First Lines: It’s midnight, it’s sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, but that guy–that guy right over there–that’s him. The him.
In place of a Spotlight, I thought I would post my latest review in honor of Valentine’s Day! (I know, Spotlights are awesome, but aren’t you interested in Isla too?) You’d think that for as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss that I’d just be chomping at the bit to read this, but I was a little nervous, given how I liked Lola, but it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped.
Ever since their first year at the School of America in Paris, the ever romantic at heart Isla has had a crush on cartoonist Josh. After a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer holiday, it seems like romance could be closer than Isla could’ve ever hoped. But their senior year back in Paris is full of struggles including family issue, uncertainty about college and the future, and the very real possibility of being apart. Can Isla ever have her happily ever after?
Someone please tell me why I ever doubted Stephanie Perkins to pull through with this. I mean really, what was I thinking?
The story does start off a little strange, as Isla is pretty loopy on her pain meds (I’ll leave the circumstances a mystery for those who haven’t read it yet). But strange as it was, it was cute. Isla and Josh are incredibly awkward around each other, and those pain meds were just the thing to help Isla relax around him. I loved that they were so awkward with each other. It was adorable how Isla thought half of the stuff that came out of her mouth was stupid. It made her and Josh feel relatable, real, and endearing. I always want to take awkward people under my wing.
And it’s not total fluff. It does tackle tough subjects. Both Josh and Isla have family issues to sort through. Isla doesn’t know what she’s going to do after she graduates, which lots of people deal with all of the time. And they have to find out if they want a long distance relationship (because let’s face it, those suck) and if their relationship is even worth saving when things go bad. That’s tough stuff for any age, not just 17.
Something I both liked and disliked about the book was how insecure Isla was. I didn’t mind it in Isla. It was sort of endearing how she wasn’t sure about much. It gave her room to grow. What I didn’t like so much was how easily that evoked my insecurities. Talk about a mood buster. I walked around for the rest of the night feeling just as insecure as Isla.
As a gentle warning to those who might want to read this, it is a bit more mature than I was thinking it was. There was a lot of language early in the book as well as some…romantic scenes. Just as a heads up.
I thought the story was cute and romantic while still managing to be touching and serious when it needed to be.