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~READ E-PUB ⚈ Isla and the Happily Ever After ♹ 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, Tienne, 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
tries to pull off an Etienne St Clair I CAN T BLOODY WAIT There s no story, I say I saw you one day, and I just knewStephanie, I adore you, I really do You bring me so much joy with your fluffy story lines But you always seem to be able to ground all the fluffiness with some maturity This one lacked maturity I did like it, but I just couldn t bring myself to love it.My problem in one sentence the setting was colourful, the characters weren t.The setting was beautifully wistful I mean it s hard for it not to be when it s set in a city like Paris Couple that with the various locations Stephanie chooses An abandoned ancient arena hidden between Parisian apartments A balcony reached only by conquering spiralling stairs and a trapdoor They were always quiet and secluded which really added to the romance Because of this, at its best, it was a sweet, desire filled romance, played out in alleyways and under the indigo ink pot of the night sky couldn t resist putting in an artsy metaphor It made the romance illicit in a way As if the reader shouldn t be privy to it because at times it was just so quietly personal But this was the novel at its best Really, all I ve written goes to the city itself rather than the characters And good lord, Isla and Josh need to tone the drama down The characters lacked maturity.Isla and Josh did not seem protagonist worthy to me I kept asking myself why them Why did Stephanie choose to write about them Or even, why did she choose to write about them at this time in their life The storyline we were given seemedlike one of those sideline stories thrown into a chick flick movie worthy of a few scenes scattered throughout the movie, during which we all indulgently nod and smile, waiting for the movie to return to our main charactersJosh is a beautiful, messy, passionate work of art, and I m a blank canvasI couldn t bring myself to root for them It ignited my Romeo and Juliet type reaction Instead of squealing over the cuteness, I m sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn wedged between my thighs wildly gesturing at the screen yelling you idiot, put the damn dagger down Please, you love each other You just bloody met These three year olds I swear to the everloving universe Our protagonists are each battling with their own brand of insecurity and because of this their relationship turned into one of dependence They weren t ready for a relationship, and especially not a relationship born of a three year obsessive crush in which they only talkedonceNo, no, no, this isn t a healthy basis for a relationship, let alone between characters already dealing with complex mental issues What this muddy stirring pot produces is a lot ofI need you, what would I do without youandwe have to go to college togetherand an irritatingly insistentdon t leave me, don t leave me, don t leave meBasically, a whole lot of melodramatic teen moodiness Prime example, Josh has to leave Paris and cue an over the top tearful goodbyeWe were only given five minutes to say goodbye I cried again He used his favourite pen to ink the four letters L O V E onto my fingersSorry Stephanie, it was just too fluffy, too starry eyed, too melodramatic Fans of Anna and Lola this one might be worth a read for the few scenes where our favourites come back for some very significant scenes.Pre review 25 10 2012 BLOODY HELL GET THEE ON MY BOOKSHELF ALREADY.Who else can t wait for another fictional guy to swoon over Regina just doesn t understand usBasically me when reading about every one of Stephanie s beautiful so god damn beautiful guys And then when I finish I m like Aww, two rich, horny kids one a stalker, the other a self centered artiste are not allowed to travel around Europe without supervision and have sex anywhere they feel like How tragic Perkins romances are getting worse and worse 1 star because she can do better than this. 4.5 stars Ridiculously adorable, and a lovely, note perfect ending to this series Review to come The ARC is sooo pretty image error DISCLAIMER This review is going to be long painfully negative and full of spoilers Also, I love Stephanie Perkins I follow her blog and I think she s a genuinely great person However, I do tend to treat books like the commercial objects that they are So I m not making this personal against Perkins I am aware that it was a fucking struggle for her to write this book, and I am sorry, but I paid for it, and I was sorely disappointed Okay let s do this I am part of the original readership that has been following Perkins since the very beginning I read Anna a couple months after it came out, and I loved it I waited 2 years for Lola that s a long time and hated it I still decided to wait for Isla, because it was going to be set in