Book Talk: Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (NO SPOILERS OBVS)




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


“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 Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new
”  <— Yep, I’m not giving much more plot wise than the summary this time because we’ve ALL been waiting so long.

a2*melts* ALSO, WHY IS IT OVER? WHY!

a4It’s been a month since I read Isla and the Happily Ever After and I’ve been existing as a happy, melted puddle on the floor so I was unable to talk to you about this book. I DIED. You know I loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door something fierce and I’ve been waiting for YEARS for the final companion novel to arrive in my hands. And it did. And it was SO DAMN GOOD with a side of warm and fuzzies. Stephanie, yet again, delivers that kind of romance that makes your heart melt and leaves you feeling a bit lighter and on cloud nine upon finishing — just pure bliss. They give you hope for your OWN happily ever after story no matter where you are at. As a married lady, it makes me remember falling in love and the accompanying feelings but also makes me realize that I’m living my own happily ever after even if it looks different than my favorite fictional stories…and I have so many more exciting pages to be written.

1. Josh & Isla’s love story made my heart do backflips and feel all ooey-gooey: So, I totally didn’t realize who they were from Anna (shh it was a long time ago that I did a full read) and when I realized who they were I was like OH MY GOD YESSSS! The way their story unfolded was so darn cute to watch and I could definitely FEEL the sparks. And HEY this book was SEXY too. I knew Stephanie Perkins could write the most mesmerizing, adorable romances that can make me swoon (which this totally did) but she also was able to write something with a bit of sexy in it — enough to make me blush a wee bit. I don’t want to tell you anything about their romance because I want you to be as swept off your feet as I was! I also really loved the memories that we get about things that happened in Anna’s book. I barely noticed Isla in that book but I remembered those scenes so well when I was reading them. It was nice to see these nods to that story as we are seeing Isla in a whole new way in her book!

2. As a fan, this book was everything I could want out of a conclusion to a beloved companion series: There was weeping and squealing and I melted into a gigantic puddle of feelings. It was the kind of closure I hoped for from this book but didn’t forgo a solid Isla and Josh story just to give us some great cameos. As a fan, I feel sad that this particular series is over but my heart was soaring. One part made me squeal and I don’t think Will’s hearing will ever recover from that. BUT OH MY HEART. It was like watching a beloved tv series finale and I just wept and felt nostalgic and happy but bittersweetly so because NO…CAN WE JUST FOLLOW THEIR LIVES FOR FOREVER?

3. As a reader, I DID have one SMALL issue (I KNOW I’M SORRY) but it was still perfect as a WHOLE: I feel like I need to be honest that as PERFECT as this book was I didn’t love how the CONFLICT in the relationship was developed. I found myself UNDERSTANDING it but not really feeling like there was any build-up for me to believe it with my whole heart. I HATE having to put a teeny tiny damper on this “OMG I LOVED ISLA” party I’m having here but I just have to be honest. It took me out of their story a little bit and I needed to note that. But you can bet your bottom dollar I was rooting for them and cheering for them to figure it out!



factors+ romance & swoons, loved Isla and Josh, an amazing conclusion with cameos by our beloved characters
the basis for which the conflict happened with the romance (not enough buildup for me) but it didn’t really affect my overall rating at all tbh.

Re-readability: YES!!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Already pre-ordered it!!

a5fans of Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door, people who love adorable and heart-melty type romances (BUT GO READ ANNA AND LOLA FIRST), people who are looking for a happily evers that are super satisfying

a8Stephanie Perkins is the queen of happily ever afters and she delivered in this final books in her beloved companion series. I LOVED Isla and Josh and their story and I was over the moon to see what happened to the beloved characters of the previous two books. It was a smile-inducing read that was worth the very long wait and my my heart soar! It was everything I have come to love about Stephanie Perkins books and I’m excited to see what she does next — BUT PLEASE STILL GIVE US YOUR DELECTABLE ROMANCES BECAUSE THERE IS STILL ROOM IN MY HEART FOR MORE!


review-on-post-itIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does this series feel like something you’d be into?
* DID YOU MELT INTO AN OOEY-GOOEY PUDDLE LIKE I DID AT A CERTAIN PART NEAR THE END?? (seriously, when I realized they would be together all in one room I DIED and then the thing after the pizza place…DEAD DEAD DEAD OMG)
* I’m curious, which was your favorite book? Favorite romance? Girl you related to the most?
* Is there anyone who rivals Stephanie Perkins in the swoon department?? Can you recommend something?


The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Omg Im so jealous you got to read this, I’m still waiting on mine 🙁 I loved Anna and Lola, she writes so beautifully and you can’t help but fall in love with the characters. I’m so excited to read this I’m dying in wait. I think my favourite so far would be Anna maybe that would change when I read Isla (not that i didnt love lola ) but I think I related to her compared to Lola.

