Rom Com Horror Fusion: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

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Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Source: GoodReads

I applaud authors whenever they step out of their comfort zone, though I’m also a little skeptical.  Which is what describes my feelings when I saw that Stephanie Perkins was writing a teen slasher novel.

If you’re not familiar with Perkins’s work,  she has previously written three incredibly fluffy rom coms and has contribute two stories to two anthologies that focus on seasonal romance stories.  Needless to say, seeing that she was writing a horror driven story was a little unexpected.

Though, if you kept up on her blog you would know she had a penchant for such movies.

Anyway, overall after I finished There’s Someone Inside Your House, I was feeling a bit meh.    It wasn’t the worst book ever by any means, but I really think had it not had Perkins name attached it might’ve not been picked up.

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I’ll start with the good stuff.  This novel has a set of fairly diverse characters and they’re not token characters by any means.  The main character, for example, is biracial and her best friend is transgender.    They all have fully formed personalities and the interactions for the most part flow fairly naturally.

I will give Perkins this, her strength always seems to be her characterizations. Each of these characters for the most part seems fully formed.  Yes, I felt more disconnect than I did from her other books since the book was in third person, but I still felt like these characters could be real people.

I wasn’t such a fan the ship though.  I think, in part, because I felt it was rushed.  I guess this might’ve been in part because I’m so used to Perkins’s rom coms where the ship is the focus of the book.  But even then..the characters go from having an awkward conversation in a grocery store to having sex in a corn field ridiculously fast.

It just felt really fragmented if you want to be honest about it.

In general, the book felt very fractured.

I’ll be blunt, I’m not a huge fan of horror movies unless its a black comedy horror movie like Arachnophobia or Serial Mom, but in order for any of these movies to work the suspense has to be built up appropriately.   That’s why Hitchcock was as successful as he was with his classic suspense films.  Here, the suspense was minimum at best.  I mean, the killer was a random character that was revealed halfway through the book and I really didn’t care.

Honestly, this book should’ve gone in two ways.  It could’ve gone really dark or black comedy sort of dark, but it went neither here.  Instead, it was not that humorous and while the killer was creepy, he was fairly generic and the plot didn’t intrigue me enough.

And as for the deep dark secret that our heroine has….um, yeah.  I really had a hard time buying all that.  And her parents…again, yeah.  I had a hard time buying they were that heartless.  I guess it was possible, but yeah…it just was a bit eye roll worthy.

I really don’t know if I’d recommend this one.  Even if you are a die hard Stephanie Perkins fan, I don’t think you’re going to be a fan of this one.  It’s not bad, it’s just sort of blah.  Again, I think it’s one of those books that if it didn’t have a name attached to it, it would be thrown into the slush pile.  There’s nothing really original or intriguing about it, but was it terrible?

Hardly.

It’s just one of those books I know that I’m really not going to remember which is sad.  Again, I love when authors try new things, but this just does not seem to work for me which is sad, I’ve been waiting pretty much since 2014 for Perkins to release something else.

Hopefully next time, it will be a cute and fluffy rom com.

Overall Rating: A C.  The writing was halfway decent and it was readable, but it was also definitely forgettable.

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I Hate That Song: Summer Days and Summer Nights Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Source: GoodReads

Usually when I review anthologies I breakdown the stories for you guys and tell you what I liked and what I didn’t like of each one.

I didn’t like this collection period.  True there were stories that were more tolerable, but it’s not like any particularly stuck out for me as wonderful.  Even Stephanie Perkins (whose on my top ten list of authors) story I didn’t really feel and it was  a sequel to her story in My True Love Gave To Me.  I think a lot of my issues with this book was I thought this was going to be something other than what it was.

The collection I thought took itself way too seriously.  With a title like it had, I was expecting some of the stories to be light but most of them weren’t.  I mean, yeah, some of them dealt with love and relationship, but none of them handled it in the light cotton candy type of way I wanted save for a couple of stories.  A lot of the stories were more literary in nature and were way too serious.

Also, it bothered the hell out of me that a lot of these short stories were more than a little bit on the long side.  It might the Creative Writing undergrad major in me, but I kept workshopping these stories in my head and feeling that most (if not all) of them could be cut by several pages or expanded into either full novellas or novels.  As it stood a lot of them were an awkward amount of pages or the story was just nonsensical in general.

