Sunday, August 02, 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins

Introverted Isla has had a crush on enigmatic graphic artist Josh for years, so when he shows an interest in her during their senior year it is a dream come true.  Now add to the mix that they both come from wealthy families and they are attending high school in Paris, and things start getting exotic.  And to that, add that they have relatively little adult supervision and you get great material for a hot boarding school romance.

In general, this story follows the basic romance formula (there will be moments of discovery, misunderstandings and fights, and well-meaning but clueless adult intervention), but what makes it enjoyable are the flaws of our heroine.  Isla is smart and insightful with a good mix of impulsive thrown in, and she makes some really big mistakes.  However, with her intelligence and decent head on her shoulders, she owns her errors pretty well. The rather unrealistic nature of their situation (unsupervised and unrestricted access to Europe not least of all) and a disappointing (but not unpredictable) overly happy ending aside, this is an enjoyable couple to follow.  Their anxieties and concerns felt real and legitimate, and you'll love to read about them.

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