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Anna and the French Kiss Kindle Edition
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|Length: 382 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 and up|
|Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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Standalone with characters from previous book
Lola lives with her father's in San Francisco. Her passion is creating outfits/costumes to wear. Her plan is to wear an elaborate costume to her high school dance. She had a crush on the boy next door when she was growing up but he left her heartbroken two years ago. She's moved on and has a punk rock boyfriend that no one approves of. He's too old and living the life of an unknown rockstar. He works for the city by day reading meters and plays in a punk band by night. He doesn't have much planned for the future except to be in a band and hope to become famous. Typical.
Lola dreads the day Cricket and his twin sister return. She cared deeply for him but he left her without an explanation of his actions prior to moving away. Now his return confuses her feelings and changes her relationship dynamics.
Entertaining read. Enough drama to keep me engulfed in the story. 4 stars.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is a story about, obviously, Lola and another character: San Francisco. Since I just visited San Francisco there were so many parts of this story that stuck out for me this round of reading it: The Japanese Tea Garden, Mission Delores Park, the city itself.
Lola’s life is going well. She lives with her dads, she’s enjoying her boyfriend, Max, her job and her coworker named Anna. What Lola does not expect is her old neighbors, the Bell’s, to come back into her life.
One thing I constantly love about Perkin’s books is the sneaks of other characters, from Anna to St. Clair they all came back and helped to answer those unanswered questions.
Cricket and Calliope are the twins from next door. They are close as twins generally are. What Calliope never liked was how Lola took Cricket from her. She’s protective of him and Calliope is very much the alpha twin and changed Lola’s life. It’s a painful scene and a painful part about Cricket being in Calliope’s shadow for multiple years.
Lola goes from spending most of her life loving Cricket, to loathing him, to seeing him as a friend. The begin to talk again, they begin to go back to that friendship as they had as children, but better. Stronger. But there is still Max, the annoying boyfriend. While Lola spent years trying to move on from Cricket, Cricket has not moved on from Lola. He still likes Lola. Nothing has changed for him. Everything has changed for Lola though. She’s grown up. She’s dating Max. She’s a stronger different Lola, but to Cricket, she’s exactly the same.
It’s also painful when the characters make poor life choices because I want to shake them, but that’s something powerful about YA books that I love. Stephanie Perkin’s books are like coming home for me. Throughout Anna, Lola, and Isla all three characters I related to and adored. A re-read of Lola was just what I needed.
After reading Anna and the French Kiss I was worried. I loved that book so hard it was impossible to live up to my expectation. I mean how was Stephanie Perkins going to make me feel the same things about Lola and Cricket that I did about Anne and Etienne? It wasn’t possible. But was she did do was make me feel other things. New things for new characters and I love her for that.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is the story of Lola Nolan. Lola lives life to the beat of her own drum. She wears sparkles and wild costumes and bright colors, all at the same time, and doesn’t care. She is her own person and that is all that matters to her. That and her rocker boyfriend Max. Until one day, the day Lola dreaded most in the world, the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return net door and her life turns upside down. Feelings that she thought were dead and buried start to resurface and Lola doesn’t know how to react. All she knows is that she once was head over heels for the boy next door and she can’t go there again. Too bad Cricket isn’t planning to make it so easy.
Oh this book. This book! First off it had a completely different feel to it than Anna. It wasn’t a story about two strangers with an attraction that form a friendship. Lola and the Boy Next Door is the story about two people with a history. It’s about two people that were once uncomfortable in their own skin figuring out who they are and being okay with it. It’s about two people that were friends for a long time and when something was blossoming between them other circumstances took over. It’s about that first crush and if those feelings ever really go away. Lola may be out there with all of her costumes and her crazy style, but she really is a girl that you can relate to because we have all been Lola at some point in our lives and we have all had out Cricket in one way or another. I think that is what made this book so easy to love. It felt real.
I guess that is the thing about the writing of Stephanie Perkins. She gets you invested.
There really isn’t much that I can say about this book that hasn’t been said. It’s another one of those stories that just makes you feel good and want to get wrapped up in the lives of these people. Whether it is Lola and Cricket, Lola’s parents Andy and Nathan, her Lindsey, Calliope, whoever, you are in vested in their well being. You want them to succeed and to be happy. Perkins created a gem with Anna and gave us something new with Lola that I will forever be happy was a part of my life.
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