ISLAAAAAAAAAAA. ISLA ISLA ISLA.
You guys, I've been waiting for this book for two years. I know that isn't as long as some, but it's still been a really long time. But you guys, it was so worth it.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins is the third in the sort-of-series that begins with Anna and the French Kiss.
Perkins has the ability to write contemporary YA in a way that makes me feel like I'm living it. Isla and Josh's romance is damn-near perfect. Perkins excels at the awkward, does he like me or doesn't he stage. She make the relationship bumps believable. No relationship goes perfectly 100% of the time.
Possible Minor Spoilers ahead:
I loved that Isla and Josh had both had sex with other people. It's unrealistic and annoying when two virgins continuously meet in contemporary YA. I think that's a trend that's changing, but I'm glad that Perkins chose to support the fact that teens have sex, and often with more than one partner. I also liked that Perkins goes a little more in-depth with sex scenes than YA authors usually do. Don't get me wrong, it isn't like erotica or anything, but she doesn't completely fade-to-black either. And I like that. For some teens, the only sex education they have is through novels. So it's important to try to include as much of the experience as possible. I also really liked that it took awhile for Isla and Josh to have sex. Perkins writes the build-up scenes perfectly: the aggravation of constantly having to stop before you go to far, the question of where the heck you can have sex at that age, and the constant wanting--she writes them all spot-on.
My one slight problem with the book is how spontaneous their relationship is. And it does become part of the problem for the two of them, but they were declaring their i-love-yous within a month of dating. And that's pretty quick. But over all, I loved Isla and the Happily Ever After.
I would recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary young adult novel with plenty of romance. It's definitely a book that gives you the butterflies.
Favorite quotes: [...] I wish the world would swallow us here, whole, in this moment. And that's when it hits me that this--this--is falling in love.
He bared his soul, and I held it against him.
(Even though I don't really think of this as a series, most people do consider it one, so..) Prequel / Sequel Challenge Points: 64 + 2 = 66 points, plus 10 for finishing a trilogy = 74 points!