Paris again, and, well, because it looked fucking cool We all waited a lonnnnng time for Isla Several years My expectations were damn high And it was just not worth the wait Obviously I m not the first one to point this out, but we have in this book a serious characterization problem when it comes to Isla In the first book, we had Anna who s this cute, clueless film addict with the cleaning disorder Despite that somewhat specific characterization, I think Perkins had sort of found the good balance between a well defined character and someone the reader could easily identify with Anna is awkward, inexperienced with boys, not amazing in class, and she s got money issues And she falls for the hot guy who has a girlfriend All this is realistic Because let s face it, in real life, a lot of hot boys ARE taken Therefore befriending a hot kid who has a girlfriend is complicated, since you have to strike a balance between being friendly but not too flirty, and you also kind of hate the girlfriend, and it s all so confusing I thought that the way Perkins described all that was on point Also, it took forever for Anna and St Clair to get together Okay, it was overly long and dramatic, but in real life, it usually does take MONTHS before something happens with the guy you like I liked that authenticity that whole thing before they get together, where one month they re close, then they re not, then he compliments her and she makes such a big deal out of it I just felt like, yes, that does happen in real life It IS tedious in real life And sometimes boys do lead you on, and it fucking sucks Anyway, my point being, the first book was overall realistic and Anna very likeable Then we had Lola She was, in my opinion, way too characterized It was really hard for me to relate to her because of the way she dresses, which was extreme even for a hardcore hipster, and because of her extremely specific family situation, and her love life too That s where for me the series started going downhill Also the story wasjuvenile.Now, Isla Characterization issues I saw that a lot of people disliked Josh in the story I think he was at times overly dramatic, but I did love the artistic aspect of his personality That s why I was so impatient to read the book before it came out and on that aspect, the book met my expectations I just thought it was usually well written, all his trances, his room, his cramps, or when he paints the tree house Or better yet, when he draws her necklace and captions it Why does she wear it every day Oh, I loved that Yes, I totally swooned The Perkins magic worked for me right there No, to me the main problem was Isla, and Isla and Josh.We re told rather than shown that Isla loves high heels, and that her room is very well decorated She s petite and cute and shy and yes she s a redhead Okay Basically that s everything we know Her family felt very fake She doesn t have ANY other friend beside Kurt Doesn t have any hobbies, either, which Perkins tried to make into an actual personality trait but it didn t work She just felt like a stupid Bella Swan 2.0 who has no life interest other THAN GOING TO DARTMOUTH because that s where her boyfriend wants her to go And remember which college Edward Cullen wanted Bella to attend Yep Dartmouth.I didn t like her relationship with Kurt She insists on saying that despite the autism he s a normal kid but if that s the case, then just treat him like a normal kid You don t have to sleep in the same bed every night That s just weird, especially when Isla starts dating Then she s talking morning wood with Josh and she says she s seen it on Kurt before but it s fine since we re such good friends , and then Kurt talks about Isla s breasts and the whole time I m just like What Josh is jealous and asks for explanations, and I thought that was legitimate because, honestly, I don t know anyone who would keep on doing that past 18 I don t know Maybe I m just not a big believer in boys girls friendships but something was off with that relationship and it made me uneasy Taking Kurt to the treehouse in the afternoon and then going back with Josh in the evening ew Pacing and lack of plot A huge problem in this book is the pacing and the plot Literally nothing happens. or not exactly A few things happen, but the plotline is so empty that these little things are taken to an extreme to pretend something is happening First off, the romance in this book appears wayy too fast First chapter I found it hard to believe that Isla was so high on meds that she didn t know what she was doing I genuinely thought the first scene was a dream or a sex fantasy because it was so unrealistic And that thing with the dress being wet and clingy was just so corny So the thing is, school starts again so she s obviously obsessed with Josh and that s weird, but like okay We ve all stalked that one boy back in high school But then he shows he s interested too and there s this awkward thing where the