Saturday, 17 December 2011

Couples Countdown: Guest Post by Antony John







I'm very happy to welcome Antony John, author of the wonderful Five Flavors of Dumb to the blog today. He picked a great couple. I am dying to read Lola and the Boy Next Door (saving it for my holiday reading when I will hopefully have lots of uninterrupted reading time) and this post makes me even more keen to dive in.  Thanks for sharing Antony.




Hello, everyone, and a happy holiday season to all! I was chuffed to bits when Alexa asked me to write about my favorite couple of the year—partly because I can’t resist clicking on those web links that take you to photos of celebrity couples (please don’t tell anyone!), and partly because it makes me feel like an expert on romance (even though I know I’m not).

Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Alexa for including Piper and Ed in her countdown of favorite couples. An incredible (and unique) honor, and one I—or rather, they—will cherish for years to come.

So, my first thought when Alexa asked me to write was: Is there really a decision to be made here? After all, the obvious choice for favorite couple of the year would have to be Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

Wait, what? This is a serious post? Oops, sorry. Let me start again . . .

Because I’m a complete softie, and a hopeless romantic, I’m going to go with Lola and Cricket from Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door. Here’s the thing: we know from the opening chapters who Lola is going to end up with—and therefore who she is not going to end up with—which means that the suspense is all about how she is going to end up with Cricket, and why things didn’t work out between them two years ago.

But hey, that’s the genius part. Because while we long to see them get together, there’s just enough baggage to drag things out. And dragging things out, it seems to me, is the secret to tingly romance. While many teen boys attempt to move from first base to home run like a racecar shifting gears, it doesn’t make for terribly compelling reading. Literary romances work best when we spend about 300 pages watching the perfect couple almost getting together. 300 pages of lip-locking? Eh, not so enticing.

Of course, it helps that Stephanie Perkins writes awesome characters. Lola is super cool: intelligent, devoted, and fiercely unique in her style. She’s flawed, yes, but in a way that I find totally sympathetic. As for Cricket, he’s the total package: sometimes flamboyant, sometimes introverted; sensitive and thoughtful, yet slow to do / say the right thing. I can totally identify with Cricket . . . except that I’m a crappy dresser.

To prove how much of romance is about chemistry and build-up, I’ll admit that I can’t remember the kiss in much detail. Sad, but true. But it doesn’t matter, because in my mind, Lola and Cricket and still bantering back and forth, out-dressing one another, and generally reveling in each other’s company. And what can be more romantic than that?


Antony can be found blogging hereFive Flavors Dumb is out in paperback (buy it, buy it!) and his new book Thou Shalt Not Road Trip is out April 2012 - sounds like a great read.

4 comments:

  1. I've had this book on my wishlist for a bit - can't wait! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door. Almost as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Almost ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved Cricket Bell and I'm usually a fan of slow burn romance but I felt like it took too long for Lola to fully comprehend Cricket's awesomeness. :P I liked the tension between Anna and Etienne in Stephanie Perkins' debut novel more than this one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jemi - It's so good, you'll love it!

    Becca - I adored Anna.

    Chachic - I'm dying to meet Cricket!

    ReplyDelete

I adore comments, so thanks so much for taking the time. I'll try and return the favour :D