Anna and the French Kiss

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2

Publish Date: September 29th, 2011

Genre: Chick-lit, Romance, YA

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.


Review

I can’t really say that I enjoyed this book as much as I thought I would have. I thought that I’d be able to relate to Lola because of her obsession with clothing and costuming (because that sounds really fun and I love fashion). But unfortunately, that was not the case.

I found that this book was a lot less about the adventure of love and learning, but more like growing up and realizing what you wanted for yourself. Unlike in Anna and the French Kiss where Anna is learning how to adjust to her school in France, Lola is trying to grow up and become a better version of herself. She’s sick and tired of being judged and controlled by her parents because of the decisions she makes. This isn’t a bad thing but I was just expecting something that was as funny and endearing as the first book and Lola didn’t deliver. I found that the plot seemed to be slower than it did in Lola. What really annoyed me was that it took her a good 250 pages to even get close to the beginning of her relationship with Cricket. Lola just needed to make up her mind and act on it by that point because I was fed up by how indecisive she was acting.

Lola was an interesting protagonist. She’s spunky and unique yet also very sensitive. I didn’t really like her that much. She acts like a confident person when in reality, she’s actually quite insecure, which I suppose, is one of the most important aspects of the book. Personally, I found her to be whiny and annoying even if she the rest of her personality was interesting. The characterization, like in the first book, was well done. Lindsey, Cricket, Max, Norah, her dads, everybody seemed realistic. I actually wish I had seen more of Calliope in the story but more often than not, she was just someone that they talked about. I loved Lindsey, Cricket, and Norah (I don’t care if she was a terrible mother, I still loved her character). Lindsey was fabulous. Her crush on Charlie was adorable and her observing personality was great. Cricket was cute (in my opinion, better than Etienne). It might just be because he had a slightly nerdier quality than Etienne did (nerdy, awkward guys are the best). His character was super realistic, more so than a lot of the other characters.

Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door didn’t have that many problems. It’s just that it didn’t live up to my expectations after reading Anna and the French Kiss. If anything, the main problem I had was with Lola’s character and the fact that it took them a ridiculously long amount of time to get together. You’ll find yourself screaming at the book because they don’t get together.

3/5 Stars

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publish Date: January 1st, 2010

Genre: Chick-lit, YA, Romance

       Can Anna find love in the City of Light? Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?


Review

SO CUTE. LIKE MY FANGIRL FEELS CANNOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS.

I’ve passed up reading this book many, many times due to the fact that the cover made it look like one of those brainless chick-lit books similar to The Clique or something. Fast-forward three years and I am now just hearing all the hype about it (I’m probably really late). I’m pretty happy that I did though, because I know I probably would not have enjoyed this book as much as I did, had I read it when I was younger.

Anna and the French Kiss is a romance novel, through and through, much like the title suggests. It centers on Anna Oliphant(obviously), a seventeen-year old American teen. She’s really excited to attend senior year at her Atlanta high-school when suddenly her father drops the bomb. He’s making her attend her last year of high-school in Paris. Anna is devastated and goes into the year less than happy with the arrangement. Drama ensues. Awkward language barriers terrify her. How will she make it through the year?

This book was just a lot of fun to read. It’s funny. It’s cute. It’s relatable. It’s sad (sort of?). I can definitely see why people call it one of the “classic chick-lit” books. Sure, there were cliches and Anna might have been a little dumb, but it was an enjoying experience. At least they didn’t kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower. The book follows Anna’s experience attending SOAP, the School of America in Paris, and how she grows and learns from it. The plot is pretty much what one would expect from the book. Girl goes to foreign boarding school. Girl is confused. Girl meets group of friends. Girl meets cute boy. Drama happens. Girl gets together with boy. Girl is happy at the end of the year and doesn’t want to leave. It’s predictable but I feel like in this case, it’s okay. It’s a light, fluffy read meant to make people smile (and it definitely succeeded).

THE CHARACTERS. OH MY THE CHARACTERS. Anna had to be one of the cutest, most likable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about (Although I don’t know if I’d want to be her friend in real life. She’s like the type of girl that acts popular. The type that I laugh at and judge because of all the drama in her life).

description

Popcorn for the drama anybody?

She was naive, hypocritical, all of that stuff, but her internal monologue was realistic (to the type of girl she’s representing that is) and hilarious. She has the immaturity, the self-consciousness, the mental aspects of a teenager. I know that a lot of people have said that Anna is an annoying, dumb character, but let’s be honest. There are lots of girls just like Anna in the world. Lots of them grow up. Kind of like how Anna did at the end of the book. I loved how Anna changed by the end of the book. She was less immature, her views broadened by her experience in France. She came to understand people and relationships more as well as the fact that everybody makes mistakes. It’s not a huge transformation, but I liked how there was evidence of change. Etienne St. Claire was a piece of work. He had a lot of personal problems that he kind of sort of dealt with (extremely ineffectively). While I didn’t hate him, I didn’t really like him either. I enjoyed his conversations with Anna but I didn’t like the way that dealt with his baggage. He was a much weaker character than I thought he would have been. The other characters weren’t characterized very much. They were mentioned, shallowly characterized and then ignored for parts of the book. I wanted to get to know Rashmi and Meredith more but they weren’t characterized as much as I wanted them to be :/ I hope that this isn’t the case in the other books in the series.

The romance in this book is so cute X3
I do wish that Etienne had broken up with Ellie prior to dating or even pursuing Anna. If there is one thing that I abhor, it’s cheating in any way. I do understand the circumstances he was under though. Aside from this, I adored the romantic moments in the book. They weren’t forced and the insta-love wasn’t too bad. There was attraction but love didn’t come until later, which was something I appreciated about the book. It only made the romance better. My favorite moments were the Winter Break trip and the Thanksgiving one. And I’m super excited to read about Isla and Josh. I have a feeling it might end up being my favorite. It’s one of those books that you can read and know that it’ll make you happy when you’re sad.

Will be picking up Lola soon. Can’t wait to finish the series!

4/5 Stars