Probably the most conflicted I’ve ever felt about a book. On one hand I love the characters and the setting and the overall development of the story but at the same time I have so many parts that I disliked about this book. Maybe it’s because I can relate to Isla so much with feeling like she is unworthy of love and getting involved with someone who has such a complicated story with their ex but I didn’t like the whole romance between her and Josh and overall it felt unrealistic and fast. Stephanie Perkins is a brilliant writer and I loved her style but I just couldn’t like her characters as much in this story.
For all of you interested in this book here is a short summary of it:
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.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
I definitely recommend before reading this book that you read the other two books in this series (Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door) as in this book you do get a sweet moment that might spoil the other two books for you ^^ (that was honestly my favorite part of the book). Alright now I’m going to be spoiling so if you haven’t read the book do that and then come back here and see if you agree with me or not ^^
So Isla and Josh randomly met one day at a cafe when Isla was high on tablets that she was taking from having her teeth puller out if I’m correct. Isla has had a crush on Josh for 3 years and now he has finally broken up with Rashimi she thinks she has a chance. They get together and are together for less than a month before running to spain, having sex, coming back, and Josh getting kicked out of school. Now they end up in different countries and they decide to stay together because they care so much about each other. Then Josh doesn’t see her for Thanksgiving but sees her at Christmas and gives her this book with very vivid images of his life and even of his past relationship with Rashimi which she obviously gets upset about. Then they have a realistic fight on an unrealistic topic and Isla is upset and heartbroken and just…let me tell you my feelings on all of this. It’s so quick, it’s so fast-paced, it doesn’t feel real to me. What Anna and Etienne had felt real to me mainly because of how slowly it developed. It’s the same for Lola and Cricket. I could feel their relationship genuinely develop whereas Isla and Josh just felt fake and quick.
I liked Kurt. I liked his character, especially the fact he had high-functioning autism, it reminded me of my brother. The only thing I didn’t like with this is that it was quite unrealistic at some points because he said things and acted in some ways that just didn’t fit his character.
The ending was also quite unrealistic and I just…in general it was like watching one of those cheesy romance stories that you know what’s going to happen and what is probably not going to happen in real life. It reminded me of this quote I heard in Valentine’s Day “You don’t step in to love, you fall in. Head over heels. Have you ever seen someone fall head over heels in love? It’s ugly, bro. Toxic, septic.”
There isn’t much to say on this book because honestly the only thing that keeps the story going is the one plot line that is the romance of Isla and Josh. I went and reread Anna and the French Kiss and I realized that there just wasn’t as much passion or emotion in this story. It was very whirlwind romance and there wasn’t a buildup of their relationship and tbh they didn’t know each other long enough before having this epic long distance romance. Maybe it’s just because I’m experiencing a breakup which makes me more pessimistic to this idea of “love conquers all” but eh you can’t have everything in life ^^
Language/Style: 7 points
Originality: 7 points
Characters: 7 points
Plot: 7 points
Giving this book a total of 28 points out of 40 which is okay like an average C grade?
I definitely recommend this book if you’ve read Anna and the French Kiss as well as Lola and the Boy Next Door because it not only ties those stories up but it’s a nice little finishing novel to complete this trilogy. As a stand alone book I definitely don’t recommend it though. I feel to enjoy this book you need to have read Anna and the French Kiss because then you feel a strong connection to the school and the reappearance of some characters etc.
Favorite Part: “I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break yourself? I thought honesty made people strong”