Isla and the Happily Ever After

Stephanie Perkins. Dutton, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-42563-2
Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) completes her trilogy of interlinked romances with a strong finale that examines the emotional intensity of a relationship from its earliest stages. Isla, a senior at the School of America in Paris, has had a crush on fellow senior Josh since freshman year, but it is only now that he reciprocates her feelings; their relationship quickly gathers steam. Perkins takes full advantage of her romantic Parisian setting, though the intimacy she establishes between her characters through penetrating dialogue and insight into the agonies and ecstasies of first love would shine anywhere. When Josh gets expelled and the couple becomes estranged, Isla spirals into despair that Perkins explores with aching intensity. Isla's vulnerability, coupled with her burgeoning sense of identity and desire to maintain her individuality in life and in love, makes her an especially rich character. The supporting cast, including Isla's high-functioning autistic friend Kurt, her prickly younger sister, and Josh himself are equally well realized, and the author's fans will enjoy appearances from characters from past books, too. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, kt literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 08/14/2014
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FORMATS
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-96858-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-96860-9
Paperback - 978-0-525-42759-9
Hardcover - 978-1-4095-8113-0
Paperback - 978-0-525-42623-3
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