Category Archives: Stephanie Perkins

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Release date: September 29, 2011
Source: Purchased
Published format: Hardback, 338 pages
Series: Companion to Anna and the French Kiss
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

Cricket Bell. Cricket. Seriously, just stop what you’re doing and go read this, so you can become acquainted with Cricket Bell. I love that name, Cricket Bell. I have to say that I love Cricket more than St. Claire. And while I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door, I did enjoy Anna and the French Kiss more. Which I wasn’t expecting, since so many people are way more in love with Lola than they are with Anna.
Let’s talk about these people. Max, Lola’s current boyfriend, was hot in the beginning, and very nice despite the restrictions put on Lola in dating him. But I knew with me at least, he would stand no chance against Cricket. I’m sorry but I can’t stop saying his name. Cricket. I love it. Anyways, Anna and St. Claire are back, and it was fun reading about them again whenever they popped up. Lindsey is an awesome best friend, ready to do anything for her, including kicking Cricket where it counts. Her fathers, Nathan and Andy provide many funny moments. I didn’t like Cricket’s sister initially, but she suddenly redeems herself somewhat at one point in the book. Kind of late, and half-assed I think, but it works. The only character I didn’t really like was Lola’s mother. I didn’t see much point to having her in the story in all honesty.
The only reason I don’t love Lola as much as I love Anna is because the writing, while still pretty awesome, didn’t blow me away with humor and the intense aching and longing like it did in Anna until around the last 100 pages. The romance was there, but it didn’t really make itself felt until the end. Even so, Stephanie Perkins still manages to reach inside the mind of a young girl’s daydreams about love and gives the story life. I’ll definitely be rereading this soon.
If you loved Anna and the French Kiss, make sure you read Lola and the Boy Next Door as well! But remember, even though Anna and St. Claire are present, Lola is still it’s own book and should be thought of as such. Now to just settle in for the year long wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: December 2, 2010
Source: Bought
Purchase: Amazon / Book Depository / B&N

Summary from GoodReads:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

My thoughts on Anna and the French Kiss
Let me just start by saying that honestly there was not a single thing I disliked about this book. I’ve been wanting a book like this for who knows how long. I don’t read quite as many contemporary books as I do paranormal, fantasy, some science fiction, etc., mostly because they almost never quite live up to what I fantasized about as a young teenager dreaming of romance years ago. Often they’re good, but not stellar. With this book though, it not only lived up to those old day dreams, but exceeded them.

I lived for the moments St. Clair and Anna spent togther, whether they were alone or with friends. Anna felt real to me. The way she acted, and reacted to things, exactly how I would imagine someone would behave in those situations. And St. Clair is one of the most swoon-worthy leading male characters I’ve met in a very long time. There were moments between them where I literally, at work in the breakroom, squealed out loud and laughed out loud.

The descriptions of Paris were lovely. I visited the city a number of years ago, so it was fun trying to see if I could remember certain parts they were in. And the writing style definitely did not feel like that of a new writer. It was exceptionally well done, and Stephanie has an incrediblely unique voice. I will most definitely be checking out the companion novels to this one as they become available.

Anna and the French Kiss has definitely landed on my small pile of books that I reread at least once or twice every year. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in YA books, but especially those that prefer the contemporary genre. Don’t pass this one up!