By now you’ve probably heard of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and, Isla and the Happily Ever After. The series of companion novels by Stephanie Perkins has gotten a lot of attention this year and today I’m going to give you my thoughts on the novels. These novels stand alone, meaning that you can read Isla without having read Anna and the story will make since. However, if you do read them in order, like I did, you pick up on little references from the other stories and you get more out of them.
Anna and the French Kiss:
Anna loves her life in Atlanta Georgia. She has her best friend, Bridget, the love spending time with her mom and her little bother and there’s her cute co-worker, Trohp, from the movie theater who she likes. Anna can’t wait to start her senior year of high school, until her parents decide to send her to SOAP, School of America in Paris.While she hates it at first, Anna makes some awesome new friends, including Étienne St. Clair, who she becomes best friends and definitely likes as more than a friend. with. It’s too bad he already has a girl friend.
As I started reading this story, I initially liked it but as it went on, I wasn’t as in to it. It was a cute story but it’s very predictable. I read this book after I had read Gayle Froman’s Just One Day so I had kind of high standards, i guess due to the similar story lines.
I never really fell in love with Anna and falling in live with the main character. I thought she was acting like a brat most of the novel. Yeah, i get that you were mad that you had to change schools your senior year but’s it’s France. Do I need to emphasize that anymore? FRANCE. Get over it and eat some pasta with a macaroon.
Come to think of it, I never really grew to like St. Clair either. He was friendly with Anna and don’t get me wrong, i though they were adorable together. I didn’t like how he led her on while he was still with his girlfriend.
This novel did have some excellent side characters. I loved Meredith, one of Anna’s friends and next door neighbor. She’s the kind of friend you’d hope to have not just in high school but at any point in your life.
Overall, I liked this book but because of the predictability of the ending, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Lola and the Boy Next Door:
There are three things that Lola wants most in her life: 1.) To walk in to her winter formal dressed as Marie Antoinette, 2.) For her Dads to accept her boyfriend and 3.) To Never see Cricket Bell again. And things are going great in Lola’s life until Cricket Bell and his family move back in to their house next door to Lola’s. Lola and Cricket start to rebuild their friendship and start to realize that they like each other but things are complicated by Lola’s boyfriend and Cricket’s twin sister, Calliope.
This is by far my favorite novel out of the three. I loved everything about it. Lola was the most adorable thing ever. I loved how she was so unique, always dressing up in different costumes and wigs. Then we have Cricket who was just as adorable, if not more adorable than Lola. I even loved how San Francisco was a character in the novel. (Tina, you’d like that).
I was very happy with this book and read it in two days. I had to know what happened. I give it 4/5 stars even though i really enjoyed it, you gotta save 5 stars for the books that are just really special.
Isla and the Happily Ever After:
Isla (pronounced eye-la) is a hopeless romantic and has had a crush on Josh since their freshman year of high school at SOAP. When they bump in to each other over the summer at home in Manhattan Isla just might get her happy ending. But things get hard with Josh and Isla with family, friends, Josh’s past relationship and college coming up. Things olny get harder when Josh gets expelled from SOAP and he has to go back to Manhattan. Josh and Isla’s relationship might not survive.
I was kind of disappointed to see that Stephanie Perkins decided to take the story back to Paris. Probably because by time i got around to reading Isla, I had read a couple more of the ‘girl goes to a foreign county and falls in love’ books. (Apparently this is a theme in YA contemporary novels these days.) Would have loved to see a Manhattan love story.
I didn’t like how quickly the relationship between Josh and Isla formed. It went very quickly and felt very unrealistic. I would have loved to see it start off as a friendship and build in to the relationship they had.
I did love Isla and I loved Isla and Josh together. I am in love with her red hair and her loyalty to her best friend, Kurt. And Josh and Isla make such a cute couple.
I was pleased with the ending of this book too! I don’t want to say much because i don’t want to spoil you but, it’s like the tittle says…
Over all, I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I felt like while cute, the relationship between Josh and Isla moved too fast and at times, I felt the story needed to be moved along.
As far as the series goes, over all I did like the books. I don’t necessarily think that they’re worth all the hype they’ve been getting but I do recommend all three books. They are fun light reads, perfect for reading beach or if you want a fluffy romance novel.
Have you read Anna, Lola & Isla? Tell me what you thought!