Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year in the School of America in Paris. From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for them, 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.
I feel really terrible writing this review.
I LOVE Anna and Lola, those are my ultimate happy pills. I love Stephanie Perkins. I dived into this one trusting her flair for sweet sweet sweet sweet fluffiness (I still trust her), too bad I hadn’t prepared for hitting headfirst on rocky ground ouch.
While Anna and Lola swept me up in a dreamlike whirlwind of seeking true love, Isla WANTS to deal with the mess of falling out of love. Isla is not a cutesy love story like Anna or Lola, not that this makes Isla a terrible book, it’s just… I wasn’t mentally prepared for so much emo drama?? The more I think about it, the more I find Josh and Isla’s problems self-inflicted. They were basically out looking for relationship trouble in Barcelona, when Josh spoke on TV and didn’t tell Isla, in that limo etc. I was too tired by the end. It wasn’t the cute love story I expect but worse still, 2 teenagers with angsty first world problems.
Judging from the synopsis, I should have guessed right away that something was amiss: “falling in love is easy for them”
Yeah well obviously Josh and Isla were making out before anything made sense to me. I hate love stories that say, “So these two fell passionately in love”, and expect you to believe it. Isla and Josh met once in a bar, and bam! XOXO EVERYWHERE. They somehow had a crush on each other all along… fate… kismet… I CAN’T BUY IT!!! Because I wasn’t invested in the couple in the first place, when their relationship went into trouble, got caught, couple fight, blah blah it was too much misundestanding, miscommunication, jealousy and insecurities, eventually to the point where you know what.
“I would flirt with Étienne, crush on Cricket, and date/marry Josh.” — Stephanie Perkins
Maybe not….? Josh and Isla make me feel deeply uncomfortable (e.g. rabbits), and they aren’t the most fun protagonists so it’s really hard to get into their heads. There were certain moments when I almost related to them. I could almost understand the choices they made if only I could relate to Isla’s insecurities. She thought she wasn’t good enough for Josh and she didn’t deserve to be loved. Yes, we all have these low points; I hoped against hope that she’d pull through them and learn to be strong but she didn’t. She chose to cave in to her insecurities and by then I couldn’t make myself root for her anymore.
(KINDA SPOILERY) To cheer things up a bit (because really, some dialogues are still pretty adorable and worth squealing over), the best part of this book has to be the ending when we reunited with our crew aww man. I couldn’t stop smiling!!!!!! Perfect conclusion to the series thank you so much I miss everyone I couldn’t stop smiling TOOOO CUTE ♥
Have you read this? What do you think about Isla and Josh and the other characters (like Isla’s sister???)? What were your favourite/least favourite parts? DID YOU EXPECT WHAT ÉTIENNE DID? I didn’t see it coming omg! Which is your favourite Stephanie Perkins book? If you haven’t read Isla, would you? I’d love to hear from you! :)