Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I absolutely love Isla and the Happily Ever After, the third and final book in the companion series named (and starting with) Anna and the French Kiss. As I've said in previous reviews of the first two books, you don't have to read the books in order, but since each book briefly brings in characters from previous books, it can help. In particular, the ending of Isla brings together the characters from both previous books and ties everything together neatly. 

Isla, like Anna, goes to the boarding school for Americans in Paris with her best friend, Kurt and has been in love with Josh for as long as she can remember. However, until recently Josh had always had a girlfriend, and they had only had four very awkward interactions. The two go on several dates and spend a great deal of time together and become a couple, in-love, very quickly. Whilst I do have a problem with "I looked at him and I was in love" kind of instalove, I didn't feel as though Josh and Isla were like that. I've read some reviews that disagree, but I feel as though the relationship, whilst moving quickly, was realistic as they spent almost everyday together and we saw their feelings grow. 

I recently read this review, where Thomas discusses the reasons he didn't like this book. I hate to admit that my opinion has been influenced by somebody else, but in this case, Thomas' words on the character development (or lack there of) left me considering this for a while after I had finished reading. He was right - Isla didn't have much of a personality or hobbies, as her life seemed to revolve around Josh and their relationship. 
Whilst on the topic of characters, I feel as though Kurt was merely a tool for Stephanie Perkins to show that Isla had more depth. Their relationship could have been built up a lot more and we could have seen more of Kurt's personality - rather than it just being focused on his autism. Despite this, I did really like this book and it's probably my second favourite of the three books, after Anna and before Lola. Stephanie Perkins will always be an auto-buy author for me since her writing just makes me feel comfortable and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

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