Again, I’m not going to do a point by point review like I normally would because I quite honestly didn’t  love any of these stories.  Even Stephanie Perkins story which I loed in the original collection seemed cumbersome at best.

The one thing I do have to give this collection is that its pretty diverse.  There were multiple QUILTBAG couples in the collection, and there were several characters that came from diverse backgrounds as well.  So, that was a plus.

However, overall, the collection didn’t work for me.  I know this is a relatively short review, but I don’t want to sound repetitive in my criticisms and quite frankly I could be pretty negative in reviewing most of these stories and I don’t want that since most of my criticisms involve the subject matter that I had previously discussed.

If you like stories that try to be literary but aren’t quite reach the caliber needed to be assigned by your grumpy Creative Writing TA, this might be the collection for you.  As for me, I just rolled my eyes at its wannabe pretentiousness and found myself perpetually bored.

Overall Rating: A C.  It might not be for me, but some people might like it.

 

There’s No Partridges and Pear Trees: My True Love Gave to Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins

 

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

Source: GoodReads

This collection seemed to be written for me. If you you known me IRL or pay attention to my Twitter during the holiday season, you’ll see that I watch a lot of holiday specials.  And since I already have a penchant for bad Lifetime movies…well….this book seemed made for me.  But was it?

For this review, what I’m going to do is talk about the stories individually and then in the end wrap up my feelings on the entire collection.

A. The Stories:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell:

I never fully got on the Rowell bandwagon, but I’ll admit this one was a pretty good story.  Though, I didn’t entirely buy the relationship at the end of this one, which made it lose points.

I’m sorry, there’s just something off about these two getting together as fast as they did-even though it wasn’t that technically fast, they knew each other for years.  But the way he acts at the New Year’s Party, I’m just wondering if he was high or something.  It just seemed off.

Other than that though, I liked what Rowell did with the pacing.  The flashbacks back and forth were a good technique to use.  And if the male lead wouldn’t have come off as drunk or high or there would’ve been a little bit more digging, I could’ve really loved this one.  To be fair though, it’s a short story.  Very, very, short.  So, I don’t know how much she could’ve done.

I think fans of her stuff will like this one, but for me it’s just good not great.

A solid B.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link:

I didn’t totally hate this one.

That doesn’t mean, I’m a fan.  I like that it tried to be different by having an almost paranormal element to it, but it just seemed too loose to me and never fully explained.

And I think Link wanted it to be this way.  After all, having an element fantasy to it is a common element to any good Christmas story-I’m looking at you The Nutcracker, but this one just seemed a little too rushed to it-and again the story goes through years.

I also thought there was just too much information in this one that we never got answers too.  So, the main character’s mother is in jail but we never know the exact reason why.  And then don’t even get me started on the ending.

I think this one I’m probably going to give a slightly below average rating too.  It wasn’t the worst but it just really wasn’t well fleshed out and paced at all.

C-

The Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena

Well, I’ve only read a thousand stories like this before in Intro to Creative Writing class and a anyone who’s trying to pretend to be John Green or John Green-ish.

I just couldn’t like it.

And it had a cat in it.

Can you say cat party?

But the narrator was just sooo whiney.  And I really didn’t get or want to get him.  Seriously, oh boo hoo I’m out of food but a person asks me out for dinner and I’m just too scared to eat with them.  Boo hoo I’m starving.

Obviously, it got annoying fast.

I’m just glad the love interest wasn’t a totally MPDG.  I think that would’ve been the final nail in the coffin.  But man, she got close to being one.

If it was a full blown novel….

Probably one of my least favorites that I finished: D

Polaris Is Where You’ll find Me by Jenny Han:

Odd.

That’s what this one was.

It was like it was trying to be an Elf knock off that was made into a Disney Channel movie that was trying to do a YA romance but then realize its page count ended so it ended.

To be fair to it, I really think it’s hard for anyone to take your story seriously when it takes place in the North Pole.  Unless it involves Buddy the Elf.  And that’s because his dads were both into publishing.

Overall Rating: C as in cliche.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins:

Okay, I”m a big Perkins fan, so it’s no surprise that I loved this.  I also have to give Perkins credit for trying something new (third person).

A lot is packed in this small story and I feel for the most part, the characters and the pacing were well done.  She keeps it simple, though we still get some big melodrama interjected in there for good measure.

