This book left me with mixed feelings. I loved the first third of the book and couldn’t put it down, but I hated the second third and really wanted to slap Isla and I still haven’t made up my mind about the final third of the book. This is the first book by Perkins that I have read. I wasn’t really sure if there was an order in which they were meant to be read but I chose this one simply because I saw a cheap copy in a bookstore.
I had seen the books all over bookstagram and goodreads, and so I was excited to finally delve into one of the stories. In the end I was slightly underwhelmed. I am a sap for romance – and even though I never show it – somewhere in the depths of my heart, I’m a hopeless romantic. Isla and The Happily Ever After started out great, I was eating up ever cheesy word, believing that one day I will find my Happily Ever After. Yet somewhere between the first third and the second third of the book, I began to realize that the characters stopped developing. I wanted to jump into the abyss of Isla’s mind, I wanted to watch her find herself, watch her find her passion. Instead, I found her ending her perfect relationship for asinine reasons. For a second I thought that this is where her character development truly starts. I was wrong. It was just chapter after chapter of her believing she couldn’t live without Josh, that she was nothing without him. Isla, had successfully turned me off.
I liked Josh, though admittedly I was biased from the start because Josh is my absolute favorite name for a guy. However, his character also lacked the development that Isla did. Though he was definitely the best part of this story. Another character I liked was the friend, Kurt. I think my favorite part of the book was when Kurt made new friends and Isla realized it wasn’t Kurt that was holding her back but actually she was holding him back. I think that was the only important character development you see in the entire story.
I did enjoy her writing style. It was simple, yet engaging. It was everything that high school me ever wanted in a book. That brought with it a weird happy nostalgia and sense of comfort. So even though Isla kind of sucks, I have to admit that I really did enjoy reading the book. I will definitely be reading the other two as well.
“I’m…getting there. I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s okay to be a blank canvas. Maybe it’s okay that my future is unknown. And maybe,” I say with another smile, “it’s okay to be inspired by the people who do know their future.” “It goes both ways, you know.” I link his icicle fingers through mine. “What does?” “Artists are inspired by blank canvases.” My smile grows wider.”
“A blank canvas…has unlimited possibilities.”
“Phones are distracting. The internet is distracting.The way he looked at you? He wasn’t distracted. He was consumed.”