Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
"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."- summary from Amazon
I cannot tell you guys how much I was looking forward to reading Isla, pretty much ever since it was first announced. And actually, my amount of excitement for this book is probably equal to that of pretty much everyone else in the YA community anticipating this book. But whatever. So I was so excited when it was finally released, and when Magan of Reading Gals was kind enough to buy me a copy of it, I was even more excited (and extremely grateful- thanks again!!).
Perkins did not disappoint. I absolutely loved the concept of this book, focusing more on working on and staying in a relationship than about the steps to getting INTO that relationship. It's definitely something different from most YA out there. I really enjoyed reading about Isla and Josh's relationship- their ups and downs, obstacles to getting together (the first fourth of the book they are not together), their adventures, and so much more. I will also admit that the last 50 pages had me squealing in joy as we get visits from Anna and St. Clair, and Lola and Cricket (as well as some other friends whose names I can't remember, lol); it makes for the perfect ending to this companion trilogy.
Overall, if you haven't checked out Perkins yet and you're into romantic novels, she is definitely the author for you. She writes such realistic, compelling, and poignant relationships and really understands teens at their core.
FTC: Received hardcover copy as gift from Magan of Reading Gals (thanks!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.