Anna and the French kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After Review
So this is a joint review of all three books in the series now that I've finished it. I started Anna in September and October, and I read the three of the spread over the last few months. I was going to do individual reviews, but I never got the time, so now it's the holidays and I have more free time I've decided to do this review.
As there are three books I'm writing about, I won't go into too much detail about them all, but I'll just try and give you a sense of what I thought about them.
I'll start by saying how I love these three books so much. Stephanie Perkins is a literary genius and deserves to be recognised way more than she is. I fell in love with all the characters and stories that she created, and when I finished I would have given anything to not have to go back to my own boring life.
Anna and the French Kiss
This book follows an American teenage girl- called Anna- who is sent by her parents over to Paris to boarding school. When she there she makes friends with a group containing: Etienne St Clair, Meredith, Josh and Rashmi. She is miserable after leaving behind a best friend and a potential boyfriend, however she's not so upset when she sets her eyes on Etienne - known to his friends just as St Clair- who she immediately takes a liking to. The book is romantic and heart warming, and I never wanted in to end.
Lola and the Boy Next Door
I got this book for my birthday in October and I couldn't wait to start it!
Unlike Anna, this book is actually set in America. It is about a budding fashion designer- called Dolores, Lola for short- who works at a cinema (theatre if you're American) with Anna, and has a fetish for bizarre, crazy outfits. At the beginning of the story she has an older, rock star boyfriend called Max, whom she is madly in love with, and is perfectly content with her life. That is until the return of her worse nightmares and ex-neighbours (now current neighbours), Cricket and Calliope Bell. I didn't like this book quite as much as Anna, perhaps because it isn't set in Paris, or maybe I didn't take to Cricket quite as much as Etienne, but that doesn't mean I didn't love it. Anna and Etienne were not main characters in this book, however they were interweaved beautifully into the story, which I loved.
Isla and the Happily Ever After
I was super excited to read the final book in this series (is it a series? or just a book with some companion novels?), but I was also hesitant to read it, as I didn't want to finish the series (?). Anyway, I pushed aside these worries, and jumped right in.
Isla is, like Anna, set in Paris in the School of America in Paris. Also, Isla herself is, like Anna, American. It follows Isla who is in love with fellow student -and friend of Anna and Etienne- Josh. Isla follows the romance between to two of them along with their family struggles, and their trying to find their place in the world. I can't decide which was my favourite book out of the three, it's very close. Another struggle is which male protagonist is my favourite, Etienne, Cricket or Josh. Well after the first two I thought it was Etienne, because although I did like Josh in the first book, I didn't think he could stand up against Etienne St Clair. Oh how I was wrong. I still think that I like Etienne best, just, but Josh definitely has given him a run for his money there.
Stephanie Perkins is one of those authors that I both love and hate. I love her because she's created such beautiful, relatable, complex characters and stories that you can't help but fall deeply in love with. I hate her for the same reason. Ok, so I don't really hate her, but I find I don't know what to do with my life now that I've finished all the books, I just want to stay in their world for ever.
I love the way all the stories are intertwined, which means when you finish Anna and then Lola and think you'll never see your favourite characters again, there they are, waiting for you in the next book. Although Isla and Josh's was obviously the main/most important story in Isla, Anna and Etienne's was equally thrilling. I would suggest anyone who hasn't read this book to stop reading now and skip the end of this paragraph. Etienne's proposal to Anna just lit my heart with joy. It made me crazily happy, but also in a way annoyed, because I now want -maybe too much- the scene from Anna or Etienne's point of view, and I want to know what happens next, and I want to read about the wedding etc etc... basically, I want more.
Overall, I loved all three of these books massively, and would recommend them ALL to anyone who is yet to read them. They are beautifully written, heart-warming and will of course cause you to fall in love with, and most probably become obsessed with, the characters. I give them all 5/5 stars!
Peace out book nerds xo