This will be my first..ugh...'goodreads' review and just in case you got curious and read this, well, thanks and please bear with me.
I loved Stephanie Perkins 'Anna and the French Kiss' and so I was thrilled when I've heard there will be a companion book related to Anna and Etienne. Picture the scenario, I was mooning over a male fictional character (which happens rarely, by the way) and really wished that someone like him does exist. (ugh, in case you're getting pissed that this was supposed to be a Lola and the Boy Next Door review--I'm getting there.) I found AATFK witty, funny and the story...is...ugh...plotted (?) just right. The pacing for me wasn't rushed or too slow--just right. I finished the book in one sitting and dreamed of going to Paris someday and meet *blush* someone like Etienne St. Clair--1/2 French, 1/2 British and an American citizen because he was born in the USA. Seriously, who wouldn't want a guy with British accent who's ridiculously gorgeous and sweet? Fine, I'm mooning over him and THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A REVIEW FOR LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR! Demmet. So after reading AATFK, I was very much ecstatic to read Perkins' next novel--Lola and the Boy Next Door.
I'm having mixed thoughts on how I will rate LATBND. After reading it (in one sitting), I rated it 4 stars but now that I'm, ugh, writing (typing I guess is the right term) 9 hours after reading it, I guess it's a 3 stars for me. I liked it, don't get me wrong (and 3 stars meant 'liked it', right?) but, maybe I expected a bit too much for it (since I've read some reviews that it was far more better than AATFK) It was okay, I had a few laughs with the witty banters of Cricket and Lola but I didn't find Lola likable. The shining-shimmering costumes and stuffs in which she wears almost everyday? I guess it was bit an exaggeration for me, though that's what Lola really is and that's what Cricket loved about her, but still...I agree with what she said in the latter part of the novel (in her Marie Antoinette gown) IT'S TOO MUCH. And then, there's Cricket. Well, okay, I liked the adorkable-nerd-tall boy next door but I guess I was just too enthralled with St. Clair (I know I'm being biased, but I can't help but compare them...sorry.) Anna and Etienne's relationship is sweet as seen by Lola's POV. It made me feel an irrational pang of ugh...envy with Anna. (I can't believe I just revealed that!) For me, LATBND should have made my 'it was amazing' rating (the way I did with AATFK) if the plot was JUST RIGHT. I can't really decide if the pacing was fast or too slow, or the characters weren't ugh, polished right (I mean, they weren't supposed to be perfect and were supposed to be flawed but I still can't figure some of them--even Lola and Cricket) Maybe I miss the artsy-sophisticated-Paris-school-dormitory atmosphere and a pool of students. But, I appreciate Perkins' notion of an adopted-girl growing up with 2 dads, childhood-crush-turned-to-almost-love-grew-apart-then-got-together-in-the-end and Anna and Etienne's appearance in the novel--I guess that's the reason why it met my 3 stars line.
I'm so looking forward for ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Heard that the protagonist will be the one and only ISLA from Anna and the French Kiss. I wonder who might be her love interest? I'm hoping it will be Josh! I actually liked him more (in just..ugh..1 or 2 points) than Etienne--the mysterious-artist-vibe got me...if only he has a British accent, I guess there'll be no competition between them...but Etienne is swoon-worthy and Josh's character wasn't really that revealed yet--he's still mysterious on that way and it wasn't his turn yet. See? I was mooning over two fictional guys in just one book? (the rarity that just happened after reading Perkins' book and made me want to read more YA lit) HAHAHAHA. Accio 2012! :))