Saturday, 16 August 2014

review: isla and the happily ever after

From Goodreads:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

This book, guys. 

I kid you not, when I finally turned the last page and closed it I had happy little tears in my eyes. And there are not a lot of books I can say that about. I was extremely late to the whole Stephanie Perkins bandwagon - I only read Anna and Lola at the beginning of the summer - but I swear, the wait killed me just as much. And once this book was in my hands, it was squeals all day. I actually was lucky enough to get the book early since I preordered it and it just ended up at my house way before expected, so that was awesome. 

If you're looking for a cutesy romance that will fill your tummy with warm fuzzies and make you smile, look no further. Stephanie Perkins has a way with teenage romance, and I am all for it. She's an expert on capturing the feeling of first loves and everything that goes along with it, good and bad. About 60 pages in I got that excited, falling-in-love feeling that only a really well-written book can give - you know, butterflies, giggly, all that jazz. I was actually reading at work and started smiling to myself so much that I had to stop and just put the book down. It's that captivating. 

A huge part of this book, as well as Anna and Lola, are the descriptions of settings. When I was reading, I could see Paris. I could see Kismet Cafe, a boy drawing in his sketchbook. I could see the streets of Barcelona. Every detail comes to life. This is the secret ingredient of a great book. 

I have to say, even though a lot of people had issues with Isla and her enormous crush on Josh, I found it endearing because girl, I've been there. I've been that girl with an irreversible, inconsolable crush on a boy. I'm dating that boy now. I think the fact that I identified so strongly with Isla is a huge reason why I loved this book so much. I could see so much of myself in her, and I understood her thought process down to a tee. 

And Josh. Oh my goodness, Josh. I just couldn't get enough of the artsy, kinda mysterious, romantic type. The graphic memoir. The fact that he rewrote it. The fact that he makes mistakes and fixes them. I just. Sigh. I won't lie, he's might just be my new book boyfriend. 

One last thing that I absolutely love (and there are way more, but I just can't sit here and list them all day because we'll end up with a novel-length analysis and nobody wants that): the cameos. THE CAMEOS!!!! They made my heart so happy and I just smiled so huge for that entire scene. Even the references to St. Clair and Anna throughout the book made me smile, but that part near the end of the book... 

And the thing.

You know. 

The thing. 

With St. Clair and Anna.

I might have shed a tear or five million.

I think this is a good stopping point now that I've gotten a good deal of my fangirlish squealing out of the way. If you haven't already guessed, I adored this book and I will read it over and over again. This is the most bittersweet thing because I know this series is over and that's so sad, but it is such a good series. And this final book is just the icing on the cake. Utter perfection. If you haven't picked this up yet, please do yourself a favour and sprint to the nearest bookstore. I promise you won't regret it.

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