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Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Book Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Publication Date: August 14th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14+ years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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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.


MY THOUGHTS

I started reading this because it has been sitting on my shelf for so long, just waiting to be picked up. When I was about done though, a personal problem came up and then I was desperate. Desperate to escape the cruel reality, that is. Something horrible has happened and I don’t know how to make things easier for me and my family, so I decided to escape from my problems again. I couldn’t think of any other thing more perfect than reading. Despite the chaos going on outside the four walls of my bedroom, I read. And read, and read. I got lost in Isla’s world and before I knew it, I  forgot my problems and was closing the book, bawling my eyes out.

First of all, let me just say that  you don’t effing know how much I missed Anna and St. Clair… And Meredith, and Josh, and Lola and Cricket, and all the banter too. *stares guiltily at the floor* Okay, you caught me. A small part of me only wanted to read this one in hopes of getting a glimpse of Anna and St. Clair again.

This book just made me so nostalgic of Anna and the French Kiss, and you know how much I love that, you probably don’t but whateverI really love the setting, School of America in Paris (SOAP) because I kind of got this cozy and homely feel to it because of AatFK. And I really grew attached to that setting from the first book so it was so nice to have read another story that takes place there.

Now enough with Anna and the French Kiss. Although Isla and Josh technically already have had feelings for each other before this book started, I can’t shake the feeling of insta-love I’m getting.

You know how with some books you feel like the story unfolds right in front of you? Well, it technically does with all books because you’re reading the book in front of you, but I hope you get my point. But there’s those ones that just grab you out of reality and plunges you in its world; this is one of those books.

In terms of the female main characters of this series, I didn’t really feel attached to Lola and Isla compared to how I felt for Anna. About Lola, you can about read that on my review here. But let’s talk about Isla. When the book began, I was immediately starting to warm up to her. She’s just like me. Just minus the really high grades and the charisma, I can really see the few similarities with our personalities. But as the story goes on and as her relationship with Josh was tested, I was kind of unreasonably irked. Unreasonable because I still got annoyed with her although I know that it was the jealousy and insecurity fueling her insensitive words and actions. But as the development of her character goes on, my unease started to fade.

Josh is my absolute favorite character in this story. He is just one of the best boyfriends anyone can ever ask for. He is so considerate. Even though he often breaks rules, he becomes hesitant to do things that might endanger Isla’s record and reputation. He is such an understanding guy, I bet his patience is longer than the River Nile. Seriously. Despite all the hurtful things everyone tells him, he still doesn’t lose his shit. Plus he can freaking draw! He has unrealistic skills.

I would’ve loved to get to know Kurt a bit more. He’s just such a sweet guy and he seems like the ideal (boy) best friend for me. I was so sad when he got mentioned less and less when Isla and Josh started dating.

And Hattie, I just have to mention Hattie. She is Isla’s youngest sister and despite all her bitchiness, she isn’t as bad as she seem to be. And holy shit. This book might have just solved one of the things that I’m too stupid to realize: why my youngest sister always does stuff to get under my skin.

At first I thought that the majority—if not the entirety — of this story would focus on Isla’s relationship with Josh, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a bit of development in the family aspect as well.

And finally, the ending is so perfect. I won’t go on about it because of duh! spoilers.

I recommend this book to lovers of contemporary. Although I gave this one a perfect rating, it still isn’t gonna land on my favorites shelf simply because I didn’t like it enough for it to be put there. I don’t mean to be harsh as this book really is great, but that’s just how I feel about it.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.


P.S. Hello friends, I’m back. Finally, I will admit defeat to myself since I’ve realized that it is impossible for me to keep this blog going all-year round. School is just so hectic as most of you probably know, but I just really love blogging so I can’t abandon this. Therefore, I made a compromise with myself that I would just keep on blogging every summer vacation then take a break whenever school starts again. And, oh, in case some of you were wondering this review was written almost a year ago, and it has been sitting in my drafts, waiting to be uploaded. I haven’t read any books this summer yet but I’m looking forward to reading tons. Thank you and have a great day!

