by Stephanie Perkins
The Short Story
All Lola wants are three things: to dress as Marie Antoinette for her winter formal, for her dads to accept her 22 year old rocker boyfriend, and never to see her former next door neighbors, the Bell twins, again. But things get complicated when Calliope and Cricket move back. Lola's mix of feelings for Cricket challenge everything she thinks she wants. A cute story, but with a character that wasn't quite as developed or likeable as Anna from Anna and the French Kiss. 4.5/5
Come for the...
love interest. Does this make me a bad person? Undoubtedly, my favorite thing about this book is Cricket. When I couldn't really relate to Lola, or was mad at her for some of her choices, I loved the parts with Cricket. He's nice. Also slightly awkward, which just makes him more endearing to me. I get tired of YA boys acting like 35 year olds, or being jerky bad boys. I think the majority of teen boys (really, boys of any age) are generally nice, slightly awkward, occasionally pervy, and interested in other things in addition to girls. And, while Cricket is a little unrealistically nice and talented, he's one of the most real boys in YA. I think he'll battle it out with Jonah Griggs as the best book boy of 2011. And probably win.
But there's more to the story than just the boy. I love the supporting characters, like Lola's parents. I've never read a book with two dads before, but I appreciated that Perkins doesn't beat you over the head or make an agenda out of it. Lola's parents are involved and care about her, but aren't perfect. Her birth mom is flaky, but not worthless. Her friends Lindsey, Anna & St. Clair are supportive but call her on things when she's wrong. And San Francisco is a character in and of itself. Having just visited there this summer, I had a lot of fun reading about all the little quirks.
Stay for the
costuming & sewing; figure skating; Isla & the Happily-Ever-After, which I'm sure will feature lots of familiar faces.
Don't think about this too hard
- I would have liked to see more character growth for Lola in this one. There is some, but for the most part, she doesn't really exist outside of her relationships with Max and Cricket. I don't mean to compare it with Anna, but Anna grew/learned so much in that book that it almost didn't matter if it worked out with St. Clair or not. Not so much with Lola.
The Big Three
Language: fairly regular profanity, with a couple f-words
Sex and Stuff: some kissing, some more-than-kissing (but not described)
Violence: not an issue