reader OBVIOUSLY knows that Josh thinks there s something going on between Kurt and Isla but Isla is fucking oblivious so she won t say anything to clarify the situation That s the plotline for a few chapters, then Josh finds the courage to straight up ask her, then it s understood that they clearly like each other Okay They go on their first date, and they make out Okay Ensues what feels like a reallyyy long time several chapters where everything is just perfect they re oh so happy Everything is great Also, it escalates very quickly They say I love you after what feels like 3 pages I was just dumbfounded to see how ridiculous it sounds, yet it s all done so that we re actually supposed to take it seriously And we re expected to actually swoon even though it s pathetic Yes It is true that when teenagers get together, it is very intense and melodramatic very quickly As the meme goes Teenage couples be like This meme is literally the book But the thing is, even if that s how it sometimes is, I don t want to see that in a book Because it s juvenile and it s so corny It makes me ROLL MY EYES Back to the nonexistent plot So they love each other after 3 days, and it s all perfect but as a reader, you re obviously well expecting something Because something has to happen Conflict, right So I m here waiting turning page after page and then they start talking about Barcelona I get it They re horny, and obviously they can t do it in the treehouse or idk in a hotel in Paris because then it wouldn t serve the plot SO they decide to go to Spain Fine Problem one NOTHING is said about the money NOTHING We get that they re spoiled rich kids But it d help if they d at least acknowledge it Instead of snapping their fingers and going to barcelona like it s normal, or accepting to fill out applications to Dartmouth without ONE thought regarding how much money that implies Nu uh, in Isla s world, Dartmouth only means Josh So they go to Barcelona and the sexual tension is supposed to be very intense but it s honestly kind of ridiculous They sleep together Insert corny fireworks Problem two the sex scenes They re bad I think it s a good thing that Perkins made her characters sexually active because after all, the reader who was 16 when reading Anna is now, what, 20 or 21 when reading Isla so obviously they evolved too But sex scenes are tough to write and they need to be well written to serve a purpose This His breathing is shallow Rapid I lower myself onto him We gasp Our arms wrap around each other, and we move together, watching each other, checking in with each other with our eyes Is this okay What about this This It builds Faster I want him closer I want him deeper I want him, want him, want him His eyes close and so do mine, and we finish as we started Together End of chapter Sigh I m sorry, I just think that s bad writing Perkins used a similar writing style in Lola to describe the sex scenes too, and I don t understand why the editor didn t try to do something about it Those short sentences make the reading experience very uncomfortable and awkward.Okay Then we get to the next problem Josh gets expelled so the drama beginsWell that was definitely my biggest issue in the entire book When Josh gets expelled, Isla s reactions were sooo blown out of proportions, so dramatic, it made me lose all the respect I had for her It literally felt like Josh was dying or going to war Isla, fucking take a chill pill, he s just going back to America You ll see him in like TWO months The writing was so excessively dramatic.Like they re on the train, going back to school where they know trouble awaits and Josh risks expulsion I want you to know that I love you , Josh says And I want to be with you No matter what happens My eyes fill back with tears Don t say that It might happen Don t say that His shell is cracking I love you Do you still love me And then Josh almost has a panick attack, and she tells him she has always loved him Then he asks for her to clarify and she says Yeah, since our freshman year lol that s not what always means, honey Then we have the headmaster who lectures Isla about who s she dating and that she should be careful and she can do better blah blah so clich I couldn t deal As if headmasters ever do give a fuck about who s dating who Seriously Also during that lecture Isla is thinking She s wrong There s only one boy And who am I to become without him When Josh actually has to leave the school We were only given five minutes to say goodbye I cried again He used his favourite pen to ink the four letters L O V E onto my fingers He held my face with both hands I love you , he said I love you I love you I could hardly see him through my tears I love you I said I love you I love you So I ll spare you for the rest, because I suppose you re getting my point, right That s what the book is like after Josh gets kicked out It s insane how dramatic it gets I don t get it I couldn t feel for them because it