Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

20160723_103438

“A blank canvas…has unlimited possibilities.”

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Why you should read this book: Last of the trilogy, you can’t miss it!

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

“I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s okay to be a blank canvas. maybe it’s okay that my future is unknown.”

I was trying to love it because it’s a love story set in Paris but I really struggled getting to the end of it. It took me really a lot to finish it, I found Isla a bit annoying and the whole thing was cheesy, a bad cheesy, not the good and cute kind of cheesy. It was hard, so hard to stomach it and I’m a romantic, I love feelings and I love love!

I related to Isla only because we are both petite and don’t know what to do with our future. The difference? Isla is rich and 17 years old. I’m a poor 30-year old employee. Well, the future is a future for everyone, right? Mine is not really a blank canvas, maybe a little more like a very colorful, messy, all over the place canvas. And that’s okay.

“People can play dumb all they want, but they always give themselves away in actions. In the small moments like that.”

Josh Josh Josh. I don’t know what to think of him and maybe that’s part of the problem. I didn’t get him. That entire artist rebel act was unnecessary. He played dumb and it was obvious for everyone but he kept doing it. I don’t follow rules, I make my own rules. Wow, good for you, Josh, wow! He is a nice boy with a cheesy heart. They are the perfect match, really.

“But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?”

[No, Isla, just no!]

Things that made me really angry happened and I wanted to shake Isla because, come on, that was so dumb! Come on, Isla, really? That was what you did? It was the perfectly reasonable thing to do, right? I can’t excuse her because of her young age, lack of communication has to be fought since you are little or else you will give up on everything and everyone. You will be afraid of failure and heartbreaks before they even happen and you will give up. Luckily her characters grows and I started to see hope for her.

I want to still recommend this third and last book of this trilogy because I know we all are different and are annoyed by different things so if you like cheesy love stories where the main characters say cheesy things all the time then this is for you. It didn’t work for me, I’m a different kind of cheesy gal and this didn’t reach my romantic heart, but maybe it will reach yours.

Do I recommend it? Of course, it’s a story that can be loved.
Rate: 3/5

firmablog

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

20151021_145517

“There are some people in life that you can’t get over.”

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Why you should read this book: because everyone should talk to the Moon, she is perfect!

Dolores “Lola” Nolan is an aspiring costume designer who lives in San Francisco with her two dads and a beautiful black dog. She is happy: she reinvents herself every single day with wigs, vibrant colors, glitter and crazy glasses, and she has a boyfriend she loves. Everything is great until the Bell family moves back next door. Lola has a past with the Bell twins, specially with Cricket, and having him in her life again is going to bring back old memories and feelings.

I was going to give this book 3 stars but then the last 25% of it made me change my mind.
I started liking it, it was a normal story of a girl having her heart broken in the past and hiding herself in a relationship she thinks is good for her because of that. By the way, I didn’t like Max at all. What kind of boyfriend is so rude to friends and family? Seriously, who does that? Pretend a little better even if you don’t like the situation you are in, for your girlfriend’s sake at least! Then Lola’s approach to everything started to annoy me. The same kind of feeling St. Clair gave me in Anna and the french kiss. Maybe because they really are in the same situation. They think they have to be with that particular person because it’s safe, it makes them feel good, no obstacles, no hearts to brake etc. Worst mistake ever and people in books keep doing it! I know in real life one person in this situation and I really don’t understand what is keeping her from sending her so-called boyfriend to another dimension!

“Sometimes a mistake isn’t a what. It’s a who.”

Cricket is a lovely boy but very VERY shy and a little coward. Maybe more than a little! People love not to speak their mind; so in my opinion they don’t have to whine if 2 years later you are miserable, ok? If you don’t have the courage to say what it’s on your mind then you have to bear ALL the consequences. She waited for him to make a move, he did the same, problems arise and guess what? Everyone loses!! Misunderstandings, tears, etc.

I sort of wanted to see more Lindsey, I thought she was a great character, a great friend! Detective Lindsey! I loved the cameos from Anna and the french kiss characters. They were useful for the development of Lola’s character and the story. Without them everything would have been quite impossible. That girl needed help from everyone and everywhere!

