly, in my opinion.

My favorite part of this book was seeing Anna/ร‰tienne/Lola/Cricket, which is not so great because it is supposed to be about Isla and Josh. Don't get me wrong though, I had fun reading Isla. Although I had some problems with a few things, I enjoyed this book as a whole and would recommend it to you if you've read and loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Isla wasn't my favorite, but don't let me stop you from reading it. I had quite a few expectations (as you can tell from above), so that might have affected my experience while reading it. I know a ton of people who have read and love Isla, so it really depends!


If you read Isla, did you enjoy it more than I did? What was your favorite scene? Would you re-read it? Out of Anna, Lola and Isla, which one was your favorite and why?


  1. It's too bad that this didn't capture you like the first two books did. It sounds like the author tried to do something different with this one. I would be more interested in seeing the romance develop and exploring the setting with the characters like in the books before too. I do want to read this though. I hope I will not be too disappointed!

  2. I'd still recommend reading it! Have you read Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door yet?

  3. I did read Anna and Lola! And they were awesome. Although I think I like Anna a tiny bit more (probably because of the Parisian setting! :)