was so fucking extreme, it just got to a point where it was downright funny Also, I find it very unbelievable that Josh s mom would take away his phone like that It was a pathetic excuse to make their discussions less frequent, but 1 Josh is loaded so he could have bought another one, or just go to an Apple Store or a McDonalds for the Wifi Or borrow his FRIENDS phones No Right he doesn t have any part from St Clair I just think we have so many ways of communicating now It seemed very unlikely that he would depend on his mom like that Then there s the whole drama thing with the book he makes her read, and she freaks out, and BLAH BLAH useless break up for obscure reasons that I have failed to understand The only thing that woke me up from my boredom was when Isla thinks this Josh is a romantic He likes being in love, and he craves love to fill the void left by his absentee parents Maybe our relationship didn t happen quickly because we re perfect for each other, but because we each got swept away by it him because of this insatiable need, me because of my pre existing crush Did those three years of longing cloud my perception of reality How well do I really know him To which I answer ON POINT Isla For once in your life, you GET it But obviously this book doesn t work like that, unfortunately for us, so she soon realizes that she s WRONG and there s nothing wrong in their relationship and of course they re meant to be Some dumb resolution comes up and HAPPILY EVER AFTER Because if there s one thing that this series doesn t have, it is mystery and subtility when it comes to titles Random Nitpicks Enough with the full body shrugs What does that even mean How can one full body shrug THERE IS NO SUCH THING Anna and St Clair getting engaged COME ON Really REALLY It s not swoon worthy, it s so clich and they re 19 and what is this So unnecessary Also you know there s a problem in your book when it s WAYinteresting to follow the old cast even when it s just for a couple of scenes than following Isla and Josh.By the way, I already had had that problem in Lola but once again Anna and St Clair come off as this stupidly perfect couple Isla goes Anna is the kind of naturally beautiful girl who doesn t know she s beautiful and St Clair is so perfect omg Stop It s so annoying I don t need to hear how perfect they are And then there s Josh who goes Yeah, of course they ll stay together forever because well duh they re meant to be and I m just sitting here like yeah, and it took St Clair a fucking year to grow balls so that he could dump his gf and stop leading Anna on BUT ITS TRUE LOVE YOU GUYS so the cheating was fine Also Perkins could not stop herself and did it again She just HAD to throw in a bit of pro gay righ love as always And yes, it is STILL irrelevant to the story First we had Meredith who s called a dyke and omg Anna will not tolerate it, and then we had Lola and her two daddies and now it s GENEVIEVE awful name who s bisexual y all and her parents LOVE her new girlfriend omg so cool, go gays view spoiler Okay, sarcasm apart and as hard to believe as I make it seem, I am actually very supportive of gay rights too the only thing is that I just hate it when it s casually thrown in books, because it s like subtle propaganda especially here because it SERVES NO PURPOSE to the story, absolutely none, other than allowing Perkins to throw in her own opinion so thanks but not thanks keep it to yourself hide spoiler It is with great pride and deep sadness I present to you, the three stages of rereading Isla and the Happily Ever After.https emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.coStage one hope.Stage two anger.Stage three depression.How do I even explain to you how excited I was to reread this I ll try, I guess Gotta set the scene.Anna and the French Kiss is THE guilty pleasure book for me I ve read it probably 3 times, and it still makes me feel all lovey dovey whenever I pick it up That feeling rarelyyyy happens even on a first read So why was I excited to dive back into this one BECAUSE WHEN I FIRST READ ISLA, I WENT AROUND SAYING IT WAS ONLY INFINITESIMALLY WORSE THAN ANNA What a goddamn crime I d like to formally apologize.Anyway So, recently, in my reread bonanza, I was all, How have I not reread Isla If it s almost as good, what s stopping me And I eagerly picked it up.ONLY TO BE DEALT THE MOST CRUSHING BLOW OF ALL TIME It s the surprise that hurts the most I was fully defenseless Like, Stephanie Perkins I expected a swoony romance and immersive images of Europe and New York and a fun protagonist and a crush worthy love interest Just a fun, flirty, fluffy time Instead, I got insta love and a really annoying girl and repetitive plotlines and meh settings and general ickiness and an actually kind of okay guy, and even HE seemed confused as to how he didn t get a better book.But we ll get to all that Strap in for a long and bumpy ride, mes amis.The biggest offense of all