“I’m not interested in making what’s easy. I’m interested in making what’s beautiful.”

I loved Lola’s dedication to her dresses. Every single outfit was thought and created for a particular event or according to her mood. They were her and she was those outfits. It’s great how she didn’t mind other people’s opinion. They don’t deserve to tell you how to live your life. If putting a different wig everyday makes you happy, then do it. If you like having your hair in a ponytail, then have a ponytail everyday. Life is too short to be someone you are not. Where did I read that? Oh well, if it’s true I hope it doesn’t matter not writing the source.

The ending was possibly the best part of the whole book. The Moon, the stars, the around the corner part, the boots, the FEELINGS! Everything was there and I wanted to be there, too!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it feels like a story anyone could experience, ups, downs and everything in between.
Rate: 4/5

firmablog

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

IMG_2499

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Why you should read this book: Paris!

Anna, teenager american girl, is sent by her newly rich father to Paris to do her last year of high school in an american school. She leaves her best friend, a possibility of love and a part-time job for the unknown. She doesn’t know anything about Paris and she isn’t interested, she just wants to finish the school year and go back home. She doesn’t know she is going to find friends, a best friend and maybe something more.

Anna is a foolish girl, she holds grudges without talking. She assumes people are at fault. She has many flaws, a lot, sometimes it’s hard not to think she is a whiny little girl. She has the wonderful chance to live in Paris for 9 months, experience things a lot of people dreams of doing their entire lives. She is young, she doesn’t know what she’s been offered, she is wasting a wonderful gift and why? Because she thinks her father wanted to punish her.

Reading how she was surprised about trivial things found in Paris made me realize that she was never interested in other cultures, she doesn’t know that other countries may have similar things like in the US. I don’t blame her, I’ve seen so many people have her exact same reaction in real life. It’s not uncommon, almost like “OMG they have coffee, who would’ve thought?”. I can see how a lot of reviewers hated her for being like that.

Well, so she arrives in Paris, cries a lot, has difficulties ordering food and realizes it is not so bad and, guess what? It has movie theaters. Crazy!
The nice thing about this book is that is cheesy, it has a lot of brown eyes love references, hair flipping and mean girls. Cheesy is good, is different from life, it’s an exaggeration of life in a good way.

If I say american boy with a British accent living in France what do you think? Ehh, no way, that can’t be the main boy in this book, right? Well, wrong! He “exists” and his name is Étienne St. Clair! He is a charming boy, he has a girlfriend (this part is really important!!), a father he hates, a mother he wants to see more, friends and, like any other love interest of females’ main characters, he is everyone’s crush, everyone wants a piece of him!
He and Anna become friends then best friends. They have a lot in common, also the fact the they don’t speak their mind. This is really something that bothers me, people don’t telling what they have in mind. It can be hard, I know well, but everyone who has watched movies or tv shows knows that not telling the truth right away leads to so many unnecessary problems! It was frustrating, I had feelings all over the place, I didn’t know who to root for, if everything they were doing was worth the pain!

I liked very much the side characters, they have passions, hobbies and they are important for the story, they aren’t only in the background. I loved how they saw she was having troubles and helped her.

Paris is an important part of the book. It’s not described as a guide book but as a person who has never seen it would have described it, with clichés and misconceptions. Paris is seen by a girl who has only seen Paris in pictures and movies, probably american ones so obviously it was seen from a very specific point of view. I would’ve described it differently but I have a different mind, I’ve seen different things, I’ve lived a different life.

The great thing about our minds is that we perceive things different from any other person, what’s nice to me it’s wonderful to another and awful to another. We see what’s in front of us in a way that it can’t be seen by any other person and that, in my opinion, is what makes every experience we make special.
I would love to go back to Paris and visit the places Anna visited and see them as she saw them.

Do I recommend it? If you like Paris and love stories then you’ll fall for this book but be ready to be mad at the characters, they deserve it!
Rate: 4/5

firmablog