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Isla and the Happily Ever After
Cover of Isla and the Happily Ever After
Isla and the Happily Ever After
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"Stephanie Perkins's characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good." —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and FangirlA New York Times...
"Stephanie Perkins's characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good." —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and FangirlA New York Times...
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Description-

  • "Stephanie Perkins's characters fall in love the way we all want to, in real time and for good." —Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl
    A New York Times Bestseller

    Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
    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.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    chapter one

    It's midnight, it's sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, but that guy—that guy right over there—that's him.

    The him.

    His posture is as familiar as a recurring dream. Shoulders rounded down, head cocked to the right, nose an inch from the tip of his pen. Absorbed. My heart swells with a painful sort of euphoria. He's close, only two tables over and facing my direction. The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips:

    "Josh!"

    His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. And then. . . he blinks. "Isla?"

    "You know my name. You can pronounce my name." Most people call me Iz-la, but I'm Eye-la. Island without the nd. I erupt into a smile that immediately vanishes. Ouch.

    Josh glances around, as if searching for someone, and then cautiously sets down his pen. "Uh, yeah. We've sat beside each other in a ton of classes."

    "Five classes beside each other, twelve classes together total."

    A pause.

    "Right," he says slowly. Another pause. "Are you okay?"

    A guy who looks like a young Abraham Lincoln with a piercing fetish tosses a single-page laminated menu onto my table.

    I don't look at it. "Something soft, please."

    Abe scratches his beard, weary.

    "But no tomato soup, chocolate pudding, or raspberry applesauce. That's all I've had to eat today," I add.

    "Ah." Abe's mood lightens. "You're sick."

    "No."

    His mood darkens again. "Whatever." He snatches up the menu. "Allergic to anything? You kosher? Vegetarian?"

    "Huh?"

    "I'll have a look in the kitchen." And he stalks away.

    My gaze returns to Josh, who is still watching me. He looks down at his sketchbook, and then back up, and then back down. Like he can't decide if we're still having a conversation. I look down, too. I'm getting the increasingly alarming notion that if I keep talking, tomorrow I might have something to regret.

    But. . . as if I can't help it—because I can't, not when I'm around him—I glance up. My veins throb as my eyes drink him in. His long, beautiful nose. His slender, assured arms. His pale skin is a few shades darker from the summer sun, and his black tattoo peeks out from underneath his T-shirt sleeve.

    Joshua Wasserstein. My crush on him is near unbearable.

    He looks up again, too, and I blush. Blushing. The curse of redheads everywhere. I'm grateful when he clears his throat to speak. "It's strange, you know? That we've never run into each other before."

    I leap in. "Do you come here often?"

    "Oh." He fidgets with his pen. "I meant in the city? I knew you lived on the Upper West, but I've never seen you around."

    My chest tightens. I knew that about him, but I had no idea that he knew that about me. We attend a boarding school for Americans in Paris, but we spend our breaks in Manhattan. Everybody knows that Josh lives here, because his father has one of the New York seats in the United States Senate. But there's no reason for anyone to remember that I live here, too.

    "I don't get out often," I blurt. "But I'm starving, and there's nothing to eat at home." And then, somehow, I'm dropping into the empty seat across from him. My compass necklace knocks against his tabletop. "My wisdom teeth were removed this morning, and I'm taking all of these medications, but my mouth is still sore so that's why I can only eat soft foods."

    Josh breaks into his first smile.

    Accomplishment puffs up inside of me. I return the smile as full as I can, even...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 4, 2014
    Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) completes her trilogy of interlinked romances with a strong finale that examines the emotional intensity of a relationship from its earliest stages. Isla, a senior at the School of America in Paris, has had a crush on fellow senior Josh since freshman year, but it is only now that he reciprocates her feelings; their relationship quickly gathers steam. Perkins takes full advantage of her romantic Parisian setting, though the intimacy she establishes between her characters through penetrating dialogue and insight into the agonies and ecstasies of first love would shine anywhere. When Josh gets expelled and the couple becomes estranged, Isla spirals into despair that Perkins explores with aching intensity. Isla's vulnerability, coupled with her burgeoning sense of identity and desire to maintain her individuality in life and in love, makes her an especially rich character. The supporting cast, including Isla's high-functioning autistic friend Kurt, her prickly younger sister, and Josh himself are equally well realized, and the author's fans will enjoy appearances from characters from past books, too. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, kt literary.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2014
    Engaging teen characters with page-turning love lives offer ample vicarious pleasures. Petite, red-haired Isla (that's "eye-la") has had a hopeless crush on introverted artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. Their chance meeting before senior year catalyzes a wish-come-true relationship that threatens Isla's unusual friendship with best friend Kurt and makes her question her identity and future. Perkins' characters are quirky and three-dimensional, and their sometimes-startling actions make them seem even more real: Isla and Kurt routinely share a bed; Josh depicts losing his virginity in his graphic novel; Isla and Josh enjoy a steamy weekend trip to Barcelona. They're discovered, and Josh is expelled, but love persists despite distance and restricted phone privileges. In fact, their greatest threat comes from within-Perkins accurately depicts the kind of thinking that helps lovers invent their own problems: Isla's insecurities (why should Josh love her when she doesn't have a driving passion or vision of her future?) threaten the relationship ("I have to destroy what's left of my heart before he can do it for me"). The titular "happily-ever-after" is as predictable as it is sweet, featuring fan-pleasing cameos of characters from Perkins' two companion books. A satisfying dose of first love's physical and emotional thrall. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-When Isla, loopy on medication after a dentist appointment, finds herself in the same Manhattan cafe as her crush object, Josh, she's able to do something she's never managed in the three years they've attended the same boarding school in Paris: talk to him. Lo and behold, it turns out that he likes her too, and once they're back in France, a relationship blossoms. Alas, the course of true love never did run smooth, and pressures both internal (Isla's self-doubt) and external (Josh's father's Senate reelection campaign) force them apart. Is their love strong enough to bring them back together? Fans will relish appearances by characters from Perkins's Anna and the French Kiss (2011) and Lola and the Boy Next Door (2013, both Dutton) in this sweet, charming series third that will make readers feel like they're in Paris too. Realistic characters, spot-on dialogue, and a truly delightful romance make for a novel that will delight the author's fans and win her legions of new ones.-Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Tehereh Mafi, author of the bestselling Shatter Me series. "Stephanie Perkins is the Jane Austen of our generation. Her stories ache, soothe, and leave you breathless with joy; there's true magic in these pages--it's an experience you won't soon forget."
  • Booklist "Fans of literary heart flutters will love it."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "Realistic characters, spot-on dialogue, and a truly delightful romance make for a novel that will delight the author's fans and win her legions of new ones."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Engaging teen characters with page-turning love lives offer ample vicarious pleasures. A satisfying dose of first love's physical and emotional thrall."
  • RT Book Reviews, Top Pick "Dazzling and full of raw emotion...With a smooth plot, colorful characters and witty dialogue, Perkins further establishes herself as an expert writer whose career is sure to be long and full of bright things."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Perkins's debut surpasses the usual chick-lit fare with smart dialogue, fresh characters and plenty of tingly interactions."
  • Booklist "Absorbing and enjoyable."
  • Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of the Wake Trilogy "Smart and sensual, Anna and the French Kiss is everything your heart is longing for. You'll want to live inside this story forever. More, s'il vous plait!"
  • Sarah Mylnowski, author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) and the Whatever After series "You're going to fall in love with Lola and the Boy Next Door. Madly in love! Every page sparkles."

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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