might exist entirely in my mind, but I f cking hate when YA books pander to their audiences I m talking fantasy protagonists who loooove to read, or Twilight esque series wherein a supernaturally hot get it guy falls in love with an Average Girl And I got a hell of a lot of those vibes from this book.We follow Isla, who has had an unrequited crush on Josh for three f cking years Very tragic Despite sitting next to him in many classes, when this book begins, she has interacted with him twice Two times Deux fois One, two That s it That s the foundation for love we re working with.But that s not what really angers me Well, it is, but we ll get to that later What ANGERS me is that Isla has had this crush for three years, and then it turns out HER CRUSH LIKED HER BACK ALL ALONG How magical Almostfictional, wouldn t you say But anyway, Isla is also deeply insecure Deeply insecure, and stuck in unrequited love Sound like anyone you know To me, it sounds like a stereotype of the target audience of this book And using what you believe to be the secret dreams of teenage girls in order to sell copies But my deep rooted pessimism and distrust of The System is showing, so I ll move on.I didn t even get the swoony romance I wanted I got insta love Josh the subject of the aforementioned millennia long crush and Isla were Official within, like, fifty pages It was totally insta lovey Because, again, Josh liked her alllll alongggg, you guys That s why they never talked for three years Because they were so totally overcome with love.But I want to rant about Isla for about a thousand words, if you ll allow me Just kidding You couldn t stop me if you tried Isla iswhat s the word oh, yes THE WORST Being trapped inside of her head for hundreds of pages was the most horrific fate I could possibly imagine.Isla s entire stupid life or lack thereof revolves around Josh It did before they ever even, like, made eye contact forthan.25 seconds, and it gets even worse after I can t even believe this is a narrative with a 4.11 rating on Goodreads I can t believe I gave this five stars just a couple years ago Okay, so, let me take you through this Isla is the 1 student in her class but only, she makes clear, because she has nothing better to do In other words, before she has Josh to do Isla has no ambitions, no top choice school, no clue what she wants to do in the future.Which is fine It s not your fault if you don t know what you want to do yet I d argue that you should still, like, care about figuring out whether you want to go to college, or at least finding one you can attend But whatever.Butthe second Josh moseys on into the picture, she has a plan Guess whose plan Yes Josh s plan Josh suggests a plan, based entirely on her following him to HIS plan, and she just goes with that How many times can I say the word plan By the end of the book, Isla still has no clue what her major will be She just knows she s living with Joshy And that they ll never be apart again Which, gross.But it all leads me to the question WHO THE HELL IS ISLA She has no ambitions and no dreams All I know about her is that she reads adventure books, and she HARDCORE likes Josh Hopefully clear by now that this is a toxic level of adoration, IMO I would say that she s smart, but it s later revealed that no, Josh is smarter than she is, he s just toooo cool to try BECAUSE OF COURSE.To finish up why Isla is the worst for all time forever, I gotta delve into the plot So after one or two hundred pages of happy happy joy joy, some drama happens Obviously I won t go into specifics, but it s hardly even a spoiler to say they break up at one point And it s like instant regret and months of heartache and whatever.So obviously, we re supposed to root for them to get back together and be all, You two are so silly for breaking up I know this for two reasons one, it s a YA contemporary, and 2 that s how literally every single character reacts.I m sure you can guess what I m going to say next.It s that I fully wasn t rooting for them.Here s the thing The reasons for their breakup are really legit. Like, yeah just stay apart levels of legit Isla argues that she s a placeholder in Josh s life because his friends left and he likes the feeling of being in love And I was all, Oh. Like, that adds up.This book can never decide whether Josh did or didn t love his last girlfriend, but I think he did He certainly was into that bod And he sometimes acts like a total scumbag to Isla, which doesn t exactly make me think that it s a whole different breed of relationship.Sodo you understand why I cringed every time they said they were going to be together foreverrrrr And then, when the time rollssss around for Isla s mind to be changed, just in time for the dumb old Happily Ever After the title promisesnothing changes Some girl who we pointlessly hear about all the time tells Isla the reason is she s good for Josh is that she s soft and won t prevent him from f cking around