  2. I’m so glad you suggested rereading Anna, because I had forgotten so much that happened! I think Anna is a better book, but Lola is my favourite, because I love her and Cricket. And her outfits. And her sparkly pink desk. And how Anna and Étienne are just there. Aaaah excited for Isla! 🙂

    • Yes it was so easy to forget and then when I realized I’m like dammit why did I not reread Anna!! It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite bc Anna is just so funny and their romance is awesome but there were things I loved about Lola more and OMG cricket is so the guy I would have dated in high school!! Let me know what you think of Isla when you read it!!

  3. You’re so lucky to have read it early! I’m practically counting down the seconds to the release so I can run to my bookstore and pick up my copy. Even after reading the chapter sampler I was a mess of emotions! Ahhhhh, I’m so excited! 🙂

    • I feel very lucky to have read it early but it felt a wee bit like torture because I just want to talk about it with everyone!! But I’m not complaining bc my grabby hands for that book overpower any other feelings! I hope you love it!! Let me know!!

  4. I LOVED Isla and Josh’s story too! Like you, I had an issue too but it wasn’t enough to detract from the overall story and I thought their character growth was awesome. And yes, THOSE scenes near the end = PUDDLE OF FEELS ACTIVATED.
    For me, ANNA will always be my favorite. I read it at the (public) pool and my outbursts of laughter earned me stares and quite a few walk-bys. You know, like the kind you make your hubby do for you. ;D But I fell in love with the setting and those characters SO HARD.

    • YES I’m glad I’m not the only one…like I felt like I had to mention it but it did not affect my love for it!


      I think Anna is my favorite too after rereading them all…she’s so funny and just I would be best friends with her if she was a real person. AND HELL YEAH TO THE WALK-BYS. They are just jelly that their read wasn’t making them laugh. YA DOES IT BETTER.

  5. Meredith Moore says:

    Ahh, so excited to read this one!!! And so glad to hear that you loved it. I love the way she captured first love in ANNA, and it sounds like she did the same here–can’t wait to read it!

    • I can’t wait for you to read it…you will have to let me know what you think! She is just SO GOOD at capturing first loves!

  6. ANNA is still my favourite book, but ISLA is such a close second (plus there was way more opportunity for swoons in this one!) and as a character, she was the one I related to the most. And omg JOSH. I loved him in ANNA but HE IS MOST ADORABLE.

    • I really related to Isla a lot to in more ways than I thought I would! And omg JOSH…he is just SO AMAZING. And I love him & St. Clair’s freaking bromance!

  7. I absolutely loved Isla, and it’s my favorite out of the three. (But I might still be in the just finished reading the best thing ever stage.)
    I feel like I really connected with Isla the most, even though she’s the one I have the least in common with. I just understood her, and everything she stood for. I understood her fears, and what lead her to have the conflict with Josh. At the end I really felt her growth and I loved that she was learning about taking more risks. I just loved her character so much.
    I think her and Josh are now my favorite couple out of all of them, but they’re all almost at a tie so.

    AND THAT ONE PART THAT THE END. I died. And burst into tears then kept crying until the book ended. And a little bit afterwards too. But they were happy tears, like the best ones.

    And I just admitted that. Oh well.

    • Haha I know that FINISHED READING HIGH well! It’s really hard to say which is my favorite…I love them all more than each other for different reasons! SIGH. (Not a bad prob to have I guess)

      I really connected with Isla too. Like I understood all of her doubts and how she needed to learn to take risks but I guess my problem was that I wish it hadn’t seemed so out of the blue..maybe a little more buildup or something. But regardless, her character growth was great and I loved watching her learn these things.


  8. Just a few more days… just a few more days… Excuse me as I rock back and forth in my corner over here. YOU’RE ALREADY MAKING ME SQUEAL WITH FEELS JAMIE. STAHP. I guess I’ll settle for finishing Lola – but oh my god I need Isla like I need air.

    • DID YOU ENJOY IT?!?!

      • YES SO MUCH!!! Of course, no one could ever match Cricket Bell, but Josh was pretty close <3 And the story was great! I was kind of freaking out at the 3/4 mark – I was going to flip tables if they didn't work it out. But honestly page 313 made me cry buckets. I'm so glad I didn't read it in public because I couldn't even control my squeals and tears!

  9. I’m super jealous that you’ve read Isla and the Happily Ever After. I loved your post-it review – now I’m super excited 🙂

  10. Reading Isla and the Happily Ever After gave me plenty of warm fuzzies too! I smiled a lot while I was reading it, mostly because it’s the type of story that makes me so very happy. I really liked Josh best of all (and have decided he’s my favorite Perkins boy)! I’d totally fall for him, so I definitely think Isla has good taste 😉

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