by Stephanie Perkins
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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 adored this lovely, romantic, funny and warm novel. The characters were just so believable and sweet and they captured the teenage angst over missed opportunities at love so well. Lola grows so much in this book especially while remaining very true to her unique personality. She becomes a better person by just realizing it was always in her to be that person. The main drama comes from how Lola realizes who she is through making some pretty painful mistakes and needing to experience things before she can really understand them.
But she did get some help through her interactions with Cricket, who is another amazing, warm and wonderful character! He's a perfect swoon-worthy boy, with just the right amount of quirky and appealing boyish charm. Seriously this story is overflowing with humor and earnestness which is all due to the wonderful characterizations of Lola's friends and family. Every character in this book had such a distinct and engaging personality with the bonus of seeing more of Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.
The story is mostly sweet and entertaining, but there are a few very mature moments that I think added to the compelling way the story unfolds. Lola is in a relationship with a man a bit inappropriately older than her, and both Lola and Cricket have to deal with issues of self-worth. And somehow the author makes all the varying degrees of serious and humorous drama come together flawlessly. The setting, the characters and the story paints a vivid, realistic portrait of teenage emotion with an authentic, vivid feel for San Francisco and it's culture.