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Favorite 2016 Reads & Bookish Resolutions for 2017

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Cue fireworks displays, popping balloons and Fake Love by Drake blaring in the background. (I am in love with that song at the moment, by the way.) I was supposed to post this on New Year’s Day but I didn’t get the chance to, so here it is 4 days later.

So, another year has ended already. It feels like 2016 came by so quick yet took too long to end at the same time. 2016 definitely wasn’t my year, let’s just leave it at that. Anyway, in this post, I will be sharing with you my favorite books I’ve read in 2016 and my Bookish Resolutions for 2017 which you probably already deduced by reading the title.


Favorite Books in 2016

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the books I listed here are published during 2016 only. To be fair, none of these books are published during 2016.

I’ve originally set my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge target to 50 books but as the year went on and as school proved to be more of a problem than I’ve expected, I changed my goal to 40 books. And thank heavens, I achieved it and read 3 extra books!

So among the 43 books I’ve read, here are my favorites:

I won’t waffle on about them anymore because this will get super long and most probably will end up repeating everything I’ve already said in my reviews. But if you do want to know more about these books and why I loved them so much, check out my reviews listed here in no particular order ( I did not write one for Me Before You but the link will direct you to my Goodreads update about it):

  1. The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
  2. Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
  3. In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken
  4. Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins
  5. Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West
  6. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

For my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge, I’ve set it to 50 books. This time, I’m more determined to accomplish it!

2017 Reading Challenge

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Bookish Resolutions for 2017

I’m not really the best at resolutions. When it’s December already, I always find myself setting goals I want to achieve the following year but he problem is, I NEVER DO THEM. I somehow always forget along the way. But this year, despite of my rubbish memory and lack of self-discipline, I came up with a list of bookish resolutions and hope that I did not set myself up for yet another disappointment.

  • Buy more physical books

I’m really fond of buying eBooks for the reason that they’re a teeny bit cheaper and are sometimes more convenient compared to physical copies. I’m actually planning on writing a separate post on this so I won’t ramble on much. But basically, I’ve recently just realized that I already spend too much time staring at my phone’s screen and eBooks don’t help when I want to decrease my “screen time”.

  • Blog more

Some might notice my lack of presence recently in my blog. I’ve posted like, what, 4-5 posts the past few months and that’s HORRIBLE. I normally post that many in 2 weeks last summer. WTF is happening to me?

  • Have more creative blog posts

This kinda falls under the previous one. I feel like all I post are book reviews and that gets boring.

  • Read more classics

I have never read a single classic book in my entire life. Why? I’m not exactly sure either. Maybe I’m intimidated by them. But nevertheless, I’m gonna give them a try sometime this year. Hopefully.


And that’s it. I’m kind of thankful for 2016 although it wasn’t really a great year, I learned a lot. But anyway, I’m so excited to see what 2017 has in store for me. Here’s to more memories created and lessons learned!

What are your favorite 2016 reads? Are you as bad as I am when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions? Do you mind sharing a few of your resolutions for this year?

Have a great 2017, everybody! ❤

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Tag: Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

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Welcome to the first ever book tag I’m posting on this blog! Although admittedly, not the first one I’ve done as I sometimes answer book tags in my spare time. They’re just so fun, I wonder why it took me this long to post one. Anyway, no one actually tagged me to do this one, I just saw Melia’s post at The Immortal Readers (do yourself a favor and check it out) and thought I’d do it to.

  • Randomly choose 3 books. (You can use the “random” option on your Goodreads read shelf but I didn’t do that, I let my sister pick randomly instead.)
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread. (Who in their right minds would let me rewrite these books?! But let’s just pretend I’m an amazing writer for the sake of the tag.)
  • Repeat until you completed three rounds. (I’m gonna do five just because I can, plus it’s really fun.)

No books were harmed in the making of this blog post.


ROUND 1

Ooh, this one’s quite easy!

