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Monday, December 8, 2014
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Ann and the French Kiss book 3)
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you. Anna, St. Clair, Lola and Cricket all make brief appearances for fans of the series.
“Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?”
While on break before the start of their Senior year at the School of America in Paris (SOAP), Isla Martin runs into her long time crush, Joshua Wasserstein, at midnight in a cafe. High on Vicodin from having her wisdom teeth removed, Isla strikes up a conversation and is surprised that Josh actually knows some things about her. The son a of U.S. Senator, he remarks that it is strange that they have never run into each other before in the city. They rarely speak to one another in school and never outside of it. Isla is painfully shy, while Josh is reserved. Josh has also recently broken up with his long time girlfriend when she graduated. Isla strikes up a conversation over his sketchbook and before long he offers to draw her. Waking her up when the cafe closes, Josh offers to walk her home. It’s raining out. She thanks him on her doorstep and Josh tells her to have sweet dreams.
The next morning, Isla is embarrassed yet giddy over the night before. She and her best friend, Kurt, make plans to go back to the cafe that night to see if Josh is there. He’s not. At all of the various times she went by the cafe, Josh isn’t there the following two weeks or the rest of summer break. Isla’s happiness quickly fades. After attempting to find him online but chickening out at making contact, Isla discovers that Senator Wasserstein and his family returned to Washington, D.C. two days after the meeting in the cafe.
Three months later, Isla is back at school and her confidence at talking to Josh has completely faded. Miraculously, she finds that she has been assigned to the dorm room at Josh occupied last school year. The dorm door refuses to stay shut, even though they are suppose to automatically lock when closed. Isla is talking with Kurt when her younger sister, Hattie, bursts through the unlocked door. Both sets of parents are waiting to take everyone to dinner. Hattie goes on ahead. Kurt remarks that she needs to talk with the resident director, Nate, about fixing the door. In the lobby, Kurt says, “There he is.” Isla immediately assumes that she is talking about Nate and looks up. She spies Josh, who looks and truly is alone. He is pushed into the elevator with a crowd of people and briefly looks annoyed. just as the doors close, he looks up and sees Isla.
Isla and Josh pretty much have the same class schedule and she is unable to work up the nerve to speak to him. In the afternoon, Isla hears from a teacher that Hattie fell ill that morning and was sent to the nurse. She suspects that her breakfast made her sick; she has a nut allergy. Walking into the administration wing, Isla is shocked to discover Josh sitting on the couch. The receptionist tells Isla to have a seat, she will go check with the nurse. Isla goes to have a seat and sees that Josh has sat up. Knowing that she must say something, Isla thanks him for paying her bill that night at the cafe and walking her home. He says it was no problem and asks about her teeth. The receptionist comes back to get Isla. She heads back to her sister and the nurse comes in. Hattie explodes when Isla asks about her and if their parents now. She tells Isla to quit acting like her mother. As Isla goes to leave the office, Josh makes a nasty comment about Hattie. Isla turns around and he quickly apologizes. Isla tells him not to and agrees. The headmistress come out to get Josh. His expression returns to blankness. The headmistress sees Isla and inquires about her sister. She then turns her attention back to Josh and looks at him like he is trouble.
Isla is completely thrilled to realize that Josh has noticed her. The only class where they sit next to one another is government. The teacher catches them not paying attention and calls them out on it in front of the class. Josh has been studying Isla’s compass necklace. He chastises Josh and tells Isla that she could do better than the riffraff. Josh says that he knows he can, that she is a terrible influence. Everyone then laughs. Paying attention the rest of the period, Isla is surprised when Josh hands her a sketch of her necklace as she goes to leave. He has written underneath it, “why does she wear it every day?’’ Isla is flustered to her very core. Josh smiles flirtatiously and follows Isla and Kurt to the cafeteria. Kurt is a creature of habit and it shows on his face that he doesn’t want Josh to join them. He doesn’t and Isla is afraid that Josh will treat Kurt badly; Kurt has high-functioning autism. The situation goes south when she thanks him for the sketch and Kurt wants to know if it is the portrait from over the summer. No something else, she says.. Kurt wants to see the portrait and asks if Josh has it. He says that he left that sketchbook back in the States and hurries off. Isla knows that it is a lie. Kurt comments that the situation turned weird. She agrees but deep down knows that Josh wanted to get away from Kurt. Isla is hurt.
Isla tries to ignore Josh but it isn’t easy when he is around. He flirts with her and recalls past conversations that they had. It is the days at a time that he is missing that bothers her. One day, there is a knock on her door and Isla is shocked that it is Josh and not Kurt. He comes in and asks if she wants to go out with him, to the comic book store. Disappointed at first, she agrees to go. While out, they learn more about each other, including the fact that they have both liked each other for awhile. Josh thought that she and Kurt dated. Soon, romance is in the air and Josh and Isla are inseparable. But can love last when life takes you in different directions?
Why is Josh a loner? Is he a troublemaker? How come Josh lies about his sketchbook? What does he plan on doing after graduating from high school? What are Isla’s plans? How does Kurt feel now that he isn’t the only boy in Isla’s life? Will Josh be a good or bad influence in her life? What happens after a bad decision affects Isla’s life? Can their love survive? Could Isla do better than Josh likes everyone thinks?
Visit Stephanie Perkins’ website.