If you have followed my blog, you know what a huge fan I am of Stephanie Perkins' writing. I love, love, love Anna and French Kiss, her first book. I have a link to her blog on the right, here. I had her countdown gadget on the right as well, until, um, things started to get crowded on the page.
So you know I am pre-disposed to loving her 2nd book "Lola and the Boy Next Door," and you know I literally downloaded the book the minute it came out.
So I really thought this through carefully when I say I didn't like the new book. I didn't know why for a while so that is why I didn't post a rave review like I was meaning to right after I read the thing.
The characters are quirky, which I understand is the author's 'thing'. Lola likes dressing up in costumes. Not really into fashion, but into costume. She has a gazillion wigs and such, and is working on a Marie Antoinette dress complete with towering wig and combat boots to wear to Winter Formal.
Her parents are Andy and Nathan, two gay men who adopted Nathan's drug-addicted sister's baby. The San Francisco setting is starting to make sense. Plus Etienne and Cricket are going to Berkeley...
17-year-old Lola has a older boyfriend Max (22) who is a meter-reader by day, a rock musician by night. Lola's parents hate Max. Next door neighbors Cricket and his twin Calliope move back after two years away. Lola had always had a thing for Cricket but something happened right before they left that has Lola angry at him.
Sounds delightful, doesn't it? It should be. But it isn't. Why? I think mainly because I couldn't identify with Lola. Granted her parents are very strict, asking for her to call in every hour. But I couldn't get over her lying and deceit to be with Max. I keep feeling like Lola could have been more open about when she was with Max. Plus, there isn't any real chemistry between the two. I couldn't understand why she's with him. Yeah, there are some passages about Max's coolness but they sound rather shallow.
Now along comes Cricket and you know they belong together - hello - that's them on the cover.
But it takes forever for our gal to realize it. So long, in fact, that you want to shake her and say "wake up!" And then there's the breaking up with Max that has to happen and Lola being all wishy-washy about it.
The pages I wanted were like the last five( on my kindle). They were sweet, it was just it took so long and by the time they happened, it was kind of anti-climactic.
Oh- Anna and Etienne show up! Hurrah! And they're in a lot of the book! Hurrah! But they don't have the same heat they did before.
OKAY GOOD TO READ AGAIN
I really, really wanted to like the book. Heck, I aspire to write like Stephanie Perkins. I still do. I just think this is sophomore slump or something. I'll still get the next one, I will. I just can't recommend this one with five stars.
I give it three stars - I liked it more than I didn't like it.