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. (Chick lit. 14 & up)