Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After

by Stephanie Perkins
4.6 37

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

“Stephanie Perkins’s characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good.” —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor&Park and Fangirl

A New York Times Bestseller 

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142426265
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 08/14/2014
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 76,909
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Stephanie Perkins ( has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. Stephanie lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

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Isla and the Happily Ever After 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Melissa_Robles More than 1 year ago
Aaaah, I can't take my heart right now. It's so FULL of good feelings that it practically hurts. It's just that this book is SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. I'm sooooooo in love! I feel like crying. I feel like dancing. I feel like I haven't really been living until now. Feels, feels, FEELS, people! Isla and the Happily Ever After is THE book. Stephanie Perkins is hands down the best YA Contemporary writer ever. She makes you laugh, she makes your heart melt and she makes you suffer in the most precious way.  Isla (eye-la) is a whole different experience from my other two Stephanie favorites, Anna and the French Kiss, and Lola and the Boy Next Door. This book is more mature, more intense, yet equally sweet and stunning. The romance swooned me off my feet and the special guests made my heart explode in happiness. Clearly I just want to gush and hug this book all day long. I'm actually itching to read it again now (and I will after my sister gets her scoop of awesomeness).  It's so thrilling to be back now at the city of love with Isla and Josh. They are both so adorably cute together. Isla with her shy yet fiery persona, and Josh with his talent and ability to say and draw the most beautiful scenarios. I'm so glad this book doesn't let me wait that long for both to get together, unlike Anna and Lola (although I do love the anticipation). The attraction between Isla and Josh was so palpable and so right, it would have been unreal if they didn't fall for each other soon. However, they do have to deal with so many insecurities and things that are simply out of their hands, thus ensuing a big heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride. But the best part *clutches heart* THE ENDING. The last chapters were so perfect and magical that I think my heart stopped from too much beauty. Now I want to cry again because Isla & Josh, Anna & Étienne, and Lola & Cricket always make me want to find love just like theirs. At least for a day, I'll take anything. Seriously, you have to read this book like, now. If you haven't started the series, don't worry, you don't have to start with book one as they can work pretty well as stand-alones, but trust me, it works better when read in order.  On a side note... I'm sad that this series has come to an end because it's not only the last about Isla, but Anna and Lola as well. It definitely hurts to know there won't be more. However, I'm glad the characters got their happily ever afters.  If I had to pick a favorite out of the three books, Isla would come out at the bottom but not by much. It fairly stays in the same order because: Anna and the French Kiss is this sweet story about being afraid of choosing what you want and making big changes in life. Of giving the chance to something you would never have considered before. It's a great book that builds up something huge, the anticipation pure torture, but extremely satisfying. It's the kind of book that makes you want to jump in and live inside forever. Not to mention my boyfriend, Étienne, who is the ultimate bookboyfriend of all times. Lola and the Boy Next Door is all about identity and misunderstandings. Of speaking out loud and learning from mistakes, of forgiving. If Anna was sweet, then this one was bowls and bowls of bright colored candies and pies. Again, the anticipation for a great ending is terrible, but SO worth it. An extremely bright book with a bright guy. Cricket is the boy I would love to spend every minute of every day for the rest of my life. And Isla and the Happily Ever After is the story about finding yourself AND believing in yourself. In what you can do, how much you are worth and how beautiful and interesting you can be even when you don't have your life all planned out. Like Josh says, it's okay to be a blank canvas because they are the ones full of possibilities, and artists are inspired by them. Terrificly raw, this book gives you another love story with a stunning guy you cannot live without. So even though Josh is not my Étienne, and certainly not my Cricket (yes, the hard decision comes down to the boys), he is MY Josh and I wouldn't change him one bit. I have love for everyone, you see. Now, THE END. *whew, I know.*(less)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can I just say that Stephanie Perkins closed the series perfectly. Josh and Islas relationship was so true and real. I loved every minute of it. I felt their pain and their love. Even though I always want more at the end I have to say that Perkins always has the best endings that makes you feel all tingly inside. The author captures love so well that I hope I have something like her characters in years to come, sincere, true love . It was truely brilliant.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