all the time Which is an obviously terrible foundation for a relationship That may change Isla s mind, for some reason, but it does NOTHING FOR MINE.THEY RE SO CLEARLY INCOMPATIBLE WHAT THE HELL.I should ve written this review exclusively using Gordon Ramsay GIFs.Anyway I kinda like Josh He s funny and passionate and smart Even if he s a total d ckweed sometimes I JUST DON T LIKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP AT ALL At the best of times, they re icky and obsessed with each other All other times, THEY TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE SH T Ugh Some romance Relationship GOALS Two people who bring out the worst in each other.On top of all of that hatred I just described, the ending scene I loved so much the first time with the cameos from Anna and tienne felt really cringey and forced this time around And none of the settings felt real, like they did in the first book.And the plot was just so repetitive Isla loves Josh Josh loves Isla now, and, guess what, he always did They are happy Now there is drama Now they are happy again Now there is drama Now they are happy forever after, presumably The same characters were cycled through in the same way Kurt, Hattie, the other sister, the ex friend whose name I forget Then throw in some cameos from, you know, actually likable characters at the end, cross your fingers and hope your readers fall for it It s not an interesting plot Like, at all This oft quoted line sums it upThere s no story, I say I saw you one day, and I just knew Yeah, okay But do you see how that s not good for a book How tragic for you, Isla and Josh, that life doesn t just up and allow you to be together That you start off the book as minors and have responsibilities to your education That your parents money can t BUY YOU OUT OF THE REPERCUSSIONS OF LEAVING THE COUNTRY SO YOU CAN F CK EACH OTHER.God I need to stop I can t remember a time before I was writing this review.Bottom line instalove, boring plot, intolerable protagonist,bad things I AM VERY UPSET. Oh my.Oh my.If there s one thing I never expected to happen while reading Perkin s marvelous works, it s for me to curl up in bed and clutch my pillow with all my life as I sniffled away.But here I am doing that anyway.It s not for the reasons you may seem to think though it s honestly really just the fact that I m never going to be reading about these characters I ve come to adore SO MUCH ever again, and coming to terms with that has left my emotions spazzing all over the place.But wow Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie I can t even begin to show my gratitude to you and everyone who helped spur your journey into completing this book I don t know what I would ve done without it.The Happily Ever After closure brought to not only Isla and Josh who I may or may not hold closer to my heart than even ol tienne , but both OTP s from before, couldn t have been written any better than it was Screw any claims of it being cheesily cliched or otherwise, my babies deserved this perfect ending unleashes crazy amounts of fangirling Also, my dopamine would like to worship you for your spectacular ability to induce them like no other.What I especially love about this one was that we witness love bloom from a different perspective Here, the two protagonists fall into step with what seems to be the perfect relationship quite swiftly but convincingly and it s the little struggles that follow we get to read about as compared to Anna and Lola Because of this change, it didn t feel like we were reading yet another i cant stand this UST build up any so get together already please dammit but I m sure Perkins would ve managed to make that absolutely enjoyable again anyway In fact, I d likeof it ASAP, yes please 3.There s not really much I ve got to say about the romance that I haven t already said before about the others The chemistry Bound to sizzle The cutesy moments Endless with their originality and genuineness And with characters who reof the shy and reserved kind, I found myself forming evenof an emotional attachment to them.All I can say is that Isla and the Happily Ever After is finally one ending to a trilogy that most certainly won t disappoint Not even close.Book Song Bloodflood by Alt J. There s no story, I say I saw you one day, and I just knewThis pretty much sums up the most of this book.First, let s be clear I enjoyed Perkins Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door They were pure romantic silliness, I know, but I liked the characters, the cute flirtations and the mindless entertainment When this third book was released, I bought it immediately but some negative reviews from my friends put me off I think I always expected to return to it eventually Though, honestly, I wish I hadn t bothered.For one thing, there is literally no story for at least 80% of this book In fact, I m still struggling to see it The other books are about the usual crushes, tensions