Étienne v/s Josh

I finally read Isla and the Happily Ever After. And I just loved it so much!

Stephanie Perkins is made of awesome. I already knew that. But, in Isla we can actually see how much she’s grown as a writer. I honestly am jealous of Anna, Lola and Isla for having such amazing love stories.

Stephanie just transforms these characters into real fantasy people. They aren’t stuck into the pages of a book.

If I could draw, I’d show them as characters emerging out of a page. Like literally walking out of a book. If I ever get the superpower to read characters out of a book (like in Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy which I haven’t read but I’ve read the summary on Wikipedia), I’d definitely start with Étienne St Clair, Cricket Bell and Joshua Wasserstein.

So Isla has now entered into my list of favorite books, but it has also left me with a big dilemma.

Which fictional guy by Stephanie Perkins is more awesome?

Well, there are three options.

A) Étienne St Clair

B) Cricket Bell

C) Joshua Wasserstein

Now, as awesome Cricket Bell is, the real comparison of sorts is between Étienne and Josh.

They were best friends in school. Étienne had his charisma and Josh had the whole tortured artist thing going for him. Naturally, both of them felt that the other one was better liked.

Who is really better?

Let’s make a pros and cons list ‘Étienne vs Josh’



– An American guy with a British accent and French body language? Talk about dreamy…

– Etienne sweats charisma. Honestly, could that guy BE any more charming?

– This description of him: “The first thing I notice is his hair – it’s the first thing I notice about anyone. It’s dark brown and messy and somehow both long and short at the same time. I think of the Beatles, since I’ve just seen them in Meredith’s room. It’s artist’s hair. Musician hair. I-pretend-I-don’t-care-but-I-really-do hair.”

– The thing that happens at the end of Isla and the Happily Ever After.


– He is the tortured artist. And tortured artist-y YA characters always have a special appeal.

– He is tall.

– Because of this: “I’m…getting there. I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s okay to be a blank canvas. Maybe it’s okay that my future is unknown. And maybe,” I say with another smile, “it’s okay to be inspired by the people who do know their future.” “It goes both ways, you know.” I link his icicle fingers through mine. “What does?” “Artists are inspired by blank canvases.” My smile grows wider.”

– His book; his brilliant, brilliant book.



– His height. Okay, I do have a thing for tall people. I always wished I would grow up to be around 6 ft. I wanted an Amazonian complex. In reality, I’m around 5.6 ft.

– His fear of heights. I don’t know if it’s a con because it just makes him vulnerable which makes him human which just increases his attractiveness.


– I liked Rashmi but seriously? He should have thought twice before giving Isla his book with all those nude sketches of Rashmi, his ex.

-Tortured artists sound awesome and they’re usually incredibly talented. But they’re also depressed which is difficult to live with.

Anyhoo, I love both of them. I am not going to pick one. I pick all three -Etienne, Cricket and Josh.


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