Isla is Stephanie Perkin's third book that proves her to be a master of not only romance, but storytelling. I was first introduced (and convinced) to read her first book, Anna and the French Kiss, when I began blogging three years ago (in 2011!) and I've been a devoted fan ever since then! I was looking forward to Isla because although she only had a small role to play in Anna, I knew this last book in this collection was going to be incredible. Reasons to Read: 1. Books with a feeling of nostalgia: Very few books leave me with such a strong nostalgic feeling. But Stephanie has this way of writing that makes her readers intensely feel the same emotional roller coaster as her characters. Her books perfectly capture many of the feelings and experiences I had as a teenager, and I love that. I found it was particularly strong in Isla because Isla's awkward moments and intense relationship with Josh were so familiar to me. 2. Romantic longing: One of my favourite feelings in the world is that period when you first realize you have a crush on someone... and then it starts to move in the right direction! It is this crazy, wild adrenaline rush and that is exactly what Isla (and Josh) experience in this book. Isla has pined for Josh for years, and we get to read about how she first approaches Josh and their friendship develops from there. But it's that rising anticipation throughout the book that kept me hooked! 3. Revisit some of our other favourite Perkins' couples: I love how Stephanie includes little cameos of characters she's written about in previous books. It's so fun to get to see glimpses of how their lives turned out, and I think that this is especially true in Isla and the Happily Ever After. Because this book is the end of this three-book collection, it seems like so much more than just the potential of a "happily ever after" for Isla - it's as if it's the happily ever after for Anna, Lola, and even for us as readers.  I can't sing the praises of this book enough. Isla and Josh are adorable. They're also flawed, and kind of stupid at times. Which is fine, because I've done silly things as well. I truly wish I could crawl inside the pages of this book and live in Paris with Anna and Isla and do my makeup and get dressed up with Lola. Because we would be best friends, even if they are fictional.  Hardcover purchased. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was absolutely amazing i didnt want it to end, once i bought it i couldnt put it down, i cried at the ending, you deffinatly grow and learn reading this journey. i bought this on sunday and finished on tuesday. its amazing like the rest of her work, i reccomend going to the store and picking up at copy right away before there all gone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved anna and the french kiss so much much i read it like 30 times in a row i wish there was another book all about anna and st. Clair they are such a beautiful couple. Cricket and lola are such an interesting duo i cant wait to read isla and josh wow im so excited :)
Morgan_S_M More than 1 year ago
Can't believe it took me this long to read Isla!! I missed Stephanie Perkins' words
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is now my favorite book ever. EVER. If you love the feeling of falling in love, this book - this whole series - is DEFINITELY for you. AMAZING book!!!!
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
Isla was incredible easy to like and definitely the heroine of this series (of sorts) that I most had things in comum, she had so much of me on her. Her only having one close friend, of not opening up for other people, her insecurities, her way of self defense with her insecurities, her love for her family, being divided between two nations and not knowing where she belonged and what she wanted to do with life when everyone around her had plans, yeah I got her. So it was incredible easy to feel into her mind and understand what she was feeling, even when she made stupid decisions I couldn't be angry at her because I knew what was motivating her to act like that, I liked that she does evolve on a lot of her insecurities by the end of the book even if I do think it was rushed - like her college decision, which okay the right answer was building inside of her, but it only needs a talk with some ex-friend and boom, decision totally made no other doubts about it. I think this, and other things, like her insecurities could have been better build along the book. Josh was kind of a difficult character for me, because at times he seemed a lot of bullshit for me but at other times I would see myself crying over something he passed through. The bullshit part comes because of his privileged life and how he wants to blow everything up, it just... I get it, but I can't sympathize with him at the same time, he doesn't have a good enough reason for being so artsy-messed-up kind of character. But I also understand his feelings of loneliness, that first reaction after seeing that he did a wrong choice is fuck everything and turns thing even harder for him, so yeah it was a hard character for me because what I liked is what I didn't liked about him, at the same time #it'scomplicated. On the romance of these two, well it was a hell of a instalove but one that I totally approve, basically because they started as one of those sugar-extra-sweet sorta of couple with an incredible chemistry and all their interactions were so sweet and it was so obvious that both of them had fallen hard for each other since their first real conversation and them in the middle SHIT HITS THE FAN jk, kinda of. *Things* happen and they start to have trouble in paradise - despite I liking their development as a couple, this was also my least favorite part of the book, basically it was hard to not be pissed with them because these *things* could have been 100% avoided and all the drama that it brought to the book wasn't my favorite - so it was nice to see they work through it and find their happily ever after
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't as big a fan of the relationship trajectory in this story, but I appreciated that Isla and Josh's love story was portrayed in more typically teenage terms. They were still figuring themselves out while they were falling for each other, which made even their more immature moments seem achingly realistic. A sweet end to a sweet series.
