Publication: September 29, 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
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 negihborhood. 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 love this one just as much as Anna and the French Kiss! They are different, but I couldn't pick a favorite.
Lola is one of the most unique and crazy cool characters I have read about. I love how she always dresses up in these outfits just for everyday life. She has remarkable confidence and spark. I could not really connect or relate to her because she is so different, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of her character. She is someone I would love to have as a friend and I think she is fascinating.
However, again with this book, we have the cheating element. Lola has a boyfriend, but starts to have feelings for Cricket.
Cricket is a great, unique character as well. He also expresses himself strongly through his wardrobe and he sounds like a very fun person to be around. Him and Lola have a sweet chemistry that has a history behind it since they were neighbors before. Cricket is very kind and when he would do things for Lola I couldn't help but go "Awwwww!"
This made the on-the-line cheating even more frustrating. Cricket is just so sweet and cute and I got so aggravated with Lola for keeping her boyfriend, who is a jerk. Again, it did add tension and drama, but it also just got to be old.
However, I did like Lola's journey throughout the book of her trying to figure everything out. She went through some great character development and she came out even stronger in the end. So, I did appreciate how the boyfriend drama lead to that. I just wish it happened sooner so there could be more swoon-worthy moments between her and Cricket without it being tainted by her boyfriend.
Again with this book as well as Anna and the French Kiss, the scenery is wonderful. I love the descriptions of San Francisco and the cute neighborhood Lola lives in. Stephanie Perkins is great at making the world and story come to life. I was again captivated by this story.
The side characters are really great as well. Lola has two dads, who are so hilarious and I loved reading about their relationship with Lola. I also appreciated the other plot lines beyond the romance which help to add more depth and reality to the story.
This is a quirky and unconventional contemporary that I adored and highly recommend. You don't have to read Anna and the French Kiss to read this one, but it would be a lot more meaningful if you do. The characters from Anna do make some cameos, which is so much fun!