Book Review–Isla and The Happily-Ever-After by Stephanie Perkins

As a writer of romantic fiction, I’m always looking for something great to read. I’ve read a Stephanie Perkins’ book before and enjoyed both the quality of her writing and her characters.

I purchased Isla and The Happily-Ever-After having read and enjoyed the sample. This story follows teenaged Isla into the boarding school world of the kids of the rich or fairly-well-off. Although her father is American, Isla’s mother is from France. For that reason, it seems only natural that Isla and her sisters should attend a boarding school in Paris before heading off to college.

Like most have found themselves doing at one time or another, Isla is crushing big-time on Josh, a boy that also attends her school. She has a close friendship with another guy, Kurt, who just happens be autistic. This friendship is so connected and they hang together so much that Josh initially assumes Isla and Kurt are a couple. They aren’t, but they have a strong friendship.

I suppose I must admit that both as a writer and a therapist, I’m pretty sensitive about how accurately characters are portrayed. If their actions don’t follow what has been set out in their characters, I have a hard time getting sucked into a story. Ms. Perkins does a great job of this. She draws her characters very well and defines them in their setting. She does both a great job of conveying a teen comfortable in Paris and Europe and teens living in a boarding school that caters to ex-pats.

I found myself lost in the story of Isla and Josh’s growing love and in the events that led to their estrangement. I also could believe how they found one another again. The sisters’ reconnection was well done as was the character of Kurt.

In recommending this book to a friend, I would say the writing is great and the characterization done well.

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