I just finished Stephanie Perkins third and final book in the Anna trilogy and it was amazing! This is going to be my booktalk and just like usual it is going to be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.
Alright first of all you definitely have to read this series in order, despite it being three separate stories. Anna is first, then Lola and then Isla. This book is a tied first with Anna in this series. It was adorable, it was fast and best of all we actually got to see the main couple dating for a while instead of the romance happening at the conclusion of the book unlike so many other young adult contemporaries. Isla was a very relatable character, despite being frustrating and alien at times. Josh was just adorable and I think I may like him only a little less than Etienne. I really encourage everyone to pick up Stephanie Perkins books, whether you love the contemporary genre or you’re not quite sure, these books are for you.
The book opens in Manhattan, a new setting than those of her other books. Isla happens upon Josh as they are sat in a cafe called Kismet, meaning fate. Isla is dizzy from pain medication after having her wisdom teeth pulled out and she acts silly and dramatic in front of Josh. He draws her picture and takes her home. Not getting to see the picture at that very point was a torturous wait, I just wanted to see what it looked like! That was one of the only chances we got to see them together in Manhattan as both of them went back to Paris for their senior year at SOAP.
Josh and Isla end up together after declarations of their affections but that part seemed very unnatural to me. The fact that Josh just happened to have like her from the very beginning. It seemed like an excuse to get them together faster. Non-the-less I very much enjoyed reading a book where the couple are actually together for the main portion of it. They’re relationship seemed real and beautiful. They’re first date was something everyone would want on a first date, discovering a place that can be theirs to share.
The treehouse is something I want for myself. It sounds beautiful and unique and if I ever go to Paris again I am going to be looking for something like that. I felt sad for Kurt, that his best friend had found someone else she loved more, someone she desired to spend all her time with.
I loved being able to finally see Josh’s picture of Isla, and he hadn’t drawn just one! He’d drawn multiple pictures of her, each more unique and beautiful than the last. I felt Isla overreacted a little at the pictures Josh had of Rashmi, they were together for a long time and she was a big part of his life, although I do understand where her insecurities were coming from.
I liked that Isla applied to Dartmouth, and not just because of Josh, but because I think she would’ve ended up floating between Manhattan and Paris her whole life and never discovering new places. Also their future there did sound adorable. The mural Josh painted in the treehouse was so beautiful and it meant so much. It was the best, most thoughtful present, he could’ve given Isla. It was just gorgeous and meant so much to her.
Going to Barcelona was a very strange time. The sights were absolutely gorgeous and I could just picture their beauty in my mind. The view from the mountain sounded just gorgoeous as did the building Josh painted. And then we came to the hotel scene.
This was just so awkward to read. It didn’t seem romantic and lovely but uncomfortable and very unrealistic. I just hated reading about but I love Josh and Isla so i could out up with it. I just knew someone was going to find out and Josh was going to get expelled and would have to travel with his parents. And that is exactly what happened but it was terribly sad when it was happening.
When Josh was travelling with his parents I honestly thought that Isla would see girls fawning all over him in news footage but that didn’t actually happen, he just didn’t admit to having a girlfriend. I figured he’d gotten over Isla but he was just protected her.
I was so happy when they were finally able to reconnect when they met together at Christmas. Everything was so romantic and beautiful but then Isla just spoiled everything. She was very cruel to Josh (although her criticisms about his work were correct) and then she broke up with him for very selfish reasons. The present he got her was so beautiful and personal and intimate and she spoiled the moment.
I really thought that Josh was going to appear at Kismet on New Years Eve but I completely understand why he didn’t. But then Isla was just sad and depressed for ages and that was not at all fun to read about. I was really glad to hear that Kurt had made some new friends though, he really needed to find people outside of Isla. I was also glad Isla decided to go to Dartmouth, she really needed to get out of the suffocating box that was Paris and New York. The walls of those two cities were just closing her off from discovering anywhere new,
I loved that Isla took Hattie to the treehouse. She just wanted to be friends with Isla and it was obvious she needed the treehouse to symbolise that they were. The most adorable part came next when Josh called and they met up in the pizza place (I have no idea what it’s called).
Josh was there but so was Anna and Etienne, Merideth and Lola and Cricket. It was just so wonderful seeing everyone again. And then Etienne proposed to Anna and it just made everything even more wonderful. They’re my favourite couple in this trilogy and it was lovely to see their relationship progress further.
Then Josh gave Isla his new graphic novel: spaces. It was a lot better and more beautiful than the previous edition and I loved seeing it through Isla’s eyes. It was so kind and sweet for Josh to have waited all that time outside in the freezing cold for Isla to finish reading. After that scene though some of the dialogue seemed really unnatural and forced making it difficult to read.
The ending was beautifully structered and I loved the happy conclusion, Josh and Isla were very adorable together and Josh was just such a sweetheart and I loved him. Alright well that seems to be it for now, I’ll ty to post again soon.
Signing off, Charlie