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Tag Archives: author: perkins

16101168Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 28, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Audio from library!
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. – Goodreads


I have never hidden my love of Stephanie Perkin’s books and when I was in the middle of a reading slump I knew exactly what would help me: Lola and the Boy Next Door. What was funny about this book was how much I forgot about Lola and of course that makes me laugh. How could I forget these characters?

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a story about, obviously, Lola and another character: San Francisco. Since I just visited San 11378508_972533509466107_1570592950_nFrancisco there were so many parts of this story that stuck out for me this round of reading it: The Japanese Tea Garden, Mission Delores Park, the city itself.

Lola’s life is going well. She lives with her dads, she’s enjoying her boyfriend, Max, her job and her coworker named Anna. What Lola does not expect is her old neighbors, the Bell’s, to come back into her life.

One thing I constantly love about Perkin’s books is the sneaks of other characters, from Anna to St. Clair they all came back and helped to answer those unanswered questions.

11357996_1424328397893465_1894887267_nCricket and Calliope are the twins from next door. They are close as twins generally are. What Calliope never liked was how Lola took Cricket from her. She’s protective of him and Calliope is very much the alpha twin and changed Lola’s life. It’s a painful scene and a painful part about Cricket being in Calliope’s shadow for multiple years.

Lola goes from spending most of her life loving Cricket, to loathing him, to seeing him as a friend. The begin to talk again, they begin to go back to that friendship as they had as children, but better. Stronger. But there is still Max, the annoying boyfriend. While Lola spent years trying to move on from Cricket, Cricket has not moved on from Lola. He still likes Lola. Nothing has changed for him. Everything has changed for Lola though. She’s grown up. She’s dating Max. She’s a stronger different Lola, but to Cricket, she’s exactly the same.

It’s also painful when the characters make poor life choices because I want to shake them, but that’s something powerful about YA books that I love. Stephanie Perkin’s books are like coming home for me. Throughout Anna, Lola, and Isla all three characters I related to and adored. A re-read of Lola was just what I needed.

Everyone does best of the best lists on blogs. It is one of my highlights of blogs because I love seeing what hit books I missed during the year. Or what books someone loved and I loathed (because this happens). In no particular order here are my favorite 10 books of the year:

  1. Anything by Oliver Jeffers. I read everything and anything by him and enjoyed it. While not everything was five 18298225stars, most was and if anything I would give it more than five stars if possible. From The Hueys to Once Upon the Alphabet you can not go wrong with Jeffers.
  2. On The Fence and Split Second by Kasie West. Although I am friends with West, this does not effect my  rating on her books. I love her books and the fact that On the Fence made me cry says something. Mostly that she’ll mock me about it. But really, West gets that part of being a teenager that no one talks about and isn’t always fair. But also the sweet moments, the little moments, the falling in love moments.
  3. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I’m about 99.9% sure that I have flailed about this book to everyone this year. It was sweet and it’s just a really nice love story. It’s heart breaking and real and I wanted to live in this novel. Even talking about it now, is making me want to re-read it.
  4. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. This is one of the few books I truly devoured this year. I loved the emphasis on friendship and making people go outside of what makes them comfortable. And yes, this is coming from me. A very predictable person. But I love Matson’s writing and that was affirmed in this book.
  5. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler. Do I really need to flail about this book? You all know how much I love it. Read it. Cry. Come talk to me so we can flail together.
  6. Landline by Rainbow Rowell While this was far more of an adult book and I didn’t relate to it on the level that I 16081202related to Fangirl I still loved and adored Landline. I get emotions reading Rowell’s writing that I don’t get from everyone else.
  7. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Flawed, real girls that you related to? Yes please. I adored this book. Hearts in my eyes.
  8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. We all waited so long for this book and it did not disappoint me. The way I related to Isla is just a tad embarrassing.
  9. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I’m still crying right? The tears have they stopped? Oh this book. It was so. so. so. good.

What have you read and loved this year?

20309175My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.– Goodreads


I’m not sure I can put my feelings about this book into words. It was beyond perfect. Legit hearts in my eyes and longing for Christmas/Holiday season and I read this in the middle of the Arizona summer when it was 110+ out. Every single one of the stories, in it’s own way was perfect and made me so happy.

Each story is a stand alone in it’s own little world, but in a short period of time authors that range from Rainbow Rowell to Holly Black to Laini Taylor put you in this small holiday world and remind you the about the hope and love that is involved with December.  December always has a magical feel about it, even though I live in Arizona where Christmas day tends to be 70 degrees, there is still a magical feel about the holiday season. All holidays too, not just Christmas! Some of the stories will break your heart, but also, at the same time, they will fill it up and remind you about hope and love. True love.

And that is coming from someone with a cold bitter black heart.

What Stephanie Perkins did was, in my opinion, genius. She grabbed friends of hers who are well known authors and they all wrote short stories. While not every short story worked for me, in my opinion, they all worked together even though they were all standalone. I know, you’re like “Ashley, that makes no sense.” But read the book and it will! And you too will have hearts in your eyes.

