Monday, September 22, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

So, a while back I reviewed Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.  I just finished Isla and the Happily Ever After, her latest release.  This is not exactly a series, but the characters from the previous books do make cameo appearances and it is fun to remember them. In Isla, we are back at the same French school where Anna and St. Claire met.  Isla is the daughter of wealthy parents, one American and one French, who live in New York.  She is a senior and has had a crush on Josh for three years.  The book opens on Isla sitting in a cafe in New York during summer break.  It is midnight and she is a little high on painkillers having just had her wisdom teeth removed.  She is startled to see Josh sitting in this same cafe just a few tables away.  Because she is a little loopy, she is much less shy with him than usual and actually has a conversation.  It might have been a good night if the medications hadn't caused her to fall asleep at their table.  She is, of course, mortified, but it is a really funny start to a sweet book.

Once Isla returns to school, she and Josh are finally able to get to know one another and it is sweet and cute and funny and all the things a reader wants from a YA romance.  I loved these characters as well as Isla's best friend Kurt.  He has high functioning autism and I love their friendship.  Kurt suffers from the distinction of being named after Kurt Cobain.  He doesn't just have Cobain's first name; his full name is Kurt Donald Cobain Bacon.  I think it's awesome, but Kurt doesn't and that makes it even funnier.  

Is this a deep, enlightening reading?  No, but it was fun and after reading The Handmaid's Tale I felt a little light, fun reading was well deserved.  And it is the kind of book sure to put a spark to one's wanderlust.  I was more than a little envious of Isla's four years of school there.  What an amazing experience!  I'm all ready now to order Rosetta Stone in French and plan a good long trip to Paris.  Who's with me?!   

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