Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Hardcover 338 pages
Published September 29, 2011 by Dutton
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
First off let me say I think it’s absolutely impossible not to compare this book to Anna and the French Kiss. They’re companion novels, for goodness sake. So let’s get that out of the way, shall we? This book wasn’t quite as good as Anna and the French Kiss, in my opinion. But it is still absolutely worth reading!
So. The things that bothered me….
Lola wasn’t particularly likeable as a character. She was too dramatic and naïve for my taste. She was dishonest. Insecure, but I can look over that—we all have our insecurities. I can’t look over the dishonesty.
The age difference between Lola and her initial boyfriend, Max. He was 22, she just turned 17. Everyone in her world sees something wrong with this, except for Lola of course. It’s disturbing. I just can’t side with the “age is just a number crowd”, I’m sorry! This is the equivalent of me dating Justin Bieber, and it’s just flippin’ disturbing. (my 5 year old has Bieber Fever, forgive me but the connection was inevitable) I also didn’t like the way Lola handled things with him.
And that’s where that list ends. The things I loved?
The writing. Stephanie Perkins’ writing reads so smoothly, it’s so easy to get lost in the story. I think both Anna and Lola are re-readable, and my list of re-readable books is quite short!
Cricket. You adorable little thing. I actually like him just as much as St. Clair, possibly more. He has some sweet lines, and the feelings he had for Lola were so pure, his devotion to his family so strong, what’s not to love?
Anna and St. Clair! Welcome back! They’re adorable as ever, and I love love love that they not only made an appearance, but were actually characters in this story.
Stephanie Perkins is an author that has earned my faith, and I will not hesitate to buy anything she writes.