BURN: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga – I pick this one for “burn” simply because I got bored halfway through the book. The 45%-ish of the book is interesting but after that, my attention was completely gone. I was so disappointed.
REWRITE: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – As I said earlier, I am by no means a decent writer, much less an amazing one who would rewrite a Rainbow Rowell book. So let’s just pretend, folks. I enjoyed this book so much, but I would like to give it a bit more plot.
REREAD: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I actually reread this book quite a lot. This is by far my favorite book in the contemporary romance genre. Every time I read this, I instantly brighten up a lot more. This is my go-to book whenever I’m stressed, in a bad mood or just wants to feel loved (even though it’s not directed at me, if that makes sense). I highly recommend this one.

ROUND 2

BURN: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – This I would burn because I’ve encountered multiple problems while reading this. I gave this a rating of 2/5 stars because I only enjoyed the parts wherein Matt was still alive (I promise that’s not a spoiler).
REWRITE: Because I Love You by Tori Rigby – Although I absolutely loved this one, I’ll have to “rewrite” this to lessen the problems that Andrea Hamilton is juggling. As much as I believe that she’s strong enough to handle the dilemmas thrown at her, I’ll feel more comfortable about myself if I do poor Andie a favor.
REREAD: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This is a favorite of mine. I’ve read this fairly recently but I’ll be no doubt rereading this multiple times in the future. This is such a lovely story and such lovely characters and such lovely writing. If you haven’t yet, I recommend reading this one because this is one of those books that speak to you (well, at least to me it did).

ROUND 3

I think my sister purposely chose these books she knew I love to see me suffer.

BURN: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – I’m so sorry for this. I seriously never would have thought that I’d put this book in the “burn” category. I love this book to pieces! Caymen! Alexander! NOOOOOO! Okay, I may be getting carried away, but I really do adore this book. The only reason why I’d put this as burn is because I know that I’m not gonna be actually burning it I’d be reading more books by Kasie West. And I’ll buy another copy!
REWRITE: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins  I really want this to be rewritten purely because I wanted more action for bad-ass Harper Price.
REREAD: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken1000000% reread. If that’s not enough zeroes for you to think that this is one, if not the only one, of my favorite dystopian series of all time, here’s some more: 100000000000000000000000%. I can’t express enough how much I love The Darkest Minds trilogy. Maybe I can, but that would take ages so you would have to do with those digits I left you.

ROUND 4

BURN: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik  I gave this 4/5 stars—I can’t remember why because I currently think this deserves only 3 or, 3.5 tops. But I would burn this instead of rewrite it (I don’t want to!) because I see more potential in the other one. Read below.
REWRITE: Reboot by Amy Tintera – This I would rewrite because, as I said, I see potential. I only gave this a 2 out of 5 because I couldn’t bring myself to care for the most part. The first part of the book really got me going, but it fell through for me starting from the middle-ish part.
REREAD: Untethered by Katie Hayoz – This one, although I would’ve like several aspects to be altered, I would still gladly reread this.

 

ROUND 5

BURN: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson  When I saw that this book is included in the group that was randomly picked, I knew right away that I had to burn it (not literally). The book was just too problematic for me. I didn’t like the main character, not one bit. And that’s one of my bookish pet peeves, not liking the main character/the person narrating.
REWRITE: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – I actually really liked this book but I’d like to rewrite it for a couple of reasons. First is to fucking put a reminder of some sort of whose POV I’m reading because I got so confused. And the other is to discard of the cringey romance.
REREAD: Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie – Another 5 star read for me. I am a huge mystery/crime novel fan. This book really thrilled me, although there were some parts wherein all they talk about is whiskey which I’m not a fan of, but I don’t see that as a problem of the book. Basically, this is just really great. And it takes place in Scotland’s Highlands!


So there we go. This was so much fun to do. Thanks again to Melia @ The Immortal Readers for introducing me to this tag. Do you agree with my choices? Why or why not? Let’s talk, leave a comment below! 😀

Book cover photos are taken from Goodreads.

 

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Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Book Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: December 2nd 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


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