I also like how real this one feels. Oh, sure there are some it’s so fiction roll your eyes worthy moments, but the chemistry was palpable and I could totally see someone having these characters problems.

Overall Rating: A-

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan:

About the only positive thing I can say about this one is that it features a LGBT couple and there’s not a big deal made out of it.  It’s viewed as completely normal.

Bravo, story.

Other than that though…another frosh creative writing assignment that reminds me why I had to drink lots of coffee during undergrad when I had to workshop my peer groups stories.

This one was just a snooze fest with characters that were merely cliches.

I wish I would’ve seen more of the main character’s relationship with his boyfriend, but the boyfriend barely even makes an appearance throughout the story (hence, why I forgot his name).

Overall Rating: C (or if I could ZZZZZ because just a snooze fest).

Krampuslauf by Holly Black:

I read like three pages then DNF’s.  Something about Holly Black’s short stories and me don’t click.  Maybe I should give her longer stuff and chance and then maybe I can tolerate this.  Maybe if you’re a Holly Black fan you’ll like this one better than me.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman:

I really loved this one.  And now I’m thinking about checking out Forman’s other books, even though I’m still weary since some of them sound so depressing.

Both of the leads are interesting and diverse-one is Jewish the other is African American.  That in itself gives this story a star because it’s very rare we see one non-WASP lead let alone two.

The chemistry also works perfectly, despite the fact that this is a short story.  I love how much is woven in about the two characters

And did I mention.

Pie.

Yes, pie is featured in this story.

And yet, there’s still that holiday cheer feeling in the air too.

However, sometimes I felt like I was being a little too manipulated with this one.  However, that’s how I feel after many of a holiday specials so…

Overall Rating: A-

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntrie

Another DNF.

It read like another frosh story.  And I really couldn’t get in to it.  I think I read half before I started skimming.  Seriously, I like having a male lead, but they always met that mystical girl that changes everything (to be fair you can make the same assessment with female YA protagonists-oooh, good future editorial topic).

It probably also didn’t help this story that I was able to guess the ending, and I merely skipped half of it and read the last paragraph.

And I was right.

And I’m not even that psychic.  Or really remotely psychic because if I was, I’d so be joining the Justice League or the Avengers.  Probably the Avengers, only because I think their team is cooler. Though the Justice League has Batman and Wonder Woman.  Decisions, decisions.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White:

Well, I’ll be damned.  White didn’t annoy me (again).

This is twice in what the last two things I’ve read by her.

While there are parts of this one that definitely needed fleshing out, it wasn’t bad.  It was dare I say it, even cute.

That being said, there were some things that annoyed me about it.  At times I wondered if this one was suppose to have some sort of magic realism to it..but I just sort of let it go.

I really viewed this story like a Lifetime Christmas movie.  Cute enough, but it’s not memorable.

Overall Rating: B

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter:

Ugh….

For someone who did so much research on her spy novels, you’d think she know that airport security is a little more strenuous than that.  Or for that matter, no one even in middle of nowheresville America is that stupid.

And don’t even get me started on the improbability of that ending.  Let’s just say remember my review of Cinder and Ella and my rant about how non-lawyers really shouldn’t write about legal issues when they don’t have an f-ing clue what they’re talking about.

Yeah.


Fail story.  Yeah, you failed.

Overall Rating: F

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Lani Taylor:

Couldn’t really get into this one.  Nothing against Taylor, but I wasn’t expecting so much fantasy in this story collection.  That and my eyes were starting to play weird tricks on me-I had the eyes dilated via the ophthalmologist today. It just seemed too complicated for me in short story mode anyway.  Maybe one day I’ll get back to it but now…I’m sure you Taylor lovers will probably love it.

B. Overall Opinion 

Overall, this collection was pretty mixed.  There were lots of them that were fantastic and then there were lots that were meh.

I bought it only because there were lots of authors whose stuff I enjoyed and I do like good holiday theme stories.  I think a lot of people will like it.  But it’s really not a much read.

Overall Grade: B- (which is slightly above average for me guys).

I Will Never Look at Rabbits In the Same Way: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Source: GoodReads

 

Stephanie Perkins really knows how to make readers swoon. Even if you don’t like her books, you have to admit there are moments in them that just make you want to swoon.  They also make you look at the world a different way.

