Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release date: September 29, 2011
Published format: Hardback, 338 pages
Series: Companion to Anna and the French Kiss
Purchase: Book Depository
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Cricket Bell. Cricket. Seriously, just stop what you’re doing and go read this, so you can become acquainted with Cricket Bell. I love that name, Cricket Bell. I have to say that I love Cricket more than St. Claire. And while I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door, I did enjoy Anna and the French Kiss more. Which I wasn’t expecting, since so many people are way more in love with Lola than they are with Anna.
Let’s talk about these people. Max, Lola’s current boyfriend, was hot in the beginning, and very nice despite the restrictions put on Lola in dating him. But I knew with me at least, he would stand no chance against Cricket. I’m sorry but I can’t stop saying his name. Cricket. I love it. Anyways, Anna and St. Claire are back, and it was fun reading about them again whenever they popped up. Lindsey is an awesome best friend, ready to do anything for her, including kicking Cricket where it counts. Her fathers, Nathan and Andy provide many funny moments. I didn’t like Cricket’s sister initially, but she suddenly redeems herself somewhat at one point in the book. Kind of late, and half-assed I think, but it works. The only character I didn’t really like was Lola’s mother. I didn’t see much point to having her in the story in all honesty.
The only reason I don’t love Lola as much as I love Anna is because the writing, while still pretty awesome, didn’t blow me away with humor and the intense aching and longing like it did in Anna until around the last 100 pages. The romance was there, but it didn’t really make itself felt until the end. Even so, Stephanie Perkins still manages to reach inside the mind of a young girl’s daydreams about love and gives the story life. I’ll definitely be rereading this soon.
If you loved Anna and the French Kiss, make sure you read Lola and the Boy Next Door as well! But remember, even though Anna and St. Claire are present, Lola is still it’s own book and should be thought of as such. Now to just settle in for the year long wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After.