and jealousies that come with high school romances like I said, mindless entertainment but Isla and the Happily Ever After does not even have that The book opens with Isla drooling all over herself and being unable to function in the presence of Josh A couple chapters in and we already know he likes her A coupleand they re making out Where is the tension Where is the will they won t they Also, that aside, Isla s obsession with Josh is unhealthy and not even in a cute way She literally stalks him online, looking up information about his family on Wikipedia and finding his house on Google That s damn creepy If it was the other way around, I would be afraid for the girl s safety Plus, he is her entire life, her crush on Josh is the most defining characteristic she hasI like Josh so much that I actually feel miserable I m dizzy It physically hurts to look at himShe goes on and on about him She ignores her friend because she s too busy thinking about Josh She acts like a self centred brat because she wants to go gallivanting around Europe with him and surprise she can t just freaking do that.The biggest problem these rich white kids have is whether to go to Columbia or la Sorbonne I just don t care about them.Also, a guy who says Your sister s kind of a bitch, huh is way out of line, no matter how hot he is or how true it is My sister s a bitch too, but no one but me and my brother are allowed to say it view spoiler love you really, Chels hide spoiler I feel like I ve waited a hundred years for this book I wassoexcited to get my hands on it.Now, I m just so disappointed.A while back, I saw some negative reviews for Anna and the French Kiss that said the book was basically a bunch of rich teenagers whining over how their world wasn t perfect enough I didn t actually have that problem with Anna and the French Kiss I adored Anna and the French Kiss Everything that happened in that book albeit I will admit that Anna seemed snobby sometimes felt natural and relatable.No, I had that problem with Isla and the Happily Ever After.Isla and Josh were these tragically filthy rich kids who started dating each other and were convinced it was true love and proceeded to travel around a bunch in the way that only tragically filthy rich kids can and then they got torn apart because Josh s parents were too rich and had standards for him and it was all very, pathetically sad.Also, Isla wasweak .Also, Josh was an asshole.I didn t like either of these characters Which was a shame, because I so liked Josh in Anna and the French Kiss.Where to even begin Let s start with Isla Who is she I don t even know I read an entire book where she was the main character, and I don t know who she is I know she likes Josh a whole lot I know she has red hair and freckles, which makes Josh like her a whole lot back Oh, and she liked comics Which was very unique and quirky of her because she was the only other person in the school who seemed to like them, despite a later explanation of how common comic culture was in France.The only substantial thing I really got from her was how weak she was.She was so, so weak, and I couldn t stand it She didn t know how to stand up for herself, she never asked the questions which could ve gotten her answers What s with the wallflower act, anyway Is there a reason for it We don t know We don t know anything about her I mean, I didn t need a big reason for her diffidence or anything Anything would ve sufficed But we got nothing We just know that she s a middle child, and somehow that s supposed to explain her to us.I know that Anna was kind of similar in this sense She was a little withdrawn, sometimes holding back verbal comments for lengthy, internal observations But at least she knew how to stand up for herself.What I hated the most was how Isla couldn t stand up to Josh Because he was wrong A whole, whole lot Not that Isla was any better But yeah, let s talk about Josh.Oh my god what a pretentious piece of shit He made everything all about him Me me me ME was probably his mantra or something I can t believe this e book was 10 His stupid graphic memoir made my blood boil And not in the hot, sexy kind of way Do you understand how fucking pretentious it is when people make you read their autobiographies Autobiographies where you crop up Not to mention how pretentious it is for you to write an autobiography in the first place when you re that young and not a whole lot has happened to you yet.No, seriously, let s be real for a second You re an aspiring comic artist You re trying to put together your first comic What s the first brilliant idea that pops into your head A comic book all about yourself. Who the fuck wants to read that Where is the outsider appeal in that, at all Would you want to read a graphic memoir about someone else s life I don t fucking think so.So yeah, he and Isla have been dating for less than a month And then he shoves this graphic memoir at her I mean, if you re