Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins This book was not as immediate for me as Anna and the French Kiss. Where Anna was easy to relate to, I found Lola near insufferable at the start of this book. I'm irritated by people who choose to represent their personality via physical media, for example what they wear (another example is people who immediate go into a list of their interests/fandoms when you ask them about themselves - it's a similar thing) and a lot of Lola's decisions were so poor that her inner personality came off pretty badly. The book grew on me, mostly because I really like Cricket and began to sympathise with Lola's plight. She still appeared immature for sixteen, but this bothered me less as the story developed.There's not much to the plot, which is essentially the same as AatFK except genderswapped - boy and girl meet (although in this case they have a little history) but one of them is otherwise involved, shenanigans ensue. I am not bothered generally by Lola's apparent emotional cheating on her boyfriend, largely because it's in keeping with her immaturity. And while I've seen a lot of people say that five years isn't a big gap, I can see why it would seem so at that age - I think age gaps can be significant where there is a significant difference in life "stage" - where one party is at school and the other at college/university or even beyond that, I think that can cause a fundamental difference in expectations and experience. However, the whole romantic plot felt a bit stretched out compared to AatFK, which was just a snick away from being stretched thin in itself. Perkins' writing is bang on, which helps to paper over this somewhat, but pretty much everything after she breaks up with the original boyfriend is unnecessary and makes this sweet book a little tiresome towards the end. One thing I thought the book got absolutely right was the portrayal of Lola's birth mother - that was easily the most touching part of the whole narrative.I think if you liked Anna, you'll like this, but most likely not as much. I love Perkins' writing and she has the perfect voice for this kind of escapist romance - she's sweet but rarely veers too far into the cheese zone. I just hope that for Isla and the Happily Ever After she tries something a little different because I don't think this plot can stand a third airing.