Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - Colorful Follow Up To ‘French Kiss’



ABOUT the BOOK
Publisher: Random House / Dutton Books; Penguin Teen
Publication Date: 2011
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA Romance
Source: Bought
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Rating: ★★★★

Free-spirit, creative and smart are just a few words that define Lola Nolan. For her entire life, Lola views life as a canvas, a canvas she colors with her unique sense of style. Everyone else looks at the girl in elaborate costumes as unusual… save for Cricket Bell. Cricket is the boy next door who Lola has the biggest crush on. But between his complicated twin sister and the fact that the Bell family moves, Lola moved on without a Cricket in her future.


Now, a few years later, Lola is dating an edgy rocker dude whom her strict by-the-rules parents are not fond of. Between their rigid rules (and dislike of her epically cool boyfriend), Lola is at her wit’s end. Or so she things. Things go from complicated to bad – very bad when the Boy Next Door moves back… next door.

Spoilers Ahead

Gushing about Anna and the French Kiss seems to be a favorite pastime of mine. It’s been on as many Top Ten Tuesday memes I could legit (and sometimes not) squeeze it onto. I’ve tweeted all the tweets containing my love of it. Anna and Etienne have appeared on fangirl gush posts. I’ve created, used and re-created quote and book review graphics. It’s been featured on my Bookstagram account one to many times, and well... you get the idea. That love also spilled over to the follow up book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. A novel that has been on my monthly TBRs since reading ‘Anna’ (over a year ago). Since I finally accomplished this goal, a review seemed mandatory.
“I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.” - Stephanie Perkins
Much as I adore Lola and her titular story, I don’t think this book reached the same level of adoration as ‘Anna’ does. This is largely due to the fact that Lola is dating a boy that’s older than her. Age spans don’t bother me, but in this instance, the age span is too great. What makes it more inappropriate is while in this relationship, Lola seems a little lost. It feels like, despite her first person POV, she isn’t really invested or happy in the relationship.

This said, there is still something infectious and completely intoxicating about Perkins storytelling. It’s witty, bright and incredibly entertaining. Though my reservations are greater in regards to the details of this plot, I still appreciate what is good. One such good thing is Cricket Bell. Cricket is cute, sweet, and the very definition of a good guy. His care of and for Lola is sweet and swoon-y. All emotions I don’t find all the time with YA contemporary (boyfriends).  

Despite the disappointment and quibbles, Lola and the Boy Next Door is still an easy, breezy and cute read. I enjoyed Cricket’s pursuit of Lola (the way he expresses his interest only to withdraw to be the “better man”) and Lola’s creative soul is so darn fun. Reading about a character like this (who’s so boldly “out there” in her style and personality) makes the experience all the brighter. Her main protagonist isn’t quite engaging as some of her peers (because of reasons I mention above), but her artistic personality brightens this story.

Contemporary romance aficionados will still swoon and wear a wide smile by book's end. ♥

Content: There is some suggestive and thematic elements in this novel. Suggestive remarks, teens having sex [not graphic], some minor profanity, and an f-word. Alcohol abuse is touched on, and Lola’s parents are a same sex couple. As a secular YA novel, the story would rate PG13.

Synopsis: 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 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. - Goodreads
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2 Comments

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, how adorable is the name Cricket!? I read Anna and the French Kiss thanks to your gushing about it and have always intended to finish the series. Your review reminded me it is still on my TBR list.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it the cutest, Brittaney??? He's as wonderful as his cute name suggests. And the good news is, most fans like this book ever more than 'Anna,' so you might like this book even more! I'm unusual in that I still give the first book a slight edge. :)

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