Release Date: September 29, 2011
Keywords: love, friendship, growing up
Format Read: hardcover (gifted!)
Other books reviewed: Anna and the French Kiss
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So I literally just sped through Isla in one sitting and realized I never reviewed Lola when I finished it a couple of weeks ago. And I loved it too much not to review it. I realize at this point, most people will either have read the series, know they're going to read it and are starting with Anna, or hated Anna and won't continue.
And I'm going to say right now, Anna is my least favorite of the series.
Lola and her family were so much more developed and so much more real to me. I mean, I love the setting of the American school in Paris, and I love the study abroad aspect. But I related so much more to Lola, even with the costumes. She's urban, she has a job, she deals with heartbreak and friendship issues and strict parents unlike the other characters. I just felt like she was so much more real. And her family? I was in love. I love that Perkins manages to always keep characters fresh and interesting and includes all kinds of different people (she has two dads). It makes me so happy because that's what the world is like.
I also want to talk about Cricket. While I'm not a fan of the tall and lanky look, I absolutely adored him. More than St. Clair. Who I never really loved in the first place (prepares for backlash). I had some issues with him (like he didn't break up with Ellie soon enough, and he was flaky, and indecisive). I mean, I still loved him. But it wasn't the same as Cricket. He was dynamic and interested in other people (St. Clair only seemed to worry about Anna, but Cricket was good to his sister, helped out Lola's dads with pies, and genuinely wanted to be around people). I loved that he was an inventor. That part of his character was so wonderful to read about.
The minor hiccup I had was the beginning. When Lola finds out they're moving back to the house. I was very confused why she had always been kind of expecting this when she'd been living next to strangers for years. Were they subletting? Was she aware they'd move back? I wanted just a teeeeeny bit more on how this worked because it seemed to move too fast and just be a plot-mover moreso than an actual thing that happened in the world.
Other than that, the story moved very well, and the characters developed in such great ways. I could not wait to see more of them (which I did!), and Cricket totally moved up the radar for me.