Double Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door AND Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins is the queen. Whch is quite obvious. And [somewhat] irrelevant.

I am reviewing both Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After in one post because I finished them both so fast. So yeah. There aren’t any spoilers, by the way, although I may have a small section for Isla. Because I have thoughts about that.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 338

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the 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.

Discussion: Lola was okay at the beginning. I was kind of meh about it. Lola seemed quite eccentric to me, with her costumes and all. Which I guess I was really judgmental about. [I’m sorry!] And then there was Max. WHHHHY????

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I honestly disliked him from the beginning. Why?

  1. The age gap.
  2. They just didn’t click to me! It felt awkward whenever they were together and very insincere.
  3. He was very…fake to me. Nerdy, but rocker band? Like WHAT?

I also did not really get Lola’s parents. It was cool that she had two dads, but the brunches and phone calls and stuff seemed very out of place. She is seventeen. LET HER LIVE. I get the overprotective parents part, but COME ON.

Then.

Then Cricket came into the picture.

From the very start, I was like, “DATE HIM ALREADY!!! DUMP MAX AND DATE CRICKET.”

No spoilers or anything, so I can’t express my TRUE opinions.

And there was Anna and Etienne. That was pretty freaking awesome, to see them as an adorable couple. I love how they were true friends to Lola and gave her wise advice.

Speaking of friends, let’s talk about Lindsey. She was very awesome, kind of like a Nancy Drew. I wished we could’ve seen more of her. She was very interesting to me and I wanted to get to know her better, but this book kind of flew past the best friend stuff.

Despite all my complaints, I thought this book was ineffably and utterly cute. Once Cricket got there, I was 100% on board. He was funny and tall and witty and perfect.

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That end, though. THAT END KILLED ME. :’(


Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 337

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Discussion: Isla was just as amazing. Maybe better, even. Yeah, better. The premise was not promising, however I was hooked as soon as I started reading.

I could completely relate to Isla. Hopeless crush? Tell me about it. However, I am blonde and she is red-haired. I am tall, she is short. I have blue eyes, she has green. We both have freckles!

yes animated GIF I appreciated the fact that Kurt was visible, unlike Lindsey in Lola. And I was even happier when he and Isla didn’t fall in love. They sleep together, but no more than sibling-esque love. Those love triangle-thingies get old. *cough* Cassandra Clare *cough** And we got to interact with Kurt and see his feelings and obsessions and everything.

*JK I love Cassie’s books

Anyway.

I was a bit sad to see Josh and Rashmi break up, but…

This book hit me in the feels, though.

*SPOILER ALERT*

I just have to spoil and rant.

WHEN SHE ASKS HIM OUT I WAS LIKE ASDFGHJKL;

It was amazing. I was so happy for them.

And when Josh got expelled? Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl;

There are no words.

*SPOILER OVER*

I honestly have no more words for this book. I am sorry. It is just perfection. Stephanie Perkins is queen. <3

Have you read these lovely bookies? If so, what did you think? And if not, will you? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 372

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Discussion: beauty and the beast animated GIF

Oh my god I’ve found true love in a book. That’s it. Ship me off to Paris. Point me in the direction of cute American-English-French boys. Or Étienne. That would work too. This book is too adorable and lovely for words. I. CAN’T. EVEN. It’s too perfect!

So what makes this book so amazingly perfect in every way? Let me list my feels the ways:

Anna

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She was love struck, obsessed, and absolutely cute. At first, she seemed like every girl out there, but as I learned more about her, I liked her more and more. Her complicated writer father was another interesting part. He’s an &**%#@!. I loved her hair; it sounded awesome, despite what Amanda Spitgirl thought.

The side characters: Mer, Rashmi, Josh, Bridgette, Toph, and, of course, Seany!

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Okay, so, to be honest, Mer annoyed me a little. At the beginning, I thought she was going to be really mean, but I was happily surprised. But the jealousy factor? Just, nuh-uh. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOY. Mer ended up being a really sweet and loyal friend, despite the incident.

Rashmi was kind of strange in my opinion, but she did have a heart of gold. Or silver. XD She was pretty awesome, though, and I can totally see myself in her when she badgers Josh to be a good student. Because I would totally do that to my [imaginary] boyfriend.

I have to say, Josh exceeded my expectations. At first, he seemed like a totally cool comic relief/best friend/artist person. And that was it. But once he got a bigger part, I was kind of surprised. THEN. HE DOES BAD THINGS. Yet I still liked him. Josh seemed like a sweetie to me, even with THE ISSUES.

Bridgette and Toph…

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I CANNOT BELIEVE THEM. THOSE IDIOTS I WANT TO CHOP OFF THEIR HEADS SO BADLY.

I can be very scary at times. Sorry.*

Despite being horrid friends, they did do some good. They added more conflict to the story!** And more reasons for Anna to be angry and angsty and give us more background. Plus,*** what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! :D

SEANY! He is just your stereotypical innocent, adorable little kid. He makes me want to hug somebody. *hugs you*

*Not sorry. >:)
**Yes, I am that evil.
***I really hate saying “plus” because I know someone who says it way too much.

The setting

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Okay, pop quiz time! What country am I absolutely obsessed with?

If you said “France,” you are correct! I love Parisian and French things and have a mini Eiffel Tower, a PARIS block-thingy, a painting of a street in France, and a French-girl hat. [Think Madeline’s hat.] And many more.*

So, having Anna and the French Kiss set in France was just—amazing. I loved reading about the touristy places, not to mention the food and baked goods, which all sound fabulous, and the little shops and the weather and EVERYTHING.

*It is kind of an unhealthy obsession. I haven’t even been there! What if I hate it?

Étienne

He is now on my [growing] list of fictional boyfriends.* His hair, his eyes, his voice—everything. HE IS PERFECTION.

There are no more words.

*This list includes Leo Valdez, Percy Jackson, Simon Lewis, Will Herondale, Levi, and Augustus Waters.

Stephanie Perkins’s writing is quite beautiful and simple at the same time. I felt like Anna was talking to her best friend.

Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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