Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins dnf around chapter 13 or 42% or something, i don't even remember anymore. i put this on my hiatused shelf for a really long time, trying to convince myself that i was going to go back to it because stephanie perkins is one of my favorite contemporary authors but honestly, i just... don't want to finish it. i don't want to read it ever again. i don't want to talk about it, or even think about it. i want to pretend that isla and the happily ever after never even came into my life. saying that about a perkins book is almost physically painful for me, especially because i know about her struggles as a person in between lola and isla, but i felt nothing more than irritation throughout this book.

the romance here was contrived and convenient. isla was creepy and clingy, obsessive in a way that wasn't even slightly endearing, and the only person who was worse than that was josh himself. i didn't love the wounded artist vibe, especially since josh was so colorful and vibrant in the first book, even as a background character. i didn't like how he just drew isla all the time and oh my god how convenient, he actually had always liked her back even though they had never spoken to each other!! weird how the world works!! except that's absolutely fucking not how the world works. this romance was shallow and annoying and just... stupid, honestly.

by normal standards it might have been okay but stephanie perkins is a flawless author, and she is capable of so much better than isla. so, so much better. the writing itself was perfect, the setting was as romantic and dreamy as ever, but the characters and relationships divulged in this book were horrible.

(i would like to say that i liked seeing the characters from the original two books! they were perfect. in fact, anna and st. clair managed to totally overshadow our "main characters", even though they were only actually involved for a few pages. i was so happy about their part of this book, i will admit that i searched through my ebook for "anna" and read every sentence involving her because i had to know every single part of what happened to her future; i was definitely not disappointed by that.)