Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

15745753Title: Eleanor & Park
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Rainbow Rowell
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

MY REVIEW

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

1986. The Space Shuttle Columbia is launched. Voyager 2 makes its first encounter with Uranus. Eleanor, an overweight redhead steps onto a school bus and sits next to Park Sheridan.

Park is a half Korean boy who lives a fairly nice life, with two loving parents and doesn’t know what its like to go to bed hungry or share his bedroom. Eleanor Douglas shares her room with her three brothers and younger sister, living in a highly dysfunctional family in a small, run down home with no bathroom door.

While these two may live within walking distance of another, they come from different words. From the moment Eleanor stepped on the school bus for the first time, she was already an outsider, with her flaming red hair and odd thrift store clothes. When no one offers her a seat, Park angrily tells her to sit down next to him, and proceeds to ignore her for the duration of the trip. For days and weeks, the two ignores each’s existence despite sitting six inches from one another to and fro. One day, Park catches her reading his comics over his shoulder, and begins to lend her his comics. They bond over music, with Park making mixtapes for Eleanor to listen to. Eventually, they even begin holding hands on the bus.

That’s whats so great about this novel – there isn’t some insta-love between the characters that you find in your typical high school romance novels. These flawed characters are very much opposites and over time, develop an reluctant friendship that eventually leads to love. And even then, everything is not all lovey-dovey and cutesy, and the two fight and argue a lot and kiss and makeup, just like almost any other teenage couple.

Overall, I liked this, even if it didn’t have more plot than two teenagers falling in love despite all their differences and the world trying to keep them apart. If you’re looking for a realistic romance of high school and first love, look no further.

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Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

7719248Title: Tiger Lily
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

MY REVIEW

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.”

Oh my. Where do I even begin? Jodi Lynn Anderson, you deserve all the awards. This novel is sheer brilliance – a novel in which we hear the tale of Tiger Lily, as told by Tinker Bell. While Tink herself cannot speak, as faeries have no language, they can sort of read minds and emotions. Tiger Lily has been part of Tinker Bell’s life for a long time. Tink is viciously loyal to Tiger Lily, even if she cannot speak and the outcast Tiger Lily never really acknowledges her, there are precious moments in which Tink is surprised by how Tiger Lily cares for her, even saving her when she becomes waterlogged.

When the lonely Tiger Lily meets Peter, the story delves into their friendship and eventually, their romance. After all, before Wendy came along, he belonged to Tiger Lily. This isn’t the cute rainbows and sunshine Disney Peter Pan, and there are instances of murder and suicide throughout the work. To the others in Tiger Lily’s tribe, Peter is a murderous and ruthless killer. Tiger Lily sees that these stories are in fact just that, stories. After their chance encounter, Tiger Lily seeks him out and the pair quickly fall in love. During the day, she lives her life in the village, where her impending marriage to Giant taunts her, while at night, she lives the life of the lost boys in the burrow.

As I hungrily devoured this book, I was led through a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s happy and sometimes joyful, but others make you cry and hate certain characters for being human and changing their minds. This isn’t the cutesy happy ending in fairytales. The characters you root for don’t get what they want, and people get hurt and people die.

Anderson’s Neverland is magical place, but it carries its weight of darkness that is filled with pain and heartbreak. However, happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Yes, I just went Dumbledore there. Sue me.

My Boyfriend Merlin – Priya Ardis

16000235Title: My Boyfriend Merlin
Series:
My Merlin Trilogy (Book 1)
Author:
Priya Ardis
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 3

Goodreads

In this modern Arthurian, 17 year-old Boston high schooler Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac just found out the guy she’s been crushing on, hot biker Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. In fact, he is really Merlin—the Merlin, King Arthur’s Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. Frozen in a cave for over fifteen hundred years, he’s woken for a purpose. But Ryan’s not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she’d rather kick his legendary behind.

Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. But despite gruesome gargoyles, a deadly new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him?

MY REVIEW

“Do I look like I want to be involved in your teen love saga? Ask someone who cares.”