Amber_Elise More than 1 year ago
The ending to a beloved series couldn't end any sweeter! I was sad to have to close this book. Plot: Isla and the Happily Ever After filled me with such giddy feelings as well as heartache. When I first read the synopsis, I thought their "chance encounter" was code for "hook up" - it's not. Isla and Josh's love story is innocent, albeit a bit rushed. The "meat" of the story takes place little over two months - filled with teenage angst, infatuation, and too-soon "I love yous." Regardless of the pacing, I fell in love with Isla and Josh's timeline. Characters: I adored Isla because I saw a little bit (a lot) of me in her character. She's quiet, an overachiever, and has terribly low self esteem, while Josh is her complete opposite. I didn't like Josh in the beginning, because I found him to be undeserving, but like all Perkins characters, I grew to understand him. The synopsis boasts cameos from previous couples and characters, and while it was nice to see them, I felt that their presence took away from Isla and Josh. Anna and St. Clair cameos worked better in Lola and the Boy Next Door because they were imbedded in the storyline, here they are written in the storyline just to show how cute they are. World Building: I went into this book thinking that I was going to be treated to the same Paris that took my breath away in Anna and the French Kiss. Unfortunately, we don't get nearly as much France, or SOAP for that matter. Perkins still has a way with words that transports you to a new world, which is why I will devour anything that Stephanie Perkins writes. Short N Sweet: Isla and the Happily Ever After is a great ending to this lovely companion series. I just wish that I could stop comparing it to Anna and the French Kiss!
KristiHulsey More than 1 year ago With this particular story I was thinking 4 or 4.5 stars. Until the ending the ending blew me away. I was just a pile of mush by the end. My favorite was Anna and the French Kiss. Until the ending. I love them all. But the ending was just OMG so sweet and so many emotions go through you while read it. Anna and Lola are both amazing books. All 3 books have their own personality. But I can see why some people say Isla is there favorite. Because the ending is my favorite out of the 3 books. But Anna is just my favorite for overall books. I love how the ending of this particular book wraps around all 3 books. It gives a great ending for the 3 people in this book. I just loved that. I love Isla and Josh together. I didnt think about Rashmi being with Josh in the first book. It didnt really cross my mind so I may reread that story. Just to see what they were like together. Isla and Josh really work well together in my mind. I love all their intense moments from their first kiss. To their more intimate moments. Their first kiss was about 100 pages in and I love the way their kiss played out while they were playing with each. The whole "if you were my girl" that whole scenario it was just so funny to read until the kissing moment. I loved it. Then they go into the flirty kisses where they both fall in love with each other. I love how the author took a whole chapter for the I love you part. I loved this authors writing style. These 2 characters in my mind had some intense chemistry and some emotional scenes together. Above it all I loved it. The ending is definately my favorite. I cannot wait to read what else Stephanie Perkins has. I will definately be reading more of this author.
ReesesSH More than 1 year ago
It’s finally here! The last book in the series of romantic awesome. Isla has been in love with Josh from her first semester. She’s the middle child and living far away from home in Paris. Isla is the perfect honor roll student who has never broken the rules. I wish I would have liked Isla. I did enjoy much like in all of Stephanie Perkins books that the characters are realistic with flaws and real personalities.  Isla was insecure and scared about who she was throughout the story and tries to overcome that which I love since I love characters that grow. Josh has uncaring controlling political parents. Everyone expects nothing from him and so he gives everyone nothing. He skips school and just tries to enjoy as much life as possible. He travels all over the world and draws, creating a comic book of his life. Isla and Josh were an interesting couple. Both of them are insecure and have issues, but they’re cute together. They traveled together and became better characters for it. They both encounter issues, but it becomes obvious they’re better off together. All of our amazing characters from past books made their way into this book which made this story all the better. I honestly wanted to like this story but I felt it really fell short after comparing it to the rest of the series. Isla’s character wasn’t as great nor was this story as compared, which was disappointing.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Isla Martin has had a hopeless, all-consuming crush on Josh Wassertein since their first year at the School of America in Paris. After years of pining, Isla has grown used to watching Josh from afar. Then one magical, painkiller-fueled, chance encounter in New York the summer before their senior year changes everything. After years of bad timing and missed connections, Josh and Isla are finally together. But with false-starts and near-misses aplenty, neither of them is sure this relationship is meant to last. Isla doesn't understand how someone like Josh can ever feel as deeply for her as she does for him. Neither is sure how to deal with the growing pains and doubts that stem from their new, intense relationship. With uncertain plans for college and the future looming, Josh and Isla will have to learn to be apart before they have any chance of staying together in Isla and the Happily Ever After (2014) by Stephanie Perkins. Isla and the Happily Ever After is the highly anticipated conclusion to Perkins' loose trilogy that began with Anna and the French Kiss and continued with Lola and the Boy Next Door. These books function as perfect companions to each other but Isla's story is very much her own and functions as a standalone. Readers who have followed these books from the start, however, will be pleased with cameos from all the obvious suspects toward the end of the novel. While much of