Tag Archives: Stephanie Perkins

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

  • TitleLola and the Boy Next Door
  • AuthorStephanie Perkins
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages338
  • PublishedSeptember 29, 2011 by Dutton Books
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
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.

Well, I’ve got to say that Lola and the Boy Next Door is very different from the usual genre that I read—which are paranormal and dystopian. But a good kind of different, definitely. The romance was just right, without overdoing it like some novels do, or being unrealistic.

What I really enjoyed the most from this novel is the fact that Stephanie Perkins managed to make the characters as relatable as possible. They experience the same problems we do everyday—school, boys, gay parents, and most importantly… being a teenager. By far, I really like Lola’s personality above the rest, and how she can handle herself in odd situations. Despite what happens, she isn’t afraid of who she is, and expressed that through costume—from a punk rocker to Marie Antoinette.

Cricket Bell, on the other hand, was not your average boy. He wasn’t the typical, hot popular kid at school who everyone admired. Rather, he was shy, and loved to invent things, just like his ancestor Alexander Graham Bell. His kindness caught my attention immediately, and I admired that in him through the book.

The story is told Lola’s point of view, and characters like Anna and Etinette, from the author’s other best-selling novel, Anna and the French Kiss, appear as well. In my opinion, it made the book even better! The plot was simple, yet intricate at the same time. Lola was under a lot of pressure at the beginning of the novel, when Criket moved back and she began to develop feelings for him. This was all at the same time she was dating her boyfriend Max, who by the way, is a complete douchebag. It was interesting to see how the the story developed on the way, with me silently rooting for Criket all the way.

I think my most favorite part was the very last sentence of the novel. It really made me smile at the end, because it was so sweet, but I could still understand what the character meant by such.

Though it is a bit cliché with the usual boy-likes-girl and girl-likes-boy type of plot, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a very refreshing read, and something that I throughly enjoyed.

 

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  • TitleAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
  • AuthorStephanie Perkins
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages372
  • PublishedDecember 02, 2010 by Dutton
  • Rating4.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
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. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Before I started reading Anna and the French Kiss, I was in a reading rut. It was so bad that I was practically reading five books at the same time, yet I couldn’t finish even one of them! When I decided to start a new book yet again, (Anna and the French Kiss) I hoped and prayed that I would actually finish this one.

Well, it seemed like I made the right choice.

Just from page one, I was hooked. This light, refreshing read was definitely something I needed, especially since I was sick that day. For hours and hours, I just sat on my bed, hungrily devouring the book and flipping the pages faster than I ever did in a month! I was finally my old self again—and I was glad.

Anna and the French Kiss is a cute novel that speaks of a teenage girl’s somehow clichéd life. Her parents send her off to a boarding school all alone, and she meets a majorly hot (English) guy who sweeps her off her feet just within seconds of seeing each other.

So doesn’t it seem like happily ever after?

The catch is, he has a girlfriend, and Anna—well, she kind of has one back home too. A crush, at least. And to top it all off, her new friend at the boarding school is majorly interested in said English boy, and has been for who knows how long!

Though it lacked a bit in plot-building, this book literally had me on an emotional roller coaster the whole time–giggling and blushing at the sweet scenes and throwing pillows around at the Anna-you-are-so-dense scenes, but mostly I had a huge grin on my face at every page. Anna and the French Kiss was definitely an easy read, one that you can breeze through in a matter of hours without heavy thinking or analyzing. Every part just seemed to fit and every scene transported me back to every teen romance/contemporary novel that I read and loved.

But the best thing I liked about this book were the characters.

Anna was absolutely delightful to have as a first person POV. Her inner voice just spoke to me and I could relate to her completely, even though I have never experienced what she has done. If you have read my other reviews, you would know that I’m not big on character development because my judgment on that all depends on whether or not I sympathized or related to a character or not. I gave Anna a big check on that department because she will definitely be a character who will stick in my mind for a long time. Even in her densest moments, (are all girls in YA books like that or what?) she was an endearing character and still remained a relatable one.

Etienne was the epitome of any real-life guy you could ever want. In the book, he was portrayed as an extremely good-looking guy with an English accent, and the only flaw that was presented (physically, at least) was his shortness in height. (not that it really matters) I took into consideration that little and insignificant flaw because I really appreciated how the author tried her best to make Etienne seem real as a character. Aside from this, however, he is also portrayed as a character who is a little bit afraid of change, as evidenced in the way he acted in the book. He didn’t let this trait ruin his happily-ever-after, though, so bonus points for that, and his mysterious back story that certainly added depth to his character.

All the other characters were nice to read about and I loved the chemistry between the whole gang of friends in Paris. It was your typical high school romance story, only with more drama and a more exotic setting.
Stephanie Perkins presented a seemingly-ordinary story in a much more extraordinary way, with a touch of flair and drama in every page. This book got me out of my month-long reading rut, and is definitely recommended to hopeless romantics out there who love nice, easy reads about relatable characters who will stick with you until after you close the book. Though it was a cliché, it stood out in its own unique way.