BBC’s Merlin has been over almost eight months, and my Arthurian feels are still all over the place. So when I was sifting through books on Goodreads to add to my birthday list, I found this baby and was terribly excited. I mean, Merlin, alive, after all these years… gorgeous with a Ducati? I am a sucker for gorgeous fictional characters on a motorcycle. Don’t judge me.

Ryan DuLac is the star of this modern Arthurian, and the story begins with the Total Tremor, a worldwide tremor as a sword in the stone appears in Trafalagar Square. Halfway across the world, Ryan has just found out that the hot biker guy she’s been crushing on is a little older than he let on… Matt Emrys is in fact the legendary wizard, Merlin. It reminded me a bit of Meg Cabot’s Avalon High, where kids are brought together to Avalon Prep to compete in drawing Excalibur out of the stone.

I rate this three stars, because while it was good, there were some things that just made me go

Ryan is convinced she knows the Arthurian legend pretty well, but when Matt mentions he is a seer, she had no idea what that was. Not to mention, her last name is that of Lancelot’s but it’s never mentioned. Another instance is when she’s given an amulet and Merlin mentions that he fashioned it for a queen, but Ryan, again, could not put two and two together, because obviously Merlin didn’t make an amulet for Julie Andrews, the true queen of Genovia.

The characters weren’t fully fleshed out at all; I was disappointed that Merlin seemed to lack depth. The majority of the first book he’s just glowering at his brother, Vane, who is getting close to Ryan. The speedy progression of the plot left little room for feel, such as Ryan witnessed the death of her best friend, and the storyline plummeted over the death with such speed Ryan nor anyone else seemed to never convey any emotion, as if the gargoyles killing Alexa was the equivalent of your plate of french fries going cold.

The good versus evil dilemma was too complicated for my tastes, and things that should’ve had depth were just brushed upon to hurry things along. The pace left me uninterested in the characters, and I wouldn’t have cared if most of them became gargoyle dinner.

There were also some spelling errors here and there, which would’ve made the book overall better if an editor had gone through it.

This book gets three stars for adding a fresh twist to the Arthurian legend. While it wasn’t executed to its full potential, it did keep me occupied for a full afternoon.

Spirit Walk – Richie Tankersley Cusick

16000235Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick

Rating: 4/5

Purchase from

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Book Depository | Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Something haunts Miranda Barnes.  It’s in the distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep, the lingering smell of roses, and the shadows that seem to follow her everywhere. Miranda begins to understand that she has a special gift for communicating with spirits of the dead.  But this “gift” feels more like a curse, and Miranda has no one to confide in.  When Etienne, the mysterious boy from her class, offers to help, Miranda is initially skeptical, but can’t help feeling drawn to him. As paranormal activity escalates, passion  grows, and soon Miranda is caught up in both romance…and tragedy.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

After a hurricane demolishes her home, Miranda Barnes and her mother pack up whats left of their life and move to St. Yvette, Louisiana to live with Miranda’s grandfather and aunt. Miranda has never met her grandfather, even after days of living in the same vicinity as him. So when Miranda’s new group of friends question how its like to live with the Town Crazy, Miranda is thrust into a world filled with ghosts and spirits. Like her supposed crazy grandpa, Miranda is able to communicate with ghosts and spirits that need her help to move on.

It doesn’t help that there’s many spirits in St. Yvette, home to a vicious battle during the Civil War, where hundreds of spirits are at unrest. While worming on a school project, Miranda and her group of misfits team up to help some of these lost souls, particularly a soldier, Nathan, a soldier that was tortured and murdered during the Civil War, and his love, the actress Ellena Rose, who was a spy spilling Confederate secrets.

I really loved Cusick’s The Unseen series, because those were so chilling and we’re just as in the dark as the characters. Spirit Walk, however, lacks the suspense and the luster of The Unseen. A lot of it is slow, and much of the first book was just working on the school project Spirit Walk where Miranda and her friends put together a history of death and mayhem that has happened in buildings around town, and have a sort of ghost walk. If you’ve ever been to towns like Savannah, Georgia, these are fun little experiences to learn about the history of an old city.

