Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: September 29, 2011 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 3, 2012
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me

    Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. 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.

Breaking It Down Further: Lola Nolan is happy. She has two parents who love her, a killer-hot boyfriend, and a love for fashion and flair that keep her life interesting. That is, until the Bells move back in. Next door. Where they used to live. And now Lola has to once again face the mean and snobby Calliope Bell, and her twin brother Cricket – the “one that got away” and broke her heart when they moved without a word. Now that he’s back – and Lola’s still dating Max – what happens when feelings resurface and they once again meet face to face?

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I had a right to be a bit reserved when I picked up LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. There was no way this could be better. And at least for me, I was a little right. Anna was me. I was Anna. I just got her and then throw in a European romance and hellooooo. Heaven!
But Lola is a character. She’s kind of my antithesis — Not in a bad way. Just everything I’m not. Outgoing, into fashion, noticeably unique, bold. She lives on the other side of the country, she has two dads who adopted her from her irresponsible birth parents. She’s dating an older guy who’s also a rock star. Just none of that was really easy for me to relate to. It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong – Lola is a lot of fun! It just took me a while to warm up to her and figure out the depth of her actual character, a lot of which I don’t think really came out until we got more involved with Cricket.

Small complaint #2: I don’t like unusual character names. Lola. Cricket. Calliope (although that one’s not as bad). It just really takes away from the story feeling as “real” as it could be and puts me farther from connecting with a character.

Okay, that being settled — I loved Cricket. I felt so bad for him in the beginning where he’s clearly still into Lola and she’s clearly not in a healthy relationship with Max and the whole time I’m like, “Come ON just dump your stupid boyfriend and go be with Cricket!!!” He’s so cute and quirky in a more relatable way to me than Lola was (although I really did warm up to her – especially when we got to see her “natural” side on a few occasions).

I think the beginning was a little bit slower for me than the second half of the book. We got a little more tension and it really took off for me and the ending was SO cute. Another great Stephanie Perkins book! I can’t wait until she has more books coming out!

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Lola Nolan: Like I said, I was slow to warm up to Lola just because she was so the opposite of me in so many ways, but once the story got going and I learned more about her, more about her character’s feeling and insights, I really liked her a lot. I think she really matured throughout the book and I’m just glad she finally came to her senses! And yay, she likes Pushing Daisies! 10 points for that!!
Cricket Bell: Oh, he was so stinkin cute. I liked how we went from Etienne St Clair in Anna – who really had a lot of the same sense of humor and personality as Cricket in many ways – to Cricket Bell who is similar yet so completely different. It was the warm feeling, the sense of home and the first love that just made me long for this relationship to work. Ugh, those first-love-coming-back-into-your-life stories just kill me!!!
Nathan and Andy: I’m super sorry if this is stereotypical and insensitive of me, but I couldn’t help but see Lola’s dads as kind of a Cam-and-Mitchell-relationship on Modern Family. That’s the most prominent family dynamic I have in my mind as two gay men raising a daughter so it just stuck. It actually enhanced the story for me because I love the show and it was nice to be able to have a feeling of the characters that was so familiar, even if it may have been wildly inaccurate from what Stephanie Perkins was aiming for!

QUOTES

p55: “It’s easy to talk about the things we hate, but sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why we like something.

p185: Lola: That was both ridiculously easy and way more complicated than it should have been. Cricket: (he smiles back) That’s my specialty.

p281: (Cricket) “And maybe some people thing that wearing a costume means you’re trying to hide your true identity, but I think a costume is more truthful than regular clothing could ever be. It actually says something about the person wearing it.”

p333: “I am trying really hard not to use the word ‘fabulous’ right now,” Andy says
That one made me laugh out loud!

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Read it!

LOLA was definitely cute and I loved reading another Stephanie Perkins book! But it didn’t hold a candle to ANNA for me!!

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14 thoughts on “Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

  1. Dixie

    great review, although I disagree…I totally loved Lola more than Anna, even though I loved Anna much much. great review!

  2. Candice

    Yay Lola! I totally loved Anna more, but I think I loved them equally in completely different ways. And don’t feel bad, I also pictured Lola’s dads as Cam and Mitchell from Modern Family. I think because that’s what a realistic gay marriage would be – no one is “the woman” or “the man” and they’re both equal partners who love each other. Whoa, getting off subject here! I’ll just end it with great review and so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Tee

    Great review! I’m in the camp who loved Lola more…but it’s really close. Also, I read them super-far apart so maybe some of that fabulous Parisian Anna love had been forgotten a bit. I’m long overdue for a reread of both.

  4. Elizabeth

    I really liked Lola (though Max was just… ugh, hated that boy) and I liked that Lola was off-beat in her clothing choices, but didn’t totally reject things like the school dance. She wasn’t trying to be non-conformist, just herself and I really respected that in a teen character!

    On the goofy names thing… when I had this book, my husband kept saying the boy next door had a big surprise coming when he met Lola (referencing the Kinks song). And I can’t get behind anyone with the name Cricket. Except Jiminy, but he was a cricket, so I guess that makes sense.

  5. Lucy

    That’s cute that you thought of Cam and Mitchell as Lola’s dads! I never thought of them at all but now of course I’m picturing them in those roles, baking pies and whatnot.
    Glad you enjoyed Lola! Cricket is too adorable, even though his name is not the best. Hopefully Isla will be released before too long.

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