I wasn’t originally planning to write a review for Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, simply because it’s just the third book in an excellent series, and I’m not sure how much people want to read a review that basically says “OMG, it’s soooo goooooood” in slightly more eloquent wording. (But seriously, it’s wonderful. Like all of Perkins’ books, it is just wonderful and so charming and utterly enchanting.)
When I read Anna & the French Kiss, I was single & feeling good about life. I figured someday I’d meet someone, but I was good on my own, and I was certain whenever I met someone it would not be at ALL like anything in the books I read all the time. Most certainly not as romantic as Anna & the French Kiss, though that never detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
When I read Lola & the Boy Next Door, I had just started dating the man who would become my husband. Actually, I bought the book on our second date when we ended up at our local Barnes & Noble. (The store where he eventually proposed.) I remember being dreamily excited that I was on a DATE in a BOOKSTORE, and he (apparently, he later told me) was a tad bit overwhelmed by the stack of books I purchased that night, Lola among them. I remember reading Lola and sharing those tingly new romance feelings with her, since that was the same stage I was in.
Fast-forward to now. Isla & the Happily Ever After comes into my life just as I’ve had my own little version of “happily ever after” … that is, it’s been just over six months since our wedding. And I was nervous, now that I’ve found forever love, would I still feel the same tingly anticipation reading Isla that I felt with Anna and Lola.
In fact, not only did I feel all the same tingly anticipation and excitement as Isla did, but reading the book — with my husband snoring loudly in the bed next to me — made me fall in love with him all over again. It reminded me of our early dates and those first few months of courtship. It reminded me of how we fell in love. It reminded me about when he proposed and when we started planning our wedding. And it reminded me of what love can feel like, in its many different forms.
Isla & the Happily Ever After is in stores August 14th. (But check your local bookstores now, because I found mine out almost a week early!)