Monday, September 8, 2014

Stephanie Perkins Mini-Book Review

Late last week I wrote about my excitement over Stephanie Perkins coming to my local bookshop.  She'll be doing a book signing there this Thursday, and I was really trying to finish her last book Isla and the Happily Ever After before then. Well I did it, mostly because of my long train ride, but also because I could not put that book down! So I decided to do an abbreviated version of the reviews I usually write for Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla.

Lola And The Boy Next Door

When I was perusing the reviews on goodreads, I noticed a lot of people really did not like Lola's story. I am not one of those people. It seems like everyone fawns over the first novel Anna and the French Kiss, but I just thought it was okay. Still liked it, but not as great as everyone makes it out to be. Now the second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, I really liked. I liked the inclusion of LGBTQ characters in Lola's Dads. I don't think I've actually read a book with gay parents, and I really liked that juxtaposition.

Lola was so over the top with the crazy outfits, but I think Perkins made her unique quirk more believable than Anna's love of film, because Lola was hardcore about her costumes and made them herself so she really needed to know what she was talking about. Lola's love of costumes wasn't an afterthought but rather encompassed the whole novel, and I think that was where Perkins was able to flesh out her characters better.

The one thing that I didn't like about this novel, was that like Anna's story there was that infidelity issue. I did like that this time it was the girl that was in the relationship, and that she only really emotionally cheated on her scummy boyfriend. I just really am not a fan of toeing that line of morality, so it's the one thing I would really change about the novel.

Isla and The Happily Ever After
Okay, again it seems like a lot of people don't like this book either, and it doesn't make sense to me! I think Perkins books got better each time, and I felt like I related to Lola and Isla so much better than Anna. Plus no questionable morality in this one, yay! Isla's story was a bit different because instead of the whole girl meets boy, they fall in love, the end, we get the girl meets boy they fall in love but then everything goes wrong. I liked this because it made Isla and Josh's relationship seem so real. They are hot and heavy and seem to more too fast, but like in reality it bites them in the ass. I really liked that. Relationships are hard, and sometimes things fall apart for the dumbest reasons.

Isla wasn't a perfect story though. Isla starts to get jealous of Josh's ex later in the story and starts to do really stupid shit. I wanted to shake her! Again, I think that was how Perkins made this story more real than the others. Don't worry though, this is a love story, not a break up story! I don't want to spoil it, so you'll have to read it for yourself!

I still can't decide if Lola and the Boy Next Door or Isla and the Happily Ever After is my favorite. I could not put either book down and I really liked both of them better than her debut novel. I'm not sure if this in the end of Perkins companion series or not. I would love to see her go into the New Adult genre and write Rashmi's story at Brown or even Meredith's story in Rome. Either way I'm interested to see what Perkins does next, and I'm really excited to meet her on Thursday!

Happy Reads, Everyone!