the story focuses on Isla and Josh's fledgling relationship, Perkins also artfully explores changing friendships as well as the complexities relationships with sisters. Kurt, Isla's best friend, is an especially wonderful addition to the story. Isla's panic at facing her future both in terms of college and life beyond is authentic and well-handled throughout the story. Although Josh and Isla are perfect together, Isla's growth is happily a solo endeavor as she is forced to acknowledge her flaws as well as her strengths and wants. Isla (and Josh) are often foolish and make mistakes but they also both learn and begin to thrive because of them. Perkins is a master when it comes to writing clever, swoony romances. Josh and Isla are perfect counterpoints to each other in this story about first love and growing up. Isla and the Happily Ever After is an apt conclusion for these characters and a perfect romance for anyone looking for a smile. Possible Pairings: Girl Overboard by Justina Chen, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, When It Happens by Susane Colasanti, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, King of the Screwups by K. L. Going, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Alice, I Think by Susan Juby, The Piper's Son by Melina Marhcetta, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
ApollosSunshine More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THE BOOK!  In the beginning, I must admit, I was skeptical. I did not think it would meet my expectations it seemed a bit typical and superficial, but as the story progressed i was able to see that those were the exact intentions of the author. The ending was beautiful and deep. I simply and absolutely loved this story. It met every single one of my expectations. Fell in love with every word of this book!!!! Definitely a must read (preferably after reading Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it. I love the story, I love all of Stephanie Perkins books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The romance starts on page one. Cute story, great conclusion to the series. Loved the parts with Anna and St. Claire...perfect! Loved Josh and Isla's'll need tissues at one point. Thank you Stephanie Perkins for a happily ever after. I recommend this book. S.A.K.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The third in the companion series that takes the reader back to Paris and to the American school with a new group of seniors.  Isla is the middle daughter of a French/American couple who definitely shows the middle child tendencies.  Josh is the child of a state senator and doesn't quite fit the normal mold of a political offspring.  Isla has had a crush on Josh since day one and now in their senior year she may get the guts to make her feelings known. What a fantastically sweet and realistic love story.  I absolutely stinkin adore the realistic ups and downs of a senior year of high school relationship.  The puppy love was great.  Although it took awhile it was great to have the appearance of the whole crowd - St. Clair, Anna, Cricket and Lola - but what a great appearance!  
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WishEnd More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars I got pulled into this series when I picked up the first book, Anna & the French Kiss, last year. Perkins' characters and writing style are genuine, whimsical, funny, raw in places, and sweet. Her characters have all been interesting and have also all had some development to them as each story unfolds. Isla and the Happily Ever After was no different. There was much to love in the setting and in the characters and story. There was some heartbreak, some points where the characters really had to face themselves and come to terms with who they were and who they wanted to be and decide what they would choose. There were parts that deeply touched me and others that made me frustrated and upset.  I really, really wish this book (and all in the series) were clean. I'm sure many feel that wouldn't make them genuine, but for me there was too much language and sex. I also feel like these characters and stories have so much that can touch and teach others, but because of the content I'm fairly limited as to whom I can recommend them to. Content: Lots of language and sexual content. Source: Library
Livlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
Another charming read by Stephanie Perkins! This was a perfect story to get me through my work week. I immediately connected with Isla and reveled in her finally approaching and then dating Josh, the object of her 3-year crush, as their senior year at the School of America in Pairs progressed. Having the gang from the previous 2 books show up was also a lovely treat. QUICK BREAKDOWN Audiobook narrator: 4-stars – Grace Blewer does a good job. I like her French and Spanish accents and her tone matched this YA themed novel well. Story: it opens in New York at the Kismet café before the school year begins at the School of America in Pairs and spans Isla and Josh’s entire senior year. POV: Isla’s Tension: Kurt’s relationship with Isla, Josh’s attitude about school, Isla’s insecurity and conviction that she is just a place holder in Josh’s life Romance category/level: mature Young Adult; yearning, fresh and very sweet Sex: Yes, but there were only a few hot and heavy scenes which were suitably toned down for YA readers while still maintaining a sweetly sexy vibe. Setting: New York, Paris and Barcelona Sequel/Series planned: no. This was the third and final installment in the Anna & The French Kiss series.
cbk102400 More than 1 year ago
This send of to one of the best trilogies I have ever read was amazing. I love that we got to meet up with the two main characters from the two books (four total). I have loved Stephanie Perkins characters for years, and while  Anna & Ètienne  and Lola & Cricket have a special place in my heart I am happy to make room for Isla & Josh. These characters are REAL and go through real,  while sometimes exaggerated, experiences. These six will always be my friends and that may sound sad but they have taught me a lot about life. It's okay to be scared, to be yourself, and to not know where you're going, but if you believe in yourself and have people supporting you, you will get to the end and everywhere past it.