Author: Stephanie Perkins
Provided Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the 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.
Review: Two years ago, Lola Nolan had her heart broken by the boy next door. And when he left town in a whirlwind of emotion and misunderstandings, she decided to put him from her mind and move on with her life. Now aged sixteen she has a boyfriend of her own and a sense of self that is believed to be unmistakable. But then the house next door is filled with furniture again, and Cricket Bell is back in her life with his own personal brand of exuberance that is everything she remembered.
I adored Lola and Cricket. In fact, I think I love the two of them more than Anna and St. Clair. When I first read Anna and the French Kiss, I did not think there was another teen romance that would be able to match that level of wit and heart. Yet, when I re-read Anna before I began Lola, I noticed how unbalanced the journey to Anna and St. Clair’s love was in comparison. Although she is younger than Anna was in her book, Lola is more mature and her character growth had greater depth. Lola learns the pitfalls of romance along with the joys of them. Lola learns how to bring together all the members of her family. Lola begins with a flurry of reflections, loses her ability to see herself, and then finds a way to see Lola no matter what she is dressed in. And Cricket is there the entire time to assist her on her journey. He supports her. Cricket does not trod all over the toes of her relationship with Max, and is mindful of the circumstance. For these two, it was about a friendship that becomes what the moon and stars had always destined it to be.
Sure, Lola does have her faults, such as the way she omits information from her boyfriend. But at least she took a look at the relationship and its problems, and followed her heart a lot quicker than St. Clair did! (And for those who did love Anna and St: Clair: they do make appearances throughout this story now that both of them are residents of San Francisco.) In conclusion, I would recommend this book to lovers of the first book and those who just want a good teen romance between two wonderful characters. Not everything (particularly with Cricket’s family) is resolved in this story, but it might be in Isla. And the setting of San Fran is not as rush-you-on-a-plane-and-take-you-there as Paris was… But I’m still giving this one 4 stars based on everything it did have!