kismet tryst ❋ isla and the happily ever after by stephanie perkins

isla-stephanieperkinsPublished: August 14th 2014 by Dutton
Genre & Keywords: contemporary
Other Books From Author: Anna and the French Kiss (Book 1), Lola and the Boy Next Door (Book 2)

Amazon | Goodreads | @naturallysteph | graphics source |

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! :)


16 thoughts on “kismet tryst ❋ isla and the happily ever after by stephanie perkins

  1. This book was just ok for me. You’re actually one of the only reviews I’ve read that hasn’t given it 5 “OMG it’s incredible” stars, so it’s nice to see that I’m not alone in how I felt about it. I liked the cameos at the end, but would have liked more of them!

    • had to check goodreads after your comment and umm i didn’t know so many people loved this o_o now that’s interesting. oh YES the cameos! when they mentioned calliope bell’s posters, i had this feeling that we’re going to have a big reunion and oh yes we did i am so happy :)))) wasn’t impressed when isla kept commenting that cricket is too skinny?? like, he is so cute?? size doesn’t matter! haha

  2. I have yet to read this series and everyone has given it five big-fluffy stars but I’m wary of that. But I appreciate you sharing what worked and what didn’t. *wink* Eventually I will cave and give this series a chance! ♥

    • thank you, cristina!

      confession: i had no idea everyone liked it so much!! only found out after i checked goodreads to update my review and wowza, all the red stars. might have been a case of my own expectations messing things up? in any case, highly highly highly recommend reading anna and lola, especially when you’re feeling down and need a quick, happy read… TO-GO THEM =D

  3. I just finished this one and I actually enjoyed it (well, not as much as Anna, but more than Lola).

    I agree that the relationship was super rushed and “destined” which made it unbelievable, but I really related to Isla! :)

    Lovely review!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    • i related to isla *a little* at the beginning because i’m quite soft-spoken too and i have my insecurities from time to time. didn’t get her so much after her umm weird obsessions with josh? it freaked me out for a bit and i got uncomfortable in her head. idk might just be me. been reading up on all the raving reviews and wondering if i read this wrong x_x anyway, thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts! :)

  4. I know a LOT of people who aren’t happy with the 3rd book of this series. :/ I’ve only read Anna so far (I have Lola but I’m not there yet), but I’m a tad nervous to read Isla as it seems SO many people aren’t happy with Isla and Josh’s relationship. Sigh. I’m hoping I enjoy it more than most people have but I doubt it. I’m already peeved and I haven’t even started it! Lol.

    • i don’t know, opinions are pretty varied for this one! i have a close circle of friends who aren’t pleased by Isla and i was inadvertently influenced by them by some way or another. OH my personal favourite is Lola!!! stephanie perkins’ contemporaries are the sweetest, cutest things, don’t let what others say sway you, hope you’ll enjoy them! =)

    • !!!! you need stephanie perkins in your life!!!!


      when you’re feeling down, Anna and Lola are the BEST happy pills to make everything right again. love love love those books <33 i get what you mean by liking a bit of *growl* because really, what's a story without any conflict? in Isla's case, i wasn't expecting THAT much drama, neither was i invested in the conflict that went down so :( might be a IT'S ME, NOT YOU problem so hopefully one day you'll enjoy it :))

  5. I haven’t read any of Stepahnie Perkins her books yet, although I did hear a lot of good things about. And I really want to read Lola, just because she has the same name as me, lol.
    I am sad to hear you enjoyed this oen less then the first two books, it sounds like the author took a risk with this book going in a slightly different direction. And it can be so annoying when characters basically create their own problems. Miscommunication is one of the things that can really frustarre me in a book, it often gives the feeling that a lot could’ve been prevented if they just talked to each other. Great review!

    • oh yesss!! love your name ;)

      stephanie perkins is a genius; even though i like to sell Anna and Lola as “CUTESY LOVE STORIES” to people, these books secretly deal with lots of ISSUES. and they deal in subtle manners, not the in-your-face kind of way (that makes me jittery). Isla, however, is an outright problem book and I guess I wasn’t so prepared for that, BAAAAAHHH.

  6. Don’t hate (LOL), but I actually liked this one more than Anna’s story!! I loved all 3 stories & loved Lola’s story the most. Not sure exactly why but Isla’s story was a little more endearing to me than Anna’s. Ooh I loved the ending in Isla too — so awesome the whole crew reunited!! All were sweet stories though! Great review!!

    • don’t worry, we are all entitled to our opinions, no hating! Lola’s my favourite too CRICKET THE CUTEST BAE <33 ugh I felt terrible writing this review because i've been waiting for another stephanie perkins book for so long and it turns out not my cup of tea :(


  7. I felt the same way. I actually borderline hated this book. Soooo much teenage drama. I wasn’t a fan of Isla or Josh or them together. I believe in love at first sight, but as a reader, I don’t want to read about it. Where is the fun in that? And I didn’t get why Isla thought so low of her self. Her family life was great! And I hated the whole scene where she blew up at him after their date (in NY). I lost all respect for her for the fact that she did it in front of his driver. (I hate girls that have public fights)

    The end was cute but I wasn’t a fan or St. Claire proposing to Anna. Sure they love each other and belong together but they are still just kids.

    I love Anna and Lola but was let down by this one. I don’t get all the 5 star reviews…

    Great review!

    • RIGHT. i’ve been reading all the 5 star reviews and thinking, “have i read this one wrong???”

      i don’t know if this one counts as insta love because they supposedly have been crushing on each other all along, but nope. INSTA LOVE IN MY BOOK. Isla’s insecurities really annoyed me and now that i think about it, josh’s weak personality grated at my nerves for a huge portion of the story? he can’t deal with his own relationships and he cries in almost every other chapter. HM.

      thank you so much for visiting!! =D

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