In the second book of this two-parter tome, we find a whole new adventure with Miranda and her friends, especially Etienne. I usually don’t care much for minor characters, usually just one or two at most, but I loved all of Miranda’s friends. The typical Southern Belle, Ashley, whose voice is described as melted honey. Roo, the snarky goth chick whose entirely different from Ashley, but the two step-sisters are thicker than maple syrup. Parker, Ashley’s boyfriend and sarcastic rich boy. Gage, cute and shy, and his cousin Etienne, the drool worthy boy every YA book seems to have.

While it didn’t have the same zest as other books by Cusick, it had spirit all on it’s own.

Bright Young Things – Anna Godbersen

7719248Author: Anna Godbersen

Rating: 3/5

Purchase from

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Book Depository

SYNOPSIS

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

BYT revolves around the lives of three girls – Letty, Cordelia, and Astrid. Cordelia and Letty are two teenagers from Ohio desperate to make it in the big city. Letty wants to have her name in lights, and Cordelia just wants to find her long lost father, the bootlegger, Darius Grey. Quickly the two girls suffer pitfalls and go their own way. Letty rooms with a group of girls and gets herself a job with them at a club. Cordelia finds her father and befriends Astrid, who just happens to be dating Cordelia’s long-lost brother, Charlie.

From the first page we see Cordelia preparing to marry a bloke because she was caught having premarital sex with him in a very conservative household. From there, Cordelia and Letty pack their bags and rush to the station to board a train to New York, leaving their small-time lives behind in hopes the big apple has more to give them. However, that’s the extent of the excitement until the last fifty or so pages. The plot was dull in places but became engaging every once in a while, only to drop back into sluggishness.

The last few chapters of the book could’ve easily been wrapped up with everything nicely resolved in a big fat bow, but of course, this is a series, and must be dragged on forever. Which wouldn’t be bad – after all, I’ve been reading the numerous Morganville series for years already – but this book seemed like a filler beginning, and there was no plot, or climax, or nothing to drive it. There could have been countless drama to make things more enticing, but was left alone. While it’s a decent enough book to rate three stars, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

Apologies

First off, I’d like to say that I’m sorry for those who actually read my reviews and my babbling nonsense when it comes to writing those. I’ve been in sort of a reading slump these past couple of weeks, what with school troubles over my schedules and whatnot, as well as taking a mini-vacation last week for my birthday.

Not to mention, blogging on the iPad is a joke, and my books I’ve been yearning for the past week still hasn’t arrived. Thanks, Amazon.

Anywaaaaay, I’m sorry! Expect a review, hopefully sometime today. Ta-ta.

 

 

xx Lily

Cover Love – Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417I’ve been wanting to read this book for months. Isn’t the cover just divine? I’ve never considered myself to be much into alien stories, with the exception of Elizabeth Norris and Jennifer Armentrout’s series, and my obsession with the television show Roswell a few years (okay, so maybe I am). But this book sounds awesome and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Check out the blurb and add it to your to-read list on GoodReads!
Blurb
Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Ugh, this has been on my list for months. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out until February 4th, 2014.

About the Author

Melissa Landers

Melissa

I call myself a compulsive over-reader, because my appetite for books is insatiable. While I enjoy all genres of fiction, I’m always drawn to romantic plots. There’s no substitute for a happy ending, and let’s face it: I’m in love with love! 

A former military brat, I like to say I grew up everywhere. I  graduated from high school in Munich (Go Mustangs!) and went on to earn a BA in  English from Texas State University and a teaching license from East Carolina  University. I taught middle school for nine years before “retiring” to write  romance, and after residing in eleven different states, I finally abandoned my  nomadic lifestyle. 

Now I live in the heart of Ohio with my very patient  husband–who kindly tolerates my neglect while I’m penning a new book–and our  three spirited children, who aren’t so easily placated. 
 
