So I read an extended sneak peek of Isla and the Happily Ever After (courtesy of bae, NetGalley) and it was awesome. It’s by Stephanie Perkins, so its sheer perfect balance of cute and funny and awkward should be of no surprise to you. You all know how much I love Stephanie because I’ve dedicated a number of posts to her but, no matter how many times I read her books, it still gets me how good they are. She somehow manages to take what should be a cheesy, shitty, teen romance novel and turns it into this contemplative, adorable, comical and engaging work of fiction that keeps you thinking while simultaneously — I’ll admit it — swooning. What couldn’t you love about this book? Let me tell ya, NOTHING. I LOVE ALL OF IT. At least the first few chapters that I got to read.
I think we all knew that something was going to happen between Isla and Josh right when Anna caught her sketching his tattoos in her notebook (this scene struck me as kind of ridiculous, like everything about it, but that’s not the point). AND the book says, right there in the title, “HAPPILY EVER AFTER,” so it’s not like we don’t know how it’s going to end. To borrow from the world’s steadfast book of cliches, “Isla” is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
And that much is inarguably true. The first 60 pages or so set the scene with realistic and thoughtful new characters, issues and dialogue. This is going to be a good one, I can’t wait for more!