Shy Isla has been crushing on quirky-artsy Josh since their freshman year at the School of America in Paris. But each time she's tried to start a conversation with him she's either gotten tongue-tied, embarrassed herself in a major way, or both. It's not that Josh could never like her anyway (not in that way), because he's a super cool guy and she's...well...she's Isla. Shy. Clumsy. Red-headed. Awkward. Isla.
Thankfully, a trip to the dentist may have saved this (obviously) meant-to-be relationship from being doomed before it had the chance to get off the ground.
Hyped on happy pills (wisdom teeth removed--ouch!) and unable to sleep, Isla ends up at Cafe Kismet...and, who should she encounter there, but Josh. Maybe it's the pain meds talking, but Isla receives a rush of confidence (stupidity?) and she and her crush chat for hours. Of course the next day Isla barely remembers anything about the night except that she and Josh hung out and he sketched her portrait and he walked her home and...oh yeah, at some point during their not-quite-a-date she dozed off over a slice of cheesecake. Yikes!
Fall begins and the two are back in Paris to complete their senior year. There are some hilarious moments, some near-miss situations, and some awkward misunderstandings involving Isla's BFF (who's a guy). And then there's some more misunderstandings involving Josh's ex-GF, some family drama, and Isla's own insecurities that she's not good enough for Josh. There's a tearful breakup. But eventually things resolve themselves in the most romantic of ways and Isla and Josh get together for good, like you, the reader, always knew they would. YAY! Ah... L'Amour!
Isla and the Happily Ever After (by Stephanie Perkins), the final companion to Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door is probably my favorite of the author's. But you don't have to have read the author's other books to enjoy Isla. But those who have will be happy to learn that beloved characters from previous books make cameo appearances in this one (and will be especially thrilled with what happens to Anna and St. Clair).
The verdict: Although predictable, this sweet and delightful love story will make you 100% happy. --AJB