My work is  represented by the fabulous Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency, and in  addition to YA, I write adult romance under the name Macy Beckett


The Lost Girl – Sangu Mandanna

13062488

Author: Sangu Mandanna

Rating: 5/5

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Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination – an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her ‘other’, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known – the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love – to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

Honestly, I have never heard of this book before I saw it in an Amazon recommendations and wanted it on a whim. I’m not even sure what I was expecting from this, but it ended up being more than I could’ve hoped. It is hard to believe that not many have read this, for it is amazing, especially for fans of Frankenstein. Even if there is little to no horror within these pages, it is a wonderful tale that makes you think.

The story revolves around an echo, a clone of you will, of a girl named Amarra. If anything were to ever happen to Amarra, the echo will be ready to take her place. Sure, Eva may look like Amarra, knows everything about her and is created of Amarra, but she is not Amarra.
She is herself. She is Eva. And she is real.

But Eva’s life isn’t her own. She can’t do anything her other doesn’t do and she has to do everything that her other wants to.

Echoes are illegial, especially in India where Amarra lives. People called hunters take it upon themselves to capture and kill echos, for most of the world believes these are abominations made by their creators, the Weavers, who play God and give life to bone and dust.

When Amarra dies in a car crash, Eva must take her place. She must fight to do what she wants to retain the life that is hers while doing her duty and giving hope to Amarra’s family that she is Amarra. A chain of events occurs when Amarra’s boyfriend figures out that Amarra died in that wreck, and it is Eva who takes her place. Eva is assaulted and beaten up, nearly murdered, and so on.

There’s many parallels to Frankenstein. The Weavers are the unloving creators, trying to play God by creating living beings from death. The echoes are stitched up and given life, like Frankenstein. But these echoes, especially Eva, are human. They live, they breathe, they have their own thoughts. They are real, despite made to be someones copy.

I loved that we see a rare side of fiction. It’s hard to imagine that the monster isn’t always some supernatural hell-bent creature or obvious evil villain. Sometimes, we are the monsters.

We stop looking for monsters under the bed when we realize they’re inside of us.- -Jordyn Berner

Once Eva is outed as an echo, even sweet Ray and Amarra’s friends turn against her and try to have her hurt, and even killed. It’s different to imagine good people doing evil, hateful things. I felt that Eva was more human than most of them.

Overall, I give this book five stars. I stayed up nearly all night reading and found it hard to put down until I finished it. Definitely a must-read for fans of light romance, Sci-Fi, and dystopian.

Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

11505797Author: Jamie McGuire

Rating: 2.5/5

Purchase from

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Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

First off, let me apologize profusely. I have been in such a reading slump lately and haven’t wished to read and therefore, haven’t updated in a bit. Sorry about that.

This story ended up being a disaster, and there was nothing beautiful about it.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Abby Abernathy is a compulsive liar who claims to have a million and one cardigans in her closet but I have only seen mention of one. Travis is this tattooed sweaty beast who beats up a guy and gets blood all over Abby’s cardigan.

Sounds like your typical fairytale, right?

The novel begins with Abby having been dragged by her best friend America to some sort of college fight club, where she witnesses this man-beast covered in tats beat his component to a pulp, splattering her one and only cardigan with blood. I honestly liked the first half, it was a different set up than most novels when it comes to introducing characters to what would later be the love interest.

This book could’ve been nice-ish if it had ended around the 170 page mark, but alas, we must delve into the ugly second half, where Travis is a grade-A douchenugget.

How attracted to a guy do you have to be to ignore the fact that while you’re sleeping in his bed (in the most innocent sense, Abs lost a bet), and love interest gets pissed at you and goes and gets drunk and makes you listen as he bangs two girls in the living room half the night before crawling into bed with you? I just did a whole body shudder, and not the good kind.

Maaaaaaaybe you can ignore that, because you aren’t together… but theeeen while you’re making out with a sweet, possible boyfriend in his car, Travis comes and nearly rips off the door in his Hulk Smash, and every. single. time. you so much as mention possible boyfriend, he gets super pissy and stuff.

And after the bet is over, the night before Abby goes back to her dorm, they have sex. She gives up her virginity in hopes that he will forget about her….

