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.
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I love Lola and Cricket!
I still remember being so excited to read Lola when it was first released back in 2011. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and needed to get my hands on more of Stephanie Perkins writing. Although I think I liked Anna a tiny bit more than Lola (the books, not the actual characters), I still really enjoyed this book. Especially Cricket! Sadly, the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After has been pushed back so many times that I won’t believe it’s out until I have an actual copy in my hands. I get that the book wasn’t ready, but from a reader’s perspective it sucks. Especially after they changed the gorgeous covers! In preparation for Isla, I wanted to listen to the audiobook of one of the previous books. Since I hate accents (sorry St. Claire), I went with Lola and the Boy Next Door. I still loved this book as much as I did 3 years ago…
Lola was such a fascinating character for me. Her mom didn’t want her and gave her up to her brother and she’s been raised by two dads. I loved how Lola was always so proud of her parents, even when she was annoyed at them. Lola’s fun and quirky but her fashion side is what really made me connect with her. I could always visually all her outfits and would love to be able to see them in real life. Lola has a pretty cool job, some great friends, awesome parents and a hot, older rocker boyfriend, Max. But when the Bell twins move back into the house next door, Lola’s life changes.
Lola and the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, were close growing up. Lola and Calliope were friends and Lola always had a crush for Cricket. Both those friendships ended on a bad note. But seeing Cricket again brings up all those old feelings of attraction and hurt all over again. Despite this, she ends up rekindling her friendship with Cricket. Even though they both obviously want more. But, Lola has a boyfriend and she’s determined to stay with him. This was always such a frustrating part of the story for me. Lola obviously has strong feelings for Cricket, no matter how much she tries to deny it. Cricket lets her know more than once that he has feelings for Lola, but Lola is so stuck with her boyfriend who is an asshole. I couldn’t see why she wanted to stay with Max and couldn’t help thinking it was only because he was older and a musician. I was so annoyed at Lola, especially towards the end for how she treated Cricket and would string him along. Luckily, there was so damn much to love about Cricket that it made it easier to overlook my annoyance with Lola.
Ah, Cricket Bell. One of the rare and few good guys that make your heart melt. I probably liked his charcater more this time around. He was always so sweet to Lola, even if I sometimes felt she didn’t deserve it. The window conversations between them were the best! It was so nice to see so many appearances from Anna and St. Claire. They are so damn adorable together, their scenes made me want to go back and reread Anna and the French Kiss. I really love Stephanie Perkins writing and her characters. I love how despite their flaws, you can’t help but love them. I’m so excited to FINALLY read Isla and the Happily Ever After!
Audiobook Comments: Being able to revisit your old favorite stories is another reason why I love audiobooks. Lola is a story I’ve been wanting to re-read for a long time but couldn’t find time to fit it in. Listening to the audio was a perfect solution, I got to re-experience the story and it didn’t cut into my actual reading time since I listen to audiobooks mostly while cook or do chores. It had been a while since I read this, (3 years!) but Shannon McManus was such a perfect Lola. She was able to pull off her quirkiness and unique personality. She was great at doing Cricket’s voice, Lola’s parent’s voice, Anna’s voice, even Cricket’s voice! I loved how her Max voice fit his ‘who cares’ attitude. Shannon doesn’t narrate Anna so I’m assuming someone else will also narrate Isla. I would buy another audiobook by this narrator
Fun and Quirky
- The Reading Date