Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola was so fun.  I am so excited to say that I was at Stephanie's release party for Anna and the French Kiss and the release event for Lola, and I am going to be there for Isla as well!  Three for three hopefully.

If you haven't read Anna, you must.  It's got France and old movies and kissing and boys and school.  It's good.

Lola didn't disappoint.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is about Lola Nolan, a girl with a very unique sense of style.  Lola wants never to wear the same outfit twice.  She dates an older guy, Max, who's in a band and completely cool.  To her at least, not to her dads.  But he's still Lola's boyfriend.  Lola's world is turned upside down, though, when her old neighbors, the Bells, move back in next door.  Lola and Cricket Bell have a history, and the last time Lola saw Cricket, she was heartbroken.  What is she supposed to do now that they are back?  Cricket's window is right across from hers.  And he looks good.  Even better than before if that's possible.  But she has Max, so that's all the matters, right?  Well, read the book and see.  Cool guys are great, but there's something about first loves that never leaves you.

This books was fun for many reasons.  One - it's set in San Francisco, so who wouldn't love to take some time to walk with Lola down the streets of the Castro?  The setting was a fun character in this book.  I also enjoyed Lola.  She was different.  She stood out, but not in a cool way.  I appreciated her style.  I was only annoyed with her a few times as I realized that I liked Cricket Bell better than Max.  I couldn't stand it and wanted to scream at her, "Go with Cricket NOW....can't you see...????" But of course, if only we all saw things clearly in the moment....But we usually don't.  I loved Cricket Bell.  He was the coolest dude ever.  Sweet and stylish and a bit awkward, he was the nicest boy.

What I love about both of Perkins' books is that she keeps you hanging on until the very last minute for things to work out, but it is so, so very very very worth it.  It sort of reminds me of You've Got Mail, you know, a good, well-planned story.  You are so on the side of the characters.  You so want them to get together.  You are hanging on the edge of your seat.  You know they like each other.  You know it.  They know it, but it just hasn't happened, but....when you get to that last frame, and you get that one kiss and you know that they will live happily ever's so perfect.  That's how I felt reading both of these books.  Sure there are twists and turns along the way, but I just sighed at the end of both and almost burst with happiness for the characters.  So, for those who like a fun YA love story, read these.  They are really cool.  And I feel great recommending both of these to my students, too, because these characters are good, responsible kids.  They are just going through life dealing with the same stuff that we all did:  school, boys, parents, freedom, love, you name it.  I absolutely can't wait until Isla.  I am so happy for Stephanie Perkins.  She is a super nice person and I love that her dreams have come true.  These books are so enjoyable.  Read one now! :)

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