Anna & the French Kiss #3
by Stephanie Perkins
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (August 14, 2014)
Amazon | 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.This book.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.
I don't have to tell you that I've been waiting FOREVER for this book! I know. We all have. I have to admit I was a little scared. Loving Anna and Lola so much made me worry that Isla just wouldn't measure up. I shouldn't have worried. Stephanie Perkins is a magical genius. I've never read books that made me smile SO MUCH! I loved it! It was incredible.
Josh and Isla's story is very different from Anna or Lola's. Isla has been in love with Josh for years. She's watched from the sidelines as he's made friends (St. Clair, Meredith, Anna) and had an intense relationship with Rashmi. And watched while his relationship ended and all his friends graduated. Even though she lives near Josh in Manhattan, and goes to school with him in Paris, she can't seem to ever muster the courage to speak to him. Until one day, with a little help from the drugs she's on (she just had her wisdom teeth removed), she approaches Josh in a cafe in Manhattan, and makes an impression. She's just not sure it was a good one.
When Josh and Isla return to Paris, they realize that their feelings are mutual, and their relationship begins to intensify, and quickly. But Isla's insecurities and Josh's past make things more difficult than either of them may be able to handle.
I haven't loved a contemporary book as much as this one since Lola and the Boy Next Door. I mean, there have been others that I've loved, but nothing that has had the ability to make me so anxious, and so happy, and so frustrated, and so sad, and then just....so perfect! It was strange because I really didn't relate to Isla at all, and in fact she made me really mad plenty of times. But there was just something about her, and something about Josh, and something about them together that just made me so happy. I honestly couldn't stop smiling after I finished reading it. Especially after getting a little glimpse at my old favorites from the previous books (EEEEEEK!!)
I can't let this review end without mentioning Kurt, Isla's longtime best friend. I loved the friendship between the two of them. It seemed so completely authentic, without being just another typical boy/girl best friendship. It was a pretty incredible thing to read.
Isla and the Happily Ever After is a charmingly sweet edition to the trilogy. Isla and Josh's relationship is realistic, intense and beautiful and their story of love, insecurities, and self-discovery is one that I will read over and over again. Now I just want to go back and read all of them again!