Thursday, October 16, 2014

*BOOK REVIEW* Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Mild Spoilers)

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)
{Author: Stephanie Perkins}
{Other books: Anna and The French Kiss, Isla and The Happily Ever After}
{Pages: 338}
{Published by: Dutton Books on September 29th, 2011}
{Setting: San Francisco, California}

Stephanie Perkins has a way of mixing background in with the original story. When reading "Lola" I noticed she did what she originally did with "Anna" (Referring to Anna and The French Kiss, book 1 of the trilogy). Stephanie kept the explanations minimal and spread out through the story. All the important info isn't just clumped together. Also, she has made a habit of leaving us hanging but eventually at some point in the story she comes back around to give us a hand and help explain things. It's quite an incredible process. Everything Stephanie writes has a certain feel to it- it's a certain young, airy, un-comprehendible feeling. To explain as soon as I finished "Anna" I HAD to read "Lola" absolutely had to. Now with "Isla" (Referring to Isla and the Happily Ever After, book 3 of the trilogy), I want to hold on and draw out the bubbly feeling her stories inject in me. 


The way her characters  act and interact make them believable, make them that certain feeling I mentioned. 

Lola is unique. From the bright teal wigs displayed around her room, to the jars of zippers and buttons, Lola Nolan is unique. She is quite the spunky character with a lot of 'umph' (pronounced 'ummfff'). What I did notice also was the fact that Lola being 17 was still pretty young and immature, rightly so being her 17 and young and immature. Stephanie didn't make Lola an overachiever and make her a middle aged woman in a teenage girl's body, she made her exactly her age. Even with her boyfriend, she didn't give up so easily when her parents were rejecting him, she kept up; like a teenager who thinks they know what's best for them and all would do. It's actually very sad- the predicament that made Lola and Cricket avoid each other, but it happens all the time. It has a name by the way, it's called... 'Skinny Love'.

Urban Dictionary: skinny love

Cricket is terrified of admitting that he liked Lola, and as much as he tried to break from that shell something always got in the way and he couldn't tell her. 
Another good thing though about the characters is the fact that you just get them. Some characters do, say or think things that make no real sense or are contradictory to past things they've said or done.  Except with Stephanie's characters they're just so consistent and understandable. One of the many things I love about them.
Steph's characters are definitely what I admire the most in her novels...besides the setting that is.  

Settings and Descriptions

Though I was quite depressed that Lola's story was not in France but in San Francisco, I got over it. Though it was a long rough process to do so. I did it. I'm going to be very honest, I think Stephanie Perkins could make the ghetto look and feel amazing. One of the cutest moments of "Lola" for me was when they began synchronizing when they opened their curtains, when they ate meals and when Lola would walk her dog. It was just plain adorable. Oh and lest not forget the even sweeter scene where Lola and Cricket slid down the slide...on pizza boxes! *Still Squealing* Sorry, my inner pre-teen is showing. *Begins tucking it away again*. 

Back to the review. 

Stephanie's descriptions of things are just spectacular. Even when she is talking about something as simple as the moon it seems magical. Also just a little scene I found incredibly adorable again is Chapter 17, page 193. If you love sweet gestures from a guy who secretly (but publicly) likes'll love this. Also check out Chapter 27, page 301. Their effortless relationship is very beautiful (and amusing). Though it doesn't seem effortless it truly is. You have to search a little but I believe we can end up finding out so many things about ourselves that we weren't aware of, through the pages of books. Like with Lola, the lesson is "There is a right one". Love shouldn't be a battle, it should be effortless in the feeling. The journey you take to be with "that one" on the other hand may require a few bumpy roads; a few roadblocks. But something so true would be infinite and would in effect knock down those barriers. As long as you have the bravery required to try. Lola had to learn that love encompasses many things. It includes jokes, and inability to hide stares, but it also includes first chances and second chances, and even third chances. You don't get many chances to find "The One" and it may take a second and third chance to realize that you blew the first chance, but as long as you seize it before it disappears you'll do just fine.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

*BOOK REVIEW* Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
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?

I need an Etienne. Like I cannot think of anything else besides... I need to go to France, get some awesome friends, and meet an Etienne. I would really need to be seen in person to explain why I am so pumped but imagine my finger spiraling up, then spiraling down, then spiraling it up again and right back down. It was such a roller coaster that went so many different ways. This book is one of those you can't say much about cause you might spoil it but I'll try and do my best. I'll be quite honest as well. I've been in a serious... SERIOUS, reading slump and tried to pay more attention to the book rather than how my review will go, so if this is quite suckish forgive me. This book made me squeal and giggle like a pre-teen girl seeing her crush. I laughed hysterically and nearly cried because of a certain something happening which I must remember to question Stephanie about this year at YALLFest, a little something that went unanswered. Over all though the book made me excited to begin reading again. This book is one I will NEVER forget!


First of all characters are a tricky deal. They have many emotions and thoughts and whims. Anna is very cliché but different at the same time. Anna is actually quite incapable of picking a good guy to begin with. Also, she is a bit of a shy gal so expressing her interest in a guy is hard for her. So through the story you're able to see her questioning whether or not some one likes her, and recapping her failed relationships while still in America. Though it is quite hilarious how she completely misses that French guys are staring at her (because they do not stop themselves from admiring such beauty like many Americans will, turning their heads in a different direction and all). Yet, she is quite an interesting character. Her character has quite her own pace, starting off as a pissed-off, newbie with some strong emotional feelings to a sarcastic, fun-loving, secretly-crushing girl. So I am secretly (now publicly) amazed that Stephanie pulled off Anna so well.

I am also stunned by the depth to not only Anna, but Etienne. Like he is now one of my biggest BBC (Book Boyfriend Crushes)! He's American, with a British Accent, who lives in France and speaks French. Talk about Bilingual. He's deep and sensitive but quite a sarcastic joker. You will fall in love with him immediately so save him a spot on your list of BBC.

Pace and Dialogue

Most of the books I read I find have a remarkably great pace so I'll but it short with saying the obvious... it was great. Though towards the end I felt like I was jumping around a lot. You jumped between Halloween and Christmas, and Thanksgiving and Hanukah and at some point I did kind of want to get back to the actual story, not just the short clippy dialogue that takes place between. The beginning as well bored me a little, but that was basically only the first three chapters. It was a little weird and tense in the beginning because it starts off with Anna being angry that she has to go to France, but all that gently slipped away.

Okay for this one I have the UK covers. Because UK covers are amazing. It's a lovely purple with all the cutesy, cliché, girly feel about it. If the title doesn't set you on a rampage through it's pages any of the covers will; especially if you like books that you can curl up in bed with and squeal and giggle throughout.

Now that I tried to give...somewhat of a reasonable review... (hopefully it turned out okay, though EXTREMELY short), I will be going to read Lola and The Boy Next Door (Anna and The French Kiss #2).