Like, I can no longer look at rabbits without flinching after reading Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Mad, I tell you. Perkins made my version of rabbits dark and twisted and horrifying.

Before I start this review, I’ll let you know that I was so hyped up about this book that I read it within three hours (total time minus all the breaks I had take because of pesky things like work, lunch, and sleep).  The thing is, after I finished it I sort of had a tug a war with myself.  While I did swoon over Josh, loved the romantic scenes between him and Isla, and liked the St. Clair and Anna cameos, Isla was probably my least favorite in the series.  Which isn’t necessary a bad thing since I enjoyed all these books, but after reading Anna and Lola it was a bit of a downer.

I think what bothered me the most about Isla was the pacing.  Josh and Isla fall in love incredibly fast and while Stephanie does this to  get to the meat of the story, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would’ve been a better story if it would’ve been about Josh and Rashmi so that I wouldn’t be forced to sort of get over the insta love. And I wouldn’t have horrifying dreams about rabbits.

I swear they’re going to kill me.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think Isla and Josh were cute together.  They had their moments.  The Barcelona scenes were wonderful and swoony, but it was hard for me to root for them when I felt that their relationship was at times superficial.

What I did like was the approach that Stephanie took with this story.  I liked that we saw the pitfalls that can occur in a relationship.  Those scenes were well done.  I liked how Isla was a little bit unsure of herself and a bit of a blank slate. I know a lot of high school seniors who were just like her and that felt right.

I did get annoyed with Isla at times.  I think my annoyances with her, go back to my annoyances with Anna.  She’s a teenager and she’s going to be annoying at times.  But the whole rabbit thing.

Really rabbits.

I loved bunnies and you sort of ruined that for Isla.

So, thank you.

Not.

As for Josh, I don’t know.  There were moments I was swooning over him but compared to St. Clair and Cricket, I just didn’t really didn’t get as much a sense of self for him. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like him though.  I just think because he and Isla go hot and heavy so fast I didn’ t long for him as much as I did for the other two boys. But did I swoon for him…well, yes.  But just a little compared to well the other two.

What I did like about this book was that it’s very obvious that the author took chances.  And does it work?

For the most part yes.  While there are definite flaws in this novel, it was still highly enjoyable.  Anyone who enjoyed the other two books in this feel good melt in your heart series, will enjoy this one.  But is it the best…no.

Overall Rating: B.  A nice send off, but the other two books kick its ass hands down.

A Revisit: What Would Lola Wear?

 

When I reread Lola and the Boy Next Door for the Isla Is Coming Readalong that is going on right now, I couldn’t help but be in awe with the amazing descriptions Stephanie Perkins used to describe her main characters fashion sense.  So for this revisit post I decided to fuse it with an old feature of mine called What Would _____ Wear and make some Polyvore sets for Lola.  Here’s the thing though, a lot of Lola couture is hard to find.  So, I’ve had to modify some of the outfits.  Hopefully, I still captured the spirit of these looks.

 

 

Meet Lola

 

Meet Lola by howdyal featuring a round top
 “I’m wearing a tank top. I also got on my giant white Jackie O sunglasses, a long brunette wig with emerald tips, and ballet slippers. Real ballet slippers, not the flats that only look like ballet slippers.” (Perkins, 8-9)
My Interpretation: Polyvore doesn’t have any red Chinese style pajamas.  Believed me, I looked.  In fact, finding pajama bottoms that didn’t look like they were fit for a camping trip or the seedy side of town was quite difficult, but I did eventually manage to find a fairly normal looking pair.  The black ballet flats are unfortunately flats.  But I like them enough where I think they’d be a decent substitute.  Since Stephanie didn’t have a particular description with the tank top, I played around with lots of different tanks before settling on this one.  Surprisingly enough, the easiest thing to find was the glasses.
Strawberry Lola

 

“Today I’m a strawberry. A sweet red dress from the fifties, a long necklace of tiny black beads, and a dark green wig cut into a severe Louise Brooks bob.” (Perkins 44).
My interpretation:  This set was actually fairly easy to put together.  The red dress, unfortunately, is not vintage.  I went for a modern dress with a vintage-y feel from Modcloth.  The shoes were added by yours truly since I just couldn’t see Lola going barefoot.  I almost went for a pair of white shoes until I spotted these strappy sandals.  Something about them just seemed so happy to me.  And let’s face it strawberries are a happy fruit.  Or least that’s the impression I have always gotten from that cartoon.
Lola's Sparkly Look