going to pull this narcissistic shit, at least wait until your relationship sstable NOPE. He s gonna do it now With all the graphic bits of his sex life with his ex girlfriend included, because those are the ugly parts of him SERIOUSLY, DID IT NOT OCCUR TO YOU TO HOLD BACK ON THIS UNTIL MAYBE YOU HAVE A STRONG ENOUGH RELATIONSHIP TO WEATHER THIS KIND OF BULLSHIT And it s brilliant, because Josh is your typical artist Sensitive to any criticism, no matter how valid So when he shoved that narcissistic junk at Isla, he for some reason expected her to love it And when she didn t, because he illustrated his sex life with his ex girlfriend and then made her read it and then wanted her opinion on it, he got offended and pissy No, not at first not that first time when he calls her and asks her opinion Because Isla was too damn weak to say anything to him No, he got pissy when she finally blew up at him during the limo ride Because again, she was weak and couldn t talk about it with him directly and had to passively aggressively go at it until the conversation became something else entirely AND HE ACCUSED HER OF CRITICIZING HIS WORK PURELY OUT OF BEING BUTT HURT THAT HIS COMIC WASN T ALL ABOUT HER.Oh lord, the audacity.And for some reason, Isla took all that shit from him andShe acknowledged that he was right, it was all her fault, etc., etc And I m like, wait Where s his apology for being a self centered, narcissistic piece of shit where he at least acknowledges that it s also his fault for pushing something like that onto her without even knowing what he was writing Because he didn t He was writing about himself, but he s a teenager He didn t know who he was yet he still had a lot about himself to discover And he pushed all that self discovery on her, so much so that it completely eclipsed the readers getting to even know Isla in this book.Sanjita was right Rashimi wasn t right for Josh, and only Isla could be Because Rashimi was a person who actually had standards and opinions and ambitions, and Isla didn t Isla was soft and malleable and a big blob of nothing that Josh gladly molded to his own preferences, and I cannot believe I followed her as a protagonist for 339 pages.As to their actual romance holy shit, I ve never read a romance book without so much as even a smidgen of heat I kept rolling my eyes throughout the book at Isla and Josh s every interaction, first few chapters aside Because once they settled into a relationship, it was a downward spiral from there He was a terrible influence on her, ignoring her grades and any possible future for herself that might be uniquely hers to decide Sure, she needed to take risks , but not those risks Not the risks he was deciding for her, dammit He was crooning to her the way your bad influence druggie boyfriend would, and then he accused her of not being adventurous enough whenever she said no NO Fuck you Respect her right to say no if she doesn t want to completely mess up her academic life like you have, alright Oh my god, the audacity of this kid.The entire time they were being all lovey dovey, I just kept waiting for the hammer to fall It was obvious their foundation was completely unstable, that they were doing everything wrong Even if things turned out alright for them like they did in the end , I knew I wasn t rooting for them There was absolutely nothing to root for Two rich, spoiled kids going to a fancy school in France Oh, the agony.Like I said, I know that this was the basic premise for Anna too, but I didn t feel that privileged vibe as strongly for her book This book just felt like it was trying way too hard, forcing everything to seem dazzling and romantic.Which is where the nauseatingly hipster theme comes into play Wow, the hipster thing Okay, I know that quirky teens are like, the rage these days And hey, don t get me wrong, I m totally down for that if their quirkiness doesn t eclipse the actual plot of the story But it did Oh, look A quirky girl wearing a quirky compass necklace with a quirky cartographer best friend, and she falls in love with a quirky boy with a quirky drawing talent that is like, on point, y know None of the usual hurdles that real artists his age have to leap through, he s a perfect transcriber of real life to paper as attested by Isla in the cafe Never mind that if he really did possess that much talent, he would be a fucking prodigy and he d be a lotwell known than that Nah, his talent s just kinda normal Your basic everyday thing, because he s an artist, and that s what all artists are like.And it s just all so quirky, because she has a secret place that s all hers that s named the Treehouse and the quirky artist boyfriend comes over and paints a quirky mural for her and also they have quirky body art sex and everything s just fucking quirky.I think I rolled my eyes so hard they fell into the back of my head.The only reason I gave this two stars is because of Anna and Etienne, and Lola and Cricket.