9627755Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.– Goodreads


There are a handful of things that make me feel at home, and one of them is Stephanie Perkin’s writing. That is what reading Isla and the Happily Ever After did for me, it was like coming home. I’ve never hidden the fact that Perkins’ has helped me through many rough times. From her books, to her honesty on her blog, to the fact every time I see her I freeze up and forget to tell her what I want, Isla was happiness I wasn’t aware I even needed.

Isla and the Happily Ever After is a companion novel set in the world of Perkins’ previous two novels, Anna and Isla. While one does not need to read the previous two to understand this standalone it does help because what Perkins’ does is beautifully intertwine multiple characters and bits that originally seems to have no true meaning. Everything has meaning, at least it did to me as a reader. I enjoyed being set back in the world of these characters, from New York City to Paris, if anything, I felt like I never let. Although the pacing seemed a bit off to me, in the sense time often seemed to zip by in a chapter, I never once wanted this book to stop. Or, dare I say it. I never wanted to throw it against the wall. We all know I have book feels I often am forced to deal with, even when I’m in denial.

Isla and Josh quickly, and understandably fall in love with each other quickly, but as most teens know happiness and forever don’t always go hand in hand. Things don’t work that easily, even when you’re in the city of lights.  It was a weird twist of events where the romantic couple come together quickly and then deal with the fallout. The dramatic, painful, oh so real fallout. The drama that Perkins’ created was heartbreaking and never artificial. While the beginning was hearts in the eyes happiness, I knew it would have to end at some point. There would have to be dramatics, if only because the saying lately is no one wants to read about happy couples (which is a lie. I would.) But that’s what Perkins’ does, she created a realistic portrayal of teenage romance. That romance where if you can’t be together the world is going to end a painful end. While Isla and Josh are happy they are forced to face issues they are trying their hardest to ignore, which means they cause an even bigger blow up. My heart went out to all the characters in this book, even though I stayed up late reading it when I had work the next morning.

While I didn’t want to leave these characters, and a few old friends who appeared, I understood at the end it was time to say good bye to them. It was their happily ever after for the moment, and it would all be okay for them (and for us.)

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

  1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I could not include this popular YA7624272 book that features Anna traveling from the United States to her new home of Paris (and her French kiss.)
  2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. This book series was the series of my middle school years, which included me moving myself to a new area. I related to the pants and of course the characters.
  3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Another series that I love and adore that happens to feature traveling. Riordan’s descriptions are extremely good at making me feel like I am there with the characters.
  4. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My childhood would not let me get away with not including this classic about prairies and childhood.
  5. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Say what you will about Riordan, but he does travel very well. In this book there is a point where they are in Phoenix, and of course as someone who currently lives in Phoenix I couldn’t help but laugh at the descriptions, but even with that being said: they are accurate.
  6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. I mean, there are travel words in the title, so that’s the obvious reason, but so much more happens in the book. September travels to Fairyland, then to different parts of Fairyland, then in a ship of her own thgmaking. These novels are amazing, by the way. The sequel is just as good.
  7. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. Marchetta is a great writer, and I am a huge fan of epic fantasy and walking stories. David Eddings was my intro to stories unfolding while characters walk from place to place, but Marchetta did it even better, in my opinion. This book is lovely and harsh and it’s one of my favorites ever.
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. From District 12 to the Capitol to the arena, this book has A TON of traveling, and some of it is really stark and crazy. Come for the dystopia, stay for the insane Capitol fashions.
  9. Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman. In this one, Cathy (and the rest of her ilk) travel between the mirror version of Bath and our world, called Mundanus. There is also the land of the Fae, which is beautiful and creepy, exactly how Fairyland should be.
  10. Greywalker by Kat Richardson. In this series, Harper can cross the threshold of death to converse with spirits. That is totally traveling! While she’s greywalking, she’s vulnerable, and the way Richardson describes the grey world of the afterlife is perfect. Really, really good urban fantasy.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10. (Tina would like to make it known that as Queen of Angst, this one was really hard.)

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

  1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Oh Stephanie Perkins you own my fluffy heart. Which I know198838 pains Tina because Tina doesn’t do fluff at all in comparison to me. But Stephanie is my go to person for happy fluffy thing. Plus she was super nice in person which made me love her books even more.
  2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. Another fluffy find. Evie is so much fun! And snarky! And a fan of pink (which okay, I’m not) but it still an over all good read.
  3. Chowder by Peter Brown. You all should be really happy that I didn’t list all of mine as picture books. Picture books hold a special place in my heart from childhood, to children books I devoured when I worked at a public library and I couldn’t put them down. This is a more recent picture book that is beyond perfect.
  4. Trial by Journal by Kate Klise. I know. I know, I’ve mentioned this book before, but I still love and adore it. It is one of my favorite middle grade books.
  5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Yes. The movie wasn’t remotely perfect. But to me, the book is. It’s so nice and happy and a classic retelling.
  6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. I loved this novel so much more than is characteristic of me, because Evie was badass and funny and the Fae were sufficiently creepy, and Raquel had all her different sighs. Loved this one.
  7. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. Snarky historical fiction following around a girl who repeatedly sabotages her father’s attempts to marry her off? Perfect! This one is middle-grade, and I loved it so when I was growing up.
  8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I hate fluff and romance for the sake of romance and a plot driven solely by romance, and I have my issues with Perkins’ novels, but they always make me feel good at the end.
  9. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I love Percy Jackson. I credit him with getting me into the YA of now. There are trials in the Percy Jackson novels, but the original five are more funny than anything else, and watching Percy stumble his way through being a child of Poseidon is always a fun experience for me.
  10. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I am a Sherlock Holmes fangirl. I love RDJ’s Sherlock, I love Laurie R. King’s Sherlock, and I love the original the most. The mysteries aren’t always tied up with a perfect bow, but they help me escape for awhile into a simpler time in England with Watson and the intrepid detective.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists.