 

 “I placed a rhinestone barrette in my pale pink wig. I’m also wearing a sequined prom gown that I’ve altered into a minidress, a jean jacket covered with David Bowie pins, and glittery false eyelashes.” (83)
My Interpretation: This was probably one of my favorite looks to put together.  It was just so much fun.  I will admit though, I couldn’t find the eyelashes.  So I substituted them with some earrings.  As for the rest of the outfit it’s pretty much standard to the Stephanie’s description ( I hope).  Ironically, the wig is a My Little Pony wig.  Sort of fitting, given the attitude of the outfit.
Lola's Picnic Date

 

I settle on a similarly checked red-and-white halter dress, which I made form an actual picnic blanket from last Fourth of July. I add bright red lipstick and tiny ant-shaped earrings for theme, and my big black platform boots because walking will be involved.” (Perkins 127).
My Interpretation: I had to include the picnic look because that scene was one of my favorites in the book.  There was a lot of leeway with this outfit though.  For one thing, Polyvore doesn’t have dresses made from actual Picnic blankets and I couldn’t find a red and white dress that I liked with a halter type of neckline.  The dress I did end up choosing, while not being an exact match, had the romantic picnic type feel I wanted for the look.  The thing I’m really happy about is the earrings.  Yes, I was able to find actual ant earrings.  Grant it, they were six hundred bucks but still….ant earrings.
Lola as Lindsey

 

 “Per annual tradition, I’m wearing jeans, a nice blouse, a black wig with straight bangs, and red sneakers.” (Perkins, 210)
My Interpretation:  Lindsey is Lola’s best friend who has a Nancy Drew obsession and is described as being sort of plain.  While I tried to keep true to the Lindsey character in this look, I also thought that there’d be a little Lola peaking out.  Which is why I decided that rather than having a plain button up blouse, I’d use one with a little embroidery that would sort of give it a Lola vibe.
Lola Has Her Cake and Eats It Too

 

 “It’s not my costume, which would make Marie Antoinette proud. The pale blue gown is girly and outrageous and gigantic. There are skirts and overskirts, ribbons and trim, beads and lace. The bodice is also lovely, and the stays fit snugly underneath, giving me a flattering figure-the correct body parts are either more slender or more round. My neck is draped in a crystalline necklace like diamonds, and my ears in shimmery earrings like chandeliers. I sparkle with reflected light.”(Perkins, 319).
My Interpretation: I was actually really scared about this look.  Surprisingly though, it was the easiest one to put together. The gods of Polyvore really were helping me out on this one.  I did make one alteration to the described look.  The cake necklace.  Yeah, I sort of couldn’t help but add it when I saw it. And I’m sure Lola would too.

Anna and the French Kiss: Stephanie Perkins

The cover may raise eyebrows at the bookstore and at work, but believe me it’s worth it.

Stephanie Perkins has to be one of my favorite YA authors.  I think it’s because her plot concepts are so simple, but sometimes simple can be beautiful and that’s the case with her books..

General Summary:  Anna is sent to France by her egotistical novelist father for her senior year.  Instant bummer, right?

Um, no.  Not for me at least because I would love to go to France.  But Anna is different than me and I sort of understand why she would be a little pissed about transferring her senior year.  Luckily she get’s over it quickly when she meets some cool friends at her French boarding school.  Including St. Clair, who she knows she shouldn’t have feelings for but does anyway.

Review: I loved this  book.  I can’t tell you how many ways I loved this book.  Let’s talk about Anna she has a pleasant voice that makes the book very easy to read.  I also loved the way there was subtle Nicholas Sparks bashing throughout the story.  Okay, so I loved The Notebook, but after awhile his books grow repetitive and depressive just like Anna’s dad’s work .  I also loved how the relationship between Anna and St. Clair developed throughout the novel.  In a genre full of insta love this was refreshing.  I also liked how St. Clair wasn’t Prince Charming.  Sure, he was romantic and swoon worthy, but her messed up which made him seem real.  Same goes with Anna too.

