Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins This was literally me the entire time while reading this:

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People were staring...most likely worried about my mental health.

Stephanie Perkins does what so many young adult authors try to do, she captures first love and every feeling that goes along with it. I fell in love with Perkins writing while reading Anna and the French Kiss and her follow up did not disappoint. While Anna focused on meeting your true love when you least expected it, Lola focused on the what if you've known your true love all along.

Lola is a 17-year old girl, in a relationship with an older guy who her parents (2 gay dads) don't approve of. Lola loves fashion and designing her own clothes and she wants to be an individual. She makes mistakes and at times you want to smack her upside the head, but I think that made her more realistic. She was over the top at times, but then you turn the page and see vulnerability.

At a recent signing, Perkins said that all the boys in her book are based off boys she knows in real life. Well let me just say, I want to know the boys in her life. Because Cricket, omg Cricket. Here is a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve - even if he doesn't realize it. He was so adorable with his verbal word vomit and his nerdy tendencies and his ability to just say whatever whenever. Case in point:

"Fraternal or identical?"
"You'd be surprised how many people ask," Cricket says.
"What do you tell them?" Lindsey asks.
"That I have a penis."


How could you not love him?

While this book does not surpass Anna for me (because I don't think anything can), I loved it. I loved the feeling it gave me as I read it and I am excited for the next installment coming next year. St. Clair will always have my heart, but you, Cricket Bell, have certainly staked your own claim.