41. Stephanie Perkins – Isla and the Happily Ever After

This coming weekend, I’m leaving to head back to school for my senior year (don’t remind me). Yikes!

Which means, I likely just finished my last book of the summer, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. This is the third in a trilogy, and I’ve previously reviewed both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Stephanie Perkins - Isla and the Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)
Stephanie Perkins – Isla and the Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)

One of my favorite things about this trilogy is that in the last two books, characters from the previous book(s) show up somehow in the story. I think that’s a really cool way to connect all the stories but also keep them separate stories, since they’re not super intertwined.

In this book, Isla is a senior at the School of Americans in Paris, the same school that Anna attends in the first book. Isla has had a crush on a boy named Josh (one of Anna’s friends) since she was a freshman. At the very start of the book she finally finds the courage to talk to him, since she’s all doped up from getting her wisdom teeth taken out. After this Isla’s crush only intensifies.

The rest of the story (obviously) follows their relationship. It has its ups and downs, of course, and it’s kind of a crazy story, really. If you’ve read the other two books, Isla’s story is more wild than the other two, in my opinion.

This was definitely not my favorite book of the three. I’d say Anna and the French Kiss is probably my favorite.

This book was a little better than okay for me. I didn’t love it but I also didn’t hate it. I liked the story over all and definitely liked the ending, but the story did seem to progress a little too quickly for my taste. It could just be because I read through it kind of fast, but the whole story felt rushed and everything seemed to happen so fast.

I did feel like some of Isla’s thoughts and actions seemed childish, but that might just be a trait used to intentionally make the character more realistic, since she is in high school. As a college senior now (again, eek!) the way she reacts to some things just seems silly to me.

Overall, I did like this book. It’s definitely an easy read so it makes for some good light reading. If you have read the first two in the trilogy and not this one yet, it’s definitely worth your time.

31. Herman Koch – The Dinner

11698583_10204678397186438_1499409569681829790_n So, I started this post last week but then got distracted and never got around to posting it! Sorry!

Last Saturday was my dog Keebler’s fifth birthday! And I am a crazy dog lady, so yeah I got him a creemee (in Vermont that’s what we call soft serve ice cream) and put candles in it. He even had a cute birthday hat. 🙂 I know it’s a pretty bad picture, but it’s the best I could do.

Anyway, I finished my newest book a couple of days ago and just haven’t had time to post about it. It was The Dinner by Herman Koch.

I first heard of this book when a girl I follow on Instagram posted a picture of it. She said it was a good book, so I looked it up and read a description. It seemed interesting so I put it on my to-read list.

Herman Koch - The Dinner (photo taken by me)
Herman Koch – The Dinner (photo taken by me)

The story mostly takes place in one night, with lots of flashbacks and a look to the future at the end. The story is told from the point of view of a man named Paul, who, along with his wife, is joining his brother Serge and his wife to dinner. Serge is a politician and is likely to be voted the next Prime Minister (the book takes place in Holland).

Throughout the book, you realize that the two couples have come together to discuss a crime that their teenage sons committed together. Naturally, there are a few different opinions on what should be done.

I thought this book was really interesting. It had short chapters (my favorite!) and I could barely put it down. I’ve also been recommending it to everyone. At first, I was a little weary of reading it, because I’ve been reading a lot of suspense novels lately, but The Dinner is totally different.

The narrator has a great voice and I really enjoyed this book

23. Stephanie Perkins – Lola and the Boy Next Door

Happy Monday! I don’t know about where you guys are, but it’s super rainy here in Connecticut. 😦

Anyway, back to another school week after a very fun weekend for me – I went to visit my sister in Manhattan for the weekend! I turned 21 at the beginning of this month so she wanted me to go visit her to celebrate with her and one of her friends.IMG_2044

I got there on Friday night and we went to Bar Nine where they have dueling pianos, these two guys play requested songs on piano and everyone sings along. That was really fun. IMG_2052After we left there, we went to another bar and then eventually made our way home to order drunken Thai food. It was a really fun night.

IMG_2059The next day, we didn’t do too much – just wandered around and got some food, then we went to Central Park to relax and read. And then yesterday I took the bus back to school, so even though it was a fun-filled weekend, I had plenty of time to get some reading done.

On Friday, between waiting at the bus station and then reading on the bus, I finished a book before I even go to New York, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. This book is the second in Perkins’ trilogy, following Anna and the French Kiss, which I loved (check out my review of that one here).

It’s a YA book that follows a high schooler named Lola. At the start of the book, Lola is seventeen dating a 22 year old that her dads don’t approve of. She thinks they’re going to be together forever and that they’ll prove everyone wrong – until her old neighbor moves back in next door.

Stephanie Perkins - Lola and the Boy Next Door (photo taken by me)
Stephanie Perkins – Lola and the Boy Next Door (photo taken by me)

Lola and her neighbor, Cricket, have a history, one that she’s reluctant to share with her boyfriend. Over time, she starts hanging out with Cricket, but her boyfriend doesn’t approve, so she doesn’t tell him.

Throughout the story, we follow Lola as she has to make some tough decisions and find her way to happiness. Since it’s a Young Adult book, you can probably guess how it ends, but it’s still a good book.

I really liked Anna and the French Kiss, even though it’s kind of a cheesy YA book, so I had high expectations for this book. I think I liked Anna better, but this was still a good book, and I look forward to reading the third book in the trilogy.

One thing I thought was cool about this book was how Anna and her boyfriend from Anna and the French Kiss were included in this book, but it wasn’t all about them. It tied the two books together but they’re still two completely different stories, and I really liked that.

This book is an easy read, it only took me a few hours to get through, and I’d definitely recommend it to someone who likes YA books.

4. Stephanie Perkins – Anna and the French Kiss

Earlier today, I finished my third book of the year: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Once again, I flew through this book (this isn’t normal for me, it’s only because I’m still on winter break). I read the whole thing in under 24 hours and had a hard time putting it down. If you’re following my posts, you might be sensing a theme here.

Stephanie Perkins - Anna and the French Kiss (photo taken by me)
Stephanie Perkins – Anna and the French Kiss (photo taken by me)

I like to read Young Adult books. I know some people think they’re silly or not worth reading, but I like them. A lot of the time, the stories are pretty predictable, but I think they are still fun to read and nice light reading to break up other types of books. I enjoy switching up my genres from book to book so it’s never predominantly one thing.

In terms of Young Adult books, I think Anna and the French Kiss is better than most. The story is the generic “girl in high school falls in love with a boy but for whatever reason they can’t be together,” but it’s much more interesting than a lot of YA books I’ve read. I’d heard positive reviews of this book from adults, but it still went above my expectations.

The story follows the title character’s school year studying at the School of America in Paris, a boarding school in France for American students. She was sent there against her wishes by her father, so she has a negative outlook going in. Throughout the book, you follow her in her adventures meeting friends and living in the city of love.

As I mentioned before, it’s a teenage love story, but there were a lot of unexpected turns throughout the novel. I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy read but still a really fun and exciting story. I’d definitely recommend this book to someone who likes YA, and I’m really interested in reading Perkins’ other two books in the trilogy, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. I love her writing style and her ability to make what seems like a generic story into something more.