Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Companion Novel (Anna and the French Kiss)
Published: September 29, 2011
Source: Around The World Tours
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
I loved Anna and the French Kiss, so I really had high hopes for this one. I was keeping my fingers crossed that Stephanie's sophomore book would deliver. I'm happy to say it did!
At first, I wasn't sure what to think of Lola. She's so different from any other character I've read, and such a drastic change from Anna. I also didn't identify with her as much. I don't have that artistic flair and tend to prefer to go with the flow not stand out in the crowd. But, slowly that characteristic really began to grow on me. She's everything I'm not, and I really admired that about her. I also admired the fact that she's a typical teen. With things begin to snowball, she questions who she really is. But, she soon realized that being who you are doesn't always mean fitting to everyone else's standards. A nice change of pace is that Lola is being raised by her two dads, who are really her biological uncle and his partner. Her mother occasionally comes in and reeks havoc in her life.
I liked Cricket from the first time we meet him. I love how it seems like he just appears were ever Lola is. Some of it is coincidental, but other times you can tell he's making a valiant effort to reconnect with Lola. I enjoyed his personality. He's like a combination of nerdy mixed with a couple other "types", it's no wonder that Lola is so attracted to him. I found ironic that Lola never flat out told him that she had a boyfriend. It's not something I really faulted her on, because I could tell she was really struggling with her feeling concerning Cricket.
It's funny how a book can twist around how you feel about things. I was prepared to dislike Calliope (Cricket's sister) and I did for part of the book. But, she really comes through in the end. I admired how the how family has backed her in her dreams. I think the fact that Cricket has put some much of his life on hold for her shows a sense of who he is and what's important to him. I also really liked Max at first, despite their age difference. In the end, I couldn't believe that he acted that way he did to Lola. But, maybe he was really hurt by her actions and this was his only way of expressing it.
In the end, I decided that Lola was just as fantastic as Anna, but in an entirely different way. I'm amazed that Stephanie has managed to write two completely different heroines and their romances. I can't wait to read her next one!