I enjoyed its prequel (of sorts), the very sweet Anna and the French Kiss, last year. I loved Stephanie Perkins’ story (It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown) in the short story compilation, My True Love Gave to Me.
And so I was excited to finally get this from the library, after waiting what seemed like forever.
But I was disappointed. This book just wasn’t as fun or cute, or sadly, even as likable.
Lola is a 17-year old high school student in San Francisco. But that’s not all. She has two dads! She has a super-cute, punk rock boyfriend! She wears totally wacky costumes every day! She’s so different! Lola is special!
But I found that the story incessantly telling me just how different and special Lola was made me really dislike her. I hated pretty much everything about Lola and her boyfriend, who was 23 years old. I simply don’t accept that her overbearing, overprotective dads would EVER let that happen. No matter how many brunches Max came to, and no matter how many times Lola would check in during her date.
No. Just no.
I also hated every single long and tedious description of Lola’s wardrobe. I get that she has style and a vision. But Lola was just ridiculous. Wigs and glitter and togas and boots. How did she afford it all with a simple movie theater job? And where did she put it all? And of course, in the end we find out that the costumes are the real Lola, and that she isn’t trying to hide behind them. Blech.
But it wasn’t all bad.
I liked the relationship with her dads, and the turmoil caused by her mom.
I liked the idea of Cricket (THE BOY NEXT DOOR, DUH), but wasn’t fully invested in their relationship. When we first find out about neighbor Cricket (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS NAME), who’s been gone for two years, he’s done something so very bad, so absolutely egregious, and so hurtful to Lola, that she drops a stack of dishes when she finds out he’s back at home. I expected something far, far worse to have been his crime. Yes, Cricket and his sister were kind of jerks to Lola, but come on. Get. Over. It.
Anna and St. Clair show up in supporting roles here, and I honestly had no real opinion about them. Except that Lola was not a very good friend to them, and I didn’t really get why they put up with her.
Yes, there is a third book. And yes, I’ll probably read it. But I don’t have very high hopes.