PJV Quickie: Stephanie Perkins‘ series is probably one of my favorite Young Adult Contemporary series published in the last ten years. Perkins’ romances are real and ring true, even though her characters live lives that are quite different from the average teen. ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER was no different. It wasn’t my favorite of the series, Lola being first, Anna being second and Isla ranking as the third as far as enjoyment, but it was still a very refreshing book to read and the character came alive and found a place in my heart, just like the other books. If you haven’t had the chance to read Perkins’ ANNA series – you need to go out and start right now.
Review: We are back in France, attending the privileged School of America in Paris and our focus is on Étienne’s friend Josh and the girl that has been crushing on him for years, Isla. Isla is a self-styled loner, content with her best friend and admiring Josh from afar. Until a chance meeting puts Isla in Josh’s path at a local coffee shop, right after having her wisdom teeth removed and a little loopy on pain killers. After that, Isla and Josh form a tentative friendship, which progresses to an awkward romance. The fall in love is sweet and fast, but the drama surrounding the couple is what keeps the novel progressing and makes it at points, highly frustrating.
Isla was a rather immature character and had some very strong opinions which I thought were ridiculous. Personally, after a few romantic bumble, I wanted Josh to say, “it ain’t worth it” and move on to another character. Especially after her selfish explosion after reading his graphic novel. But, in the end I was rooting for them and Isla’s character progressed and I was happy with the outcome – but it took a rather dramatic gesture from Josh.
Overall, if you have read the first two books, you’ll enjoy Isla. The novel can be a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading Anna or Lola – just for enjoyability.
Recommendations: There are mature romantic themes in this novel. I would recommend this as a PG13 read for more mature teens.