And then she takes off in the middle of the night because she can’t handle her sheer lack of brain cells. Of course, now Travis is obsessed in love with her. And what do guys do when they’re in love? Be all cutesy and stuff by throwing stereos and basically trashing his apartment before nearly punching the lights out of his cousin/housemate.

Ladies…


THIS. IS. NOT. OKAY.

And then Abby being so totes in love breaks up with the sweet nice guy to date this abusive neanderthal, and lets him go around punching people for bad-mouthing her or touching her and chastises him, but we know that isn’t going to work.

SO THEN, Travis turns into a really creepy stalker after Abby turns down his marriage proposal. If you love someone, you chain their ass to the radiator in the basement buy them flowers. Okay, so he didn’t chain her stupid butt to the radiator. It was actually the sink.

Kidding! He didn’t do that.. but I totally would have not been surprised if he had.

Travis was alright in the first half of the book, and he turned into a level five creep factor. Hasn’t Mark Wahlberg and Reese taught anyone a lesson with their 1996 film, Fear?

And Abby is not totally blameless. She’s kind of an idiot, getting together with Travis and leaving him over and over again with reasoning like “I love him, but… -insert extremely stupid reason-” when it should be, “He scares the absolute eff out of me and I fear for my safety.”

I hated her the most, because she put herself into a lot of these situations by:

  • Dating Parker and then sleeping in Travis’s bed for a month with the excuse being “a bet”
  • Encouraging Travis to beat shit out of guy in cafeteria. “Show him some manners,” and he beats a guy silly.

excreta, excreta…

Honestly, it scares the hell out of me that this book is praised, among others like Hopeless (Colleen Hoover) where a guy ignores your wishes and basically does whatever he wants. I feel like all the NA stuff I’ve read is chock full of these violent relationships that people love it and consider it romantic. I’m sure all the news stories where boyfriend murders girlfriend, those couples started out cute and sweet and then it turned into this book.

Travis even tells Abby that he’d end up in prison if he heard she slept with someone else. WARNING BELLS, heeelloooo. Why is it okay – because Travis is hot and “loves” her? 

Anddd then, they go get married at like 19 in Vegas, and he gets a tat with her name on it, whatever, but she gets one permanently and forever marking herself as “Mrs Maddox”, a wife and not an independent person.

These guys win the most dysfunctional couple award!

On another note, I can see why that butterfly on the cover is trapped in the jar, just like Abby and Travis are trapped with each other.

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

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Author: Stephanie Perkins

Rating: 4/5

Purchase from

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

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.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

Stephanie Perkins made a fan out of me with her debut novel, Anna and the French Kiss, which was amazing and one of my top reads for this year. However, Lola and the Boy Next Door falls short.

I liked Lola in the beginning, all colorful and quirky with her costumes and wigs and her love for organic food. However, she soon became whiny and moaned and groaned about Cricket, and I expected a big falling out between them, but she carried these hurt feelings and resentment for like two years because a boy rejected her. Not to mention, she had all these feelings when she already had a boyfriend. She led Cricket around, knowing how he felt about her now, for a majority of the book because she didn’t want to break up with her jerk boyfriend.

Cricket… I didn’t much care for him at first, but he grows on you. Of course, not in the same way Etienne grows on you. Plus, who names their kid after a bug? I live in the South where you’d imagine stuff like that happens, but I’ve never heard of such a weird name. Cricket, however, turned out exactly like you’d expect him… the boy next door.

The story itself, for me anyway, was just too drawn out in many places and could have been shorter in places. I found myself getting bored and scanning the page, which becomes a nasty habit when I’m bored.

I’m glad I powered to the ending, even though this is basically the same plot as Anna, this time being Lola has a significant other. Like most YA girls in romance novels, Lola realizes what a dunce she was being and unlike YA novels, instead of crying and whatnot, she tries to earn Cricket. I like that instead of the perfect male specimen and the average girl that most YA features, both of the characters are oddballs – Lola with her costumes, Cricket with his cogs and gadgets.

All in all, it was a decent read, and makes me want to read the third in the series.

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