ISBN-13: 9780142422014
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: Paperback, 368 pgs
Source: Jennifer (Thanks, Sis!) 

First love is usually unforgettable; after all it brings up emotions that one may never have felt before. Some people are lucky to find their true love and continue to stay in love till they grow old and die, while others are not that lucky. For some other people, they find second chances in their first love, and this story is about that. 

Seventeen-year-old Lola Nolan lives with her two fathers. Well to be precise, Lola doesn't know who her biological father is. Lola's mother's brother, Nathan, agrees to take care of Lola. Andy, who is Nathan's boyfriend, naturally treats Lola as his daughter as they all live under the same roof. 

Across their house is the Bell family. Their houses are built so near to each other that Lola could practically have conversations with them through her bedroom window. She has a fondness for Cricket Bell like forever, but he broke her heart two years ago. It does help her a bit after the Bell family move away due to Cricket's twin sister busy schedule for her figure skating practice, and Lola has find romance with Max, a rock band member who is five years her senior. 

Lola thinks her life is happy and perfect, until the Bell family move back to their house next door. Seeing Cricket once again sent ripples through Lola's heart, yet she isn't sure how she feels towards Cricket as she feels they are more than just friends, though their past left them equally awkward. Despite the awkwardness, they remain friendly towards each other even though Cricket's twin sister and Max are jealous of their reacquainted friendship. 

Perhaps it is fate, or perhaps they are just meant for each other, Lola and Cricket find themselves do have feelings for each other despite what happened two years ago. However, both of them are afraid of showing their true feelings towards each other. But of course nature has its own arrangement and Lola will learn that besides from casting her insecurities aside, she should listen to her heart and gives life a second chance, be it her relationship with Cricket or her estranged mother. 

I loved Stephanie Perkins' first novel, Anna and the French Kiss, but I find this second novel even better. The author has perfectly captured Lola's voice and the best of all is, through Lola's various encounters she gives readers the inspirations about finding courage and giving things a second chance, no matter how hard or impossible they may sound. 

I also enjoyed reading the secondary characters, e.g. Lola's best friend, Lindsey, and Cricket's twin sister. I find their characterizations to be well developed and I felt myself caring for them even though this story is about Lola and Cricket. In a nutshell, this is a coming-of-age story and a sweet story about rekindled love. I trust many readers will love Lola and Cricket (especially Cricket because he was such a talented and nice young man) because I do! 

7 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Okay, I'll give it a try! I've been feeling like reading something cheerful and light for a while, but I haven't been able to pick something out. You make this sound delightful.

  2. Melody Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this book, Jenny! I hope you'll like it as much as I did! :)

  3. I can see why you enjoyed this story so much, Melody. It sounds like a good one. I like it when a character really grows on me and I find myself wanting only the best for them.

  4. Iliana Says:

    I haven't been reading much YA lately but this does sound like a good story. One of those that reminds you of your first crush! :)

    Great review, Melody!

  5. Melody Says:

    Yes indeed, Wendy! Characterizations are as important as the plot itself; in fact there were times I still read despite the plot didn't engage me much as I was too fascinated with the characters itself. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    It sure is, Iliana! :)
    I also like reading stories about couples who were best friends first before they fell in love with each other. :)

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I've read both the books but have reviewed only Lola and the boy next door. I liked this one more too :)

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