Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Rating: ★★★ (3/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 338 Pages
Published September 2011
Book #2 of 3 in the Anna and the French Kiss Series
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Summary: 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 loved Anna and the French Kiss, and I was glad to see that Anna and St. Clair made constant reappearances in this book--because at first, I was worried that they weren't going to. As the summary explains, Lola has a gorgeous, older, rocker boyfriend named Max (that her dads don't approve of), she's great at designing, and she feels like she's doing well in love. Then Cricket Bell, the former love of her life, moves back into town.
And makes it clear that he feels something for her. Which isn't the biggest problem of all...Lola thinks she may feel something for him, too. And Max notices. What's a girl to do?
I enjoyed this book, as well as the charisma between Lola and Cricket (not so much Lola and Max). Perkins created another funny, witty, heart-warming romance that left me feeling all tingly and satisfied inside by the time I got to the last page. Each character (except Max, because there's just something about him that I don't like) was developed perfectly and the plot was sweet and not too difficult to follow-love triangle wise.
The only reason that I gave this book 3 stars (liked it) instead of 4 stars (really liked it) was because I felt like Lola bounced between being super-mature and kind of childish throughout the book, a little bit too frequently. I caught myself reading lines where Lola would sound more mature and educated than her parents, and then a paragraph later, she was whining like she was two. It was probably intentional as a way to describe teenage personalities, I get that. I just wasn't too big on that.
After all, it's a little confusing when you can't tell the age of the main character's mindset when it fluctuates every two paragraphs, right?
All in all, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a refreshing read that I enjoyed breezing through, and I'm super excited to see everyone again (hopefully) in Isla and the Happily Ever After! Thumbs up to Stephanie Perkins for another sweet read. :-)