Synopsis: In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think. For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, 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 move back into the house next door. When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - 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.When I finished Lola, I had the goofiest grin on my face. I, just...ahhhhhh.
I loved Anna and the French Kiss. I read it twice, I loved it so much (there are too many books to read to be rereading, but Stephanie Perkins books are so worth reading more than once). I was so eager to get my hands on Lola, but I was a little nervous too. I always am when I get attached to one book an author has written. I get afraid that the next won't live up to the first and I'll be disappointed. However, I had faith and man, Perkins exceeded all my hopes for Lola.
I actually went into this book thinking - I'm sure it will be great, but it won't be able to replace Anna and St. Clair in my heart. And, Anna and St. Clair are still safely there, but Lola and Cricket have joined them. They're now currently duking it out for my favorite, because I'm going back and forth. Both pairs are just SO incredible.
My other thought while reading Lola (apparently I'm taking you on my psychological journey as I read this book...) was - this is my life. AGAIN. Dear Stephanie Perkins, are you stalking me? I don't know how it's possible for one author to write two books, on two different continents, with two very different girls, who love two very different boys and still have both of them feel like they are ABOUT my life. Impressive. While I can't exactly relate to Lola's need to dress in costume or her family life, I have had her feelings. I have been in her situations. I've had her thoughts. Although my Cricket wasn't as great as her Cricket (which is probably telling as to why my story didn't end like hers), I totally projected.
Again, I could talk about this book forever. In fact, if you want to gush about this book with me, gush away. I'll gladly geek out with you. But I'd like to mention one more thing that I freaking love about this book. One of the messgages I think Perkins is trying to get across is - If it's right, it's the easiest thing in the world to be with someone. Love shouldn't be hard. Obstacles are expected, but if you're with the right person you can get past them. Anna and St. Clair show up in Lola and demonstrate just this message. Happiness is easy when you are loving the right person.
So, I'm all swoony about this book. If you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss, you need to read that book as well. Don't let the covers or the titles fool you. These books have more substance than half the books on my shelf put together. Plus, they make me smile. A lot.