Perkins avoids the second-novel curse with a delectable companion to her debut hit, Anna and the French Kiss (2010).
Seventeen-year-old budding costume designer Lola Nolan (who vows never to wear the same outfit twice) has finally recovered from two years of heartbreak at the hands of amateur inventor Cricket Graham Bell (Yes, “[t]he Bell family is THAT Bell family. As in telephone”), her first love and neighbor who moved away suddenly without a good-bye. Although her two gay dads are always looking for “[e]vidence of debauchery,” she’s found contentment with her 22-year-old sexy musician boyfriend, Max. She’s in for a jolt again, though, when Cricket and his family return to their San Francisco neighborhood so his twin sister, an Olympic skating hopeful, can train with a new coach. Fans of the first novel will be happy to know that Anna and her boyfriend have not only remained together but play a role in helping Lola confront her renewed feelings for the boy next door. Along with the possibility of romance, Lola also reconciles her lineage to a homeless, drug-addict mother, while Cricket deals with the revelation that his notorious ancestor stole his famous idea. Just as Perkins did with Paris, she embeds a tour of San Francisco culture throughout the snappy storyline.
And steamy kisses and tingly touches? There are still plenty of those, too.
Yay! And Publishers Weekly likes it, too!
Like its predecessor, Perkins’s companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss has snappy dialogue and sexy love interests, though high-school junior Lola is a much more unconventional heroine. With an array of wigs and costumes at her disposal (her outfits include an Egyptian-inspired gown made from a sheet and a cheetah-print number adorned with red ribbons and brooches to protest game-hunting), she has no interest in blending in. As Lola begins her junior year, her goals are to get her fathers to approve of her 22-year-old boyfriend, Max, and to create a masterpiece Marie Antoinette costume for the winter dance. But complications arrive when Cricket Bell moves back next door. Two years ago he broke her heart, and seeing him again shakes her faith in her relationship with Max. What’s a girl to do when two guys are into her? Lola indulges her inner angst plenty, but her self-deprecating sense of humor and Perkins’s skill at capturing Lola’s seesawing emotions make for a lively romance about a girl trying to understand who she is under all the gowns and glitter.
Hooray! *tosses glitter*
And don’t forget to check Stephanie’s News page on her website for info on her upcoming tour!