Title : Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)
Author : Stephanie Perkins
Publication date : September 29th 2011
Publisher : Dutton Books
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Synopsis : Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. (From Goodreads)
“I’m surprised with how obvious it is. Of course I want him back in my life. He’s always been a part of my life. Even when he was gone, some fragment of his spirit lingered behind. I felt it in the space between our windows.”
I’m finding this book SO hard to review. I mean I liked it, but not enough to rave about it and not too little to rant about it. Send help, I’m struggling. Let’s do this !
So, as much as I was rooting for Anna’s love story in Anna and the French Kiss, this one didn’t have me as invested. Not until I finished it and I went scrolling through GR reviews that I realized I wasn’t the only one, everyone seems to agree that out of the three companion novels this is the least enjoyable one. But don’t get me wrong, I still liked it, I still swooned a bit but … things are what they are.
As the first installment, this is a very quick book that can be read in one sitting – which I didn’t do because… life. What I noticed and very much liked is that Perkins makes each one of her characters passionate about something widely different, may it be science or design or movies or snails for all I care, whatever it is, it is important and it sends a great message to the young readers. To never give up on their dreams and always follow their hearts’ desires. Her characters having such a wide range of passions also means that everyone can find little bits of themselves in the books.
Throughout the whole book I drifted between “Aaaw” and “UGH !!, no in between. It’s just that Lola and Cricket are SO cute together, the chemistry is there and very noticeable, but there was so much unnecessary drama between the two of them. Then again, there would be no book without that drama. So let’s go over it together. Lola was in love with Cricket but he broke her heart and went away. When he shows up again she tries to convince herself that she hates him but turns out she can’t because let’s face it, it’s Cricket. When the guy comes back he is almost begging for her to love him and all she does is drag him through the mud and lead him on because SHE CAN’T MAKE A DECISION IF HER LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. And oh my God !! Her indecisiveness killed me. The choice is simple. Either it is Cricket or Max -her current boyfriend, but no, she can’t let neither of them go while to me, the choice was obvious.
Let’s talk about Lola for a bit. THAT GIRL IS ANNOYING AS HELL. I’ve read everywhere how likeable she is but I just don’t see it. When it comes to matters of the heart, she is very selfish and doesn’t think about what her action’s consequences may be on other people, she just does whatever makes her suffer the least. The one thing that I thought was very well done about here was her originality, she has this “You do you, I do me” attitude that I really liked about her, she doesn’t conform to the society’s “standards” and doesn’t fit into the “normal” box which is amazing if you ask me and again a really great message is sent.
Cricket on the other hand is this really sweet thoughtful boy, but what’s up with the obsession with tight pants? I get that he wears them but why do I have to hear about it a gazillion times ? Aside from that I salute the guy for his patience, if I were him, I would’ve given up on Lola a while back because she just disregarded his feelings and kept leading him on while all he did was love her and wait for her to come around while using some oh-so-charming tricks on her that would’ve definitely worked on me *swoons*
Now to the horrible terrible boyfriend Max. I honestly think that the only thing Lola loved about him is that he made her feel grown-up considering the age difference. He’s not a good person. He’s rude, jealous and vicious and most of all, he is awful to her friends. And what does she do? She definitely DOES NOT stand up to him and goes running after him *facepalm*
And another significant thing that made this book enjoyable is how involved her dads are made to be. YES FINALLY ! WORTHY PARENTS !! Police level questioning ✔. Curfew ✔. Support ✔. Love ✔. Grounding ✔. It is all there, and I so very much appreciated it.
Is it bad that my favorite parts of the books were the ones that involved Anna and St Clair? Yeah, I thought so ! I squealed a little the first time they were mentioned. They are adorable, even through someone else’s eyes. When I finished the first installment, I wanted to keep reading about them forever but the reasonable side of me knew that another book would’ve been too much. I still wanted my update on their lives !! And those little glimpses in this book made me tremendously happy.
All in all, this book was an okay but still enjoyable read. I’m definitely going to be picking up Isla and the Happily Ever After Soon and I hope it’ll be as cute and fluffy as it’s predecessors.
P.s: Click on the fanart to be sent to the artist’s page
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Lola and the Boy Next Door ? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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