  • Roarke. I can picture the face Tina will make when she reads that I listed the lead guy from the in Death series. But his fierce love of Eve (the woman who becomes his wife) and his willing to protect her no matter what makes it so easy to love him. Of course he gives Eve a hard time a lot, which also makes it easy to love him.
  • Calvin Morrisey. When I was younger, I read massive amounts of romance paperbacks. Then I found out about Jennifer Cruise and inhaled all of her books at once. Not that I still don’t read massive amounts of romance novels, because I do. Cal, although he has his faults. He loves Min with all of his11988046 life and the two of them play such a game of cat and mouse that by the end you just want to smish them together. Yes. Smish.
  • Trevor. From my review here, I made it quite clear I was team Trevor. There was a strong point in the novel that my heart turned and my love for Trevor only grew. While he is a sensitive soul he also has his moments of snark and slowly worked his way into my heart.
  • Vane Weston. It is not remotely a secret for anyone that I love and adore Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall But Vane? Oh Vane is my YA dream boy. He’s snarky, he takes no shit, and he tries his hardest. Plus he loves and adores his parents, which is pretty awesome.
  • James Compton. When you first meet James Compton you don’t love him. Hate comes to mind, but slowly he becomes more human and with him becoming more human he becomes someone that not only does Maisie fall in love with, but the reader, too. Plus he has a bit of snark. What can I say, I love snarky boys.
  • Ethan Wate. I’ve loved Ethan since the very first chapter in the very first book of the Caster Chronicles. He is who all other male narrators are compared to, and usually found wanting. I don’t think it has so much to do with looks, but I love a boy who reads, first of all. And a boy who doesn’t believe everything he’s told (I specifically remember his mocking of being taught about the War of Northern Aggression). I also really loved how he stuck by Lena, how he described her powers, and how just devoted to her he was. He was my first male narrator. You never forget your first!
  • Peeta Mellark. The Boy with the Bread. Steadfast, worthy, charismatic, horribly brainwashed and tortured. I loved Peeta from the beginning (even if I didn’t love him with Katniss right away), because he was never the showy bad boy, or the pretty one. He was just Peeta, the baker’s son with a good heart, the one who saved Katniss and Prim’s lives once. That he’d loved Katniss since she was a little girl only makes it better, really. And the movie has only made me love him more, because while I had my doubts at first, Josh Hutcherson is perfect for the role and is really good at looking vulnerable. I just want to hug him!
  • Christian Prescott. I started the Unearthly series a Tucker fangirl, but Hallowed made me change my mind hallowed(plus I’m not exactly into the whole cowboy/rodeo thing). I don’t know any other Christian fans, but I really loved the connection he had with Clara, and how he knew when not to say anything and just be there. People don’t like him for what he did in the cemetery with Clara, but honestly, that was the turning point for me. He knew what she needed. He was there for her.
  • Cricket Bell. I have a weird relationship with Stephanie Perkins’ novels. I’ll be the first to tell you that I really should not read contemporary romance; it only makes me rage. I raged during Anna and the French Kiss, and I raged even harder during Lola and the Boy Next Door. Just thinking about it makes me mad, remembering Lola and all her stupid moves. Cricket saved the book. He was so sweet and quiet, and he saved the day over and over. He does have an unfortunate name, yes, but when he tells Lola she looked incredible? I swooned. I maintain that he deserves better than what he got. *ducks*
  • Adrian Ivashkov. I’ll just come right out and say it: I prefer Adrian to Dimitri. Dimitri always seemed like such a cardboard cutout. When I read the Vampire Academy series, it was for Rose, not Dimitri, though I admit I liked their romance. For awhile. Until Blood Promise. Which ruined everything. I haven’t read Last Sacrifice, but I started Bloodlines, because I care more about what happens to Adrian and Sydney than Dimitri and Rose. Adrian is a classic sarcastic bad boy who’s hurting on the inside, but he doesn’t seem like a cliche to me. His circumstances make him more interesting than that.
  • Honorable Mention from Tina: Cas Lowood. Cas, who kept himself friends-less, who fell in love with a ghost, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to help her, who in the end had to let her go. Watching his evolution in Anna Dressed in Blood from outsider to close friend, and watching his love grow over the course of the novel, was so lovely. And what happened at the end of Girl of Nightmares was heartbreaking, but Cas pulled through and was mature enough to do what had to be done. And besides, Kendare Blake basically endorsed my crush on Twitter the other day.