Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository
Life is pretty perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend. That is, until the Bell twins return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola was long buried. So when inventor Cricket steps out of his sister's shadow Lola must face her feelings for the boy next door.
I loved this book so much more than Anna and the French Kiss. Maybe it's because I don't live where it is set or because I was reading it at a slower pace; either way I loved this book.
Lola was this crazy, messy fashionista who loved to create insane outfits for every occasion. Okay, so she sometimes went a little over the top(like turning up to school in a toga), but I loved the descriptions we got of her outfits. My main problem I had with Lola was the fact that she was a little immature. She was a little bit of a drama queen at times, rarely thinking through things logically which infuriated me because I need to have a plan before going forward!
Both the boys in this book were polar opposites and it was extremely obvious who Lola was going to end up with (I mean, it is in title). Max was the worst. Seriously, I have no idea why Lola started going out with him. He was rarely there, and when he was he made loving Lola sound like a task. Cricket, on the other hand, was adorable. He hung out Lola and her dads because he wanted to, he helped them out when they needed it and he listened when Lola needed to rant.
The writing was once again flawless. One of my favourite things in Anna was the way Stephanie Perkins managed to make France seem like an extra character. It was exactly the same here, and I felt like I was actually in San Francisco (even though I've never been there). I feel like description is the one thing that Stephanie Perkins can't fail at, no matter how hard she tries.
One word of warning: read Anna and the French Kiss before you read this. Even though this book is technically a companion novel Anna and Etienne are a big part of this book so it would help to know some background information about them. They also reference to things that happen in the first book which you wouldn't understand unless you have read said book.
Anyway...I would highly recommend you read this book, even if you didn't enjoy Anna. I finished it in under 3 hours and wanted to read it again as soon as I closed the book. It is the perfect beach read, but I think it would also be a good read for next to a Christmas tree (or other festive decoration!)