“He’s sitting in his window. Literally sitting in it. His butt is on the window sill, and his legs – impossibly long and slender – are dangling against the side of his house, two storeys above the ground. And his hands are folded in his lap as if spying on his unsuspecting female neighbour was the most natural thing in the world.”
Synopsis: Lola (Delores) Nolan, budding designer and believer in costume, not fashion, is pretty content with life. All she wants (besides attending the Winter Formal dressed like Marie Antoinette) is for her parents to approve of her new rocker boyfriend, Max. That, and to never see the Bell twins ever again. But when Cricket and Calliope move back into their old home, she has to face back up to her feelings for the boy next door.
I am going to say from the start: I did not enjoy this book as much as Anna and the French Kiss. That said, Anna is one of my favourite books ever, so it did have a lot to live up to. I think I’ll start by getting what I didn’t like about this book out of the way, because there was far more that I did like, and I want to end the review on a positive note.
First of all, I thought that Lola’s ‘best friend’ Lindsay was a pointless character. It felt like she was only included because every girl must have a best friend, so to keep it realistic, she was included. But Lola doesn’t spend much time with her. In fact she just uses her most of the time as a cover to see Cricket or Max. Lindsay really didn’t influence Lola at all, despite her being mentioned so much.
I also felt there was a missed opportunity with Lola and her relationship with her birth mother. There was real opportunity to develop their relationship, explore the resentment and disappointment Lola has felt regarding her mother her whole life, and show some redemption on her mother’s behalf. But this didn’t really happen.
Finally, I didn’t particularly like Anna and St.Clair in this book. Maybe I have just forgotten, but I don’t remember Anna saying, “Dude” in every other sentence. And I remember Etienne being a bit cocky and boyish in Anna and the French Kiss, but in this book he is REALLY cocky and boyish.
Okay, dislikes out of the way, I’ll get to what I did really like about this book.
I LOVED Cricket. I thought he was such a nice, sweet, creative character – a bit different from the obviously attractive, confident, cocky love interest. I loved that his name was Cricket Graham Bell because he was actually Alexander Graham Bell’s great great great grandson or something. That was cool!
I also, did quite like Lola’s fashion style. She was a little crazy, and I can’t really see any sane 17 year old wearing sparkly wigs and gold false eyelashes to school, but I did actually like reading about her coming up with these outfits. Like Cricket, she is very creative, and maybe its because I have absolutely no sewing/design skills, but I really liked reading about these crazy outfits.
From a romance perspective, this book was GOOD! Lola and Cricket’s relationship isn’t rushed into, and it takes pretty much the whole book for Lola to admit how she feels about him. Like in Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins does a really great job of building up the characters and their relationship carefully and slowly throughout the book.
Despite my little irritations about Anna and Etienne, I was really really happy that they were in this book so much. Seeing that Anna and Etienne were still together and so in love was so heart-warming and lovely. I think I’m feeling an Anna and the French Kiss re-read!
I am excited to read Isla and the Happily Ever After, and from what I know of Isla and Josh already, I think their story is going to be one I like a lot more.