Wednesday, 4 April 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Lola and the Boy Next Door

This is part of my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge, for more info on that veiw here.

Well after the amazingness that was Anna and the French Kiss I just had to pick up this. And it was good, not great like Anna was, but still. I'm still looking forward to Isla and the Happily Ever After Lola's a real personality and ain't Cricket just such a sweetheart. Sorry for the huge delays but I had College which takes priority (but it's the holidays now so i should be able to up my reading and reviewing speed) and also it gets hard to review books when you've read so many others more recently. 

Why I Read It: Because I adored Anna and the French Kiss.

Summary: Lola is a budding designer, she doesn't believe in fashion but costume, the more expressive the better. Everything is going fine until her life is turned around when the Bell twins return to town and Cricket steps out of his sisters shadow, and back into Lola's life.

The Characters:
Lola - Is a budding designer who believes in costume rather than fashion and is never seen in the same costume twice. A lot of people are saying that people like Lola simply do not exist, I beg to differ. There a lot of girls who aim to not wear the same outfit twice, a lot of girls who would love to wear a ballgown to their prom, a lot of people are very into costuming (I know I fit in with the latter two) and Lola is like a combination and exaggeration of these not-rare traits. It's great to have a heroine with a unique personality, I mean even the fantastic heroines seem pretty much the same so it was good to have someone like Lola, who although she was not strong had a great unique personality and believable weaknesses. 

Cricket - Ain't he just so sweet? So pretty much he is the boy who's always been under the shadow of his twin sister's ice-skating talent, and his whole life has been shaped by that. He and Lola used to be best buddies until his sister got jealous and kind of broke them up, and know the two have got confusing feelings for eachother. It's way cute how he has liked Lola for ages, and it's also cute how he made her all these presents with his engineering talent. Some people are complaining about his name bur seriously, Cricket Bell has a nice ring to it, and I think it's adorkable (and the fact that cricket is also a type of bug isn't really off-putting for me). I also like how he feels that he can't be a proper inventor, despite his obvious talent for it, because his ancestor (Alexander Graham Bell) stole other peoples inventions. Before I had read this book, it sounded like Cricket was going to take over as my new book boyfriend (which is still Hale from Heist Society series), but he hasn't.

Max - Well my douchebag senses were tingling from the get-go for this guy - I mean, hot rocker boyfriend, age-difference (which wouldn't have been a big deal if Lola wasn't a teen and he an adult), the fact that he is good and considerate because he doesn't smoke pot and cigarettes before he gets to see her parents, puh-lease, of course this guy is not an awesome boyfriend unless he undergoes some sort of transformation. I also get what others are saying about him being villain-ised through out this novel, but I reckon he was that way all along, but he just hid it from Lola, but when Cricket came along he just couldn't hide that side of him.

Others - Lola's parents the gay couple were pretty cool, I mean they were gay but they didn't go and flaunt their gayness and act all special and different because of it (which is good because gays are just any other people, so they shouldn't act different because of it). Calliope was also realistic and she had weaknesses and good qualities like all characters should have (some more minor characters tend to miss out on them).It's cool how we get to see how Anna and Etienne are doing now but I have to agree with most people, Etienne is acting differently.

The Plot:
The plot was not too special, pretty basic really (with some quirkier characters) but it was carried quite well with realistic emotions and actions. People are saying its just the same Anna and the French Kiss except with Etienne as the main character and female, and fine, if you want to go into the real basics it is. But books are more than just that,and this is saying that Max is like Ellie (who was for all intents and purposes nice, while Max was not) and Cricket is like Anna (when Cricket has been part of Lola's life a lot longer, and frankly Anna is more interesting) and the friends and families of Lola and Etienne are entirely different. Also, the title totally gives away the outcome of the book, that is my main (and one of very few) problem with Stephanie Perkins' books, the titles, even though they aren't really her fault they are still majorly off-putting.

The Writing: 
Was pretty similar to the writing style of Anna and the French Kiss, ie. funny, fresh, enjoyable, teen-talk-ish, but still descriptive and not-lacking in techniques. Btw, this is in 1st person but it is done well, I don't know some people find all 1st person sloppy (even the good stuff). 

Recommendation: For all fans of Anna and the French Kiss, which you should probably read first (see my review of it for the recommendation. Warning, this is a bit different. 

Quote: Ok, this one is an essay of a quote but it's just so dang romantic that I had to stick it in. 
Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn't matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated. 

One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name. 

At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights. 
The boy did. By thinking about the girl.” -Cricket Bell, Lola and the Boy Next Door

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