Friday, December 26, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After: Book Review

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Title/ Author:  Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher/ Year:  Dutton, 2014.
How I Read It:  Hardback 
Why I Read It:  Stephanie Perkins.  Obviously.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is the third and final companion novel of Anna, Lola, and here we have Isla.  This was a great ending to this world and Stephanie Perkins is fab.

Summary from Goodreads: 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.
All I can say is that Stephanie Perkins does it again, and again and again.  First, Étienne St. Clair & the beauty of Paris stole my heart, then the boy next door, and then the artist who finally saw what he had been missing all along.  The characters in these books set my expectations of men very high, though who knows, maybe one day I'll find my Étienne, Cricket, or Josh.  

Back to the book, Isla and Josh seem so perfect for each other.  Isla was in love with Josh since she could remember.  She had always been in love with Josh.  Reading about her character in Anna gave me a different impression of Isla.  It made it seem like she was incredibly shy.  She still is shy, but she's affectionate and has a lot of heart.  Above all, like every girl out there, she wants to be loved.  Josh broke out of his shell in this book too.  I saw a different, more vulnerable side to him.  He is an artist.  He is smart.  And he loves Isla.  Comparing his relationship to Rashmi compared to Isla, he fit more perfectly with Isla.  They understood each other and depended on each other.  

There was so much cuteness and angst in this story that had my heart flipping miles a minute.  The fact that Josh kept drawing Isla even after their chance encounter in Manhattan.  The fact that Josh did his best to include Kurt instead of brushing him aside.  The little things Josh did for Isla and things she did for him.  Josh's life story in a book was a nice part to the book, digging in a little bit deeper into his character.  The whole book was magical.  The characters were entertaining and had unique purposes.  Like all of Perkins's works, truly beautiful.  

Overall, I think it was a beautiful ending to the Anna, Lola, Isla saga. Stephanie Perkins took me on an amazing journey & I'm so thankful I had the pleasure of experiencing it. Isla wasn't as good as the other 2 in my opinion, meaning it's not like 5 stars or a part of my favorites list, but throughout the entire story, I couldn't stop reading & I deeply missed Steph's writing. So happy I read this. And I'm even happier that the entire time, Etienne St. Clair has been taller than me.

And the final ending.  PERFECTION.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sarah's End of the Year Reading Challenge + Update!

Hello everyone!  I'm sorry I haven't been on in months!  College was more jam packed than I realized & I had so much going on that it would be too difficult to read and blog.  During my entire first semester, I only read 6 books, three of them being for school.  Obviously I did a good job here.

Thankfully, with finals being over and having 3 weeks of break before I head back to school, I have made it my mission to finish my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge.  Since I got home from school, I have read 9 books and am currently reading my tenth.  In addition to that, I still have 8 more books to read and 9 more days left before the year ends.  The question is...can I do it?

Here are the books I read since getting home:

1. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan*
2. Double Crossed:  A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter
3. Just One Night by Gayle Forman
4. Let it Snow:  Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle*
5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu*
6. Burn for Burn  by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian*
7.  Exile by Kevin Emerson
8.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs*
9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher*

*Hopefully, I'll be able to review some of these for you

Other books that I've been able to read during my first semester were Isla and the Happily Ever* After as well as Four.

I know I've been on a super hiatus, but I'm back for now.  And hopefully, I can finish my goal.  It's gonna take a lot of motivation and strength, and especially with Christmas coming up, it might slow me down a bit.  But, I'm not giving up.

8 books, 9 days.  Let's do this.

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