Best Feature: Paris.  If you don’t love Paris already this book will make you love the city of lights.  Perkins does an excellent job of setting the atmosphere.  And I notice this in her other novel,Lola and the Boy Next Door which took place in San Francisco.  Seriously, city tourism offices should beg Stephanie to write books set in their city.  She made me love Paris so much.

Worst Feature: The cover design.  Okay, so the girlish part of me loves these covers and titles of these books.  But I have to admit it’s sort of embarrassing carrying these books around with me at the student lounge at my law school.  Everyone already sort of thinks of me as the Elle Woods type because of my pink laptop and I think these books probably enhance this stereotype.

.  

Plus the cover concept/titles sort of remind me of these books:

 

Sad but True: In high school I collected Avon True Romance books.  And I’ve thought about doing a feature on them.  Am highly tempted, but can I bear bringing these books with me to school…..

 

Appropriateness: A few bits of cussing here and there.  There is a bit of fighting.  And some adult discussions.   However, nothing too inappropriate here.  I would say that compared to a lot of things I’ve read lately this book is relatively mild when it comes to inappropriateness.

Blockbuster Worthy: Oh God yes.  I would love to see this one on the big screen and unlike a lot of YA productions Anna and the French Kiss could be made on a relatively low budget since it doesn’t involve any werewolves, vampires, or other supernatural element that would cause Hollywood to use special effects.  Though it would definitely call for location shoots in Paris.

Anna: God, I wish Amber Tambyln was about ten years younger.  She is exactly how I imagine Anna looking.

St. Clair: He’s getting to be a pretty common choice, but I think Freddie Stroma would be perfect for the role of St. Clair.  Though he is not as short as St. Clair I think his dapper St. Clair like looks can make up for it.

Overall Rating: Nine out of ten croissants

Lola and the Boy Next Door: Stephanie Perkins

Warning: the cover of this book sort of gives me the creeps.    Plus, you know when everyone sees you reading their book they’re going to be making nasty remarks about you behind your back about how you like romance novels (not that that’s a bad thing, I love romance novels, but to the general population it is).  Hideous cover aside, you should absolutely run to the nearest book store and buy this book now.

 Summary: Lola is a kooky aspring costume designer who has an awesome life in San Francisco with her dads, best friend, and boyfriend.  Everything is going okay until those notorious Bell twins decide to move back into town.  And one of those Bell twins happens to be Cricket Bell, a boy who broke Lola’s heart years earlier.  Now Lola has to deal with some major boy drama since she is finding herself still attractive to Cricket, despite the fact that she is in a relationship with her hot rocker boyfriend, Max.

Review: If I was to use one world to describe this book is sweet.  There is an enduring quality about Perkins’ writing that I just love.  I loved Lola, despite the fact that she is a bit of a flake.  I loved Cricket he is awesome with his nerdy hotness and Alexander Graham Bell anxieties.   I loved everything about this book.  Okay, specifically I think what I involved the most about Lola and the Boy Next Door is that while it might appear to be a cute love story, there is actually some depth and emotion to the book.  Case in point, Lola’s issues with her biological mother.  I liked how reality folded into what otherwise would’ve been a book that was full of pure sugar.  I also loved the characters.  Each character was multi-dimensional, including the minor characters .  In all, this book was a very relatable which I enjoyed especially after reading a hard driven fantasy novel.

Best Feature: Reality.  I loved how realistic this book was.    Yes, there was a romantic whimsy element about this novel that I loved, but in all the book was very realistic.  Although, you’d think from reading the summary that Lola was going to be an outrageous, she turned out to be your pretty average teenage girl who dressed a bit not so average.

Worst Feature: The marketing for this book.  Honestly, the marketing for this book almost turned me off of it entirely.  If the bad cover wasn’t horrible enough, the title was also a little squeamish as well.  While I have read my fair share of romance novels, this book isn’t a bodice ripper and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Blockbuster Worthy: I think so.  This would make a cute little movie.  A chick flick for sure, but an enjoyable one.  Here’s who I’d cast.

Lola: I kept picturing Idina Menzel as Lola’s mom,  so I’m going to give her doppelganger, Lea Michele, the role of our heroine.

Cricket: Penn Badgley.  I know that Cricket is suppose to have blue eyes, but I thin Penn has the sort of vibe you’d expect to see with Cricket-laid back- and I think he can have chemistry with quirky heroines quite easily.

Overall Rating: Eight out of ten stars.