Before we start, I do realise that I read the second two books in this series in the wrong order, but it makes sense to review them in the order I read them. I didn’t realise it would be much of an issue, because I didn’t know that some of the characters cross over and the end of this story does give a little bit away for the end of Lola and the Boy Next-door, but it doesn’t really ruin anything that you wouldn’t see coming…
So! Isla and the Happily Ever After features Josh, who was a supporting character in Anna and the French Kiss. I secretly really liked Josh and was disappointed that we didn’t get to know more about him, so I was happy to realise that he was the main man in this book – & the more I found out about him, the more I fell in love with him, like Etienne. When the two main characters fall in love in the first half of the book, you know that something is going to go drastically wrong, so I found it quite hard to enjoy their romance, I was waiting for the bombshell. And come it did.
The story is complex and at times very stressful to read (the sign of an immersive plot!) but it felt real. Of course, at times Josh (like Etienne before him, and a lot of guys in YA literature) seemed completely unbelievable in the things he was saying. I want to believe he’s real, I do. But I have an incredibly romantic, cheesy boyfriend and even he would cringe at some of the things Josh says. Nevertheless I am in love with him! The course of love never runs smooth, (otherwise YA novels would be boring) & I loved the unique angle this story took, the waiting leaving you on absolute tenterhooks at times.
Supporting character and best friend Kurt, (I had to Google his name, that says a lot I think) was a bit of a romance red herring and Isla didn’t really treat him great – this should have been addressed more I think! The references to Josh and his friends from the first book really made me smile, and, weirdly, miss them, as if they were my friends too – that’s a sign of great character writing right?
My actual opinion on this book is complicated. I loved it, and it made my heart swell, but it was not Anna, and there were a few ‘dips’. I wanted to know more about Isla’s sisters, the relationship between her and her younger sister seemed almost important but not deep enough to create a lasting impression. Also, she seemed a little like a rebound to Josh, infatuated with him, but we never really hear why he loves her, just how much he does. Now, this is probably a worry stemming from my own insecurities as a girl whose boyfriend had a long term (but unhappy) relationship before we got together and couldn’t believe he could ever love me as much as he says. I really want Josh to love Isla like he says he does!
It is probably advisable to read the books in the correct order, just so you don’t spoil anything for yourself! I am now desperate for more books in this series, maybe one where Meredith falls in love?!
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