Sunday, January 1, 2012

{Review} Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin Group USA)
Release Date: September 29, 2011


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.

Oh, this is one of my favorite books ever written. Seriously. Lola and the Boy Next Door is a contemporary YA book that had me doubling over laughing, squeeing on the edge of my chair, and most of all...wanting things to be alright for Cricket and Lola. If any two people deserve happiness, it is them.

Lola has been through hell and back. Her mother got pregnant young and decided to let her brother adopt Lola, knowing that he could provide a more stable home life than she ever could. However, Lola's mom still shows up at some of the most inopportune times, bringing sorrow and disarray into Lola's otherwise perfect life. Lola dresses in costume. That is who she is. When her boyfriend tells her that she is a liar, changing her appearance everyday, never letting anyone see the "real" Lola, she knows that relationship is headed downhill. add insult to injury, the Bell twins have moved back in next door.

Calliope is a figure skater, headed for the Olympics. Cricket's life has always been overshadowed by his sister's life as a star. Moving each time she decides to drop one coach for another, being home-schooled, never having friends. He left his life in San Fransisco years ago. Now he's home and hoping to reclaim that life. If only things were ever that easy. Cricket is going to have to work for Lola's trust, much less her love. Between him and Calliope, Lola had her heart ripped out and shredded into pieces.  Cricket might have a chance if he was only making up for his mistakes, but he also has to make amends for what damage his sister caused all those years ago.

Cricket meets a little known character, St. Clair, at Berkley. They become quick everyone does with St. Clair. This works to Cricket's advantage since Anna is Lola's manager at the movie theater. I love that Stephanie included St. Clair and Anna in Lola and the Boy Next Door. They made a perfect avenue for Cricket to get closer to Lola. And who can resist St. Clair.

Honestly, Cricket is one of my favorite characters ever. He is full of energy and shines like the sun. You just can't help but love him. Again, he is one of Stephanie's perfectly flawed characters. Cricket is weird in his own right, the crazy inventor type. Wild hair, a flair for the flamboyant, and good at everything he does - even though he can't see it. He's a bit insecure about himself...both because of past mistakes and a questionable heritage. He puts himself out there in ways that will cause him pain but he knows what he wants and if he is patient, perhaps he will get it.

Stephanie Perkins is a master at creating beautifully weaved love stories. Love stories that make your heart ache with desire. You cannot not pull for these characters. Nothing about them is perfect and nothing comes easy. That's life, right? But Stephanie's stories flow at a perfect pace, never giving you that break you need to put the book down. I read bot Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door in one sitting. Well, one sitting each. Each time I thought about putting one down...I felt my heart break, needing to know how things would end. Because Stephanie makes her characters work for their happy endings, the chemistry and tension are always palpable on the pages.

It wasn't until these books were recommended to me by some fellow bloggers that I started reading an YA I seek these books out. 

One last thing, I want to say thank you to Stephanie for including a bit about alternative lifestyles in this book. I have family who belong to the LGBT community and it is important to me that their lives are acknowledged in a positive and loving way. I'm not sure it could have been done any better than Stephanie did it.


  1. I've read this book too. This is one of my favorites. This book is definitely on my reread list.

  2. I liked this book but I was definitely hoping for more after reading Anna! Can't wait for Isla though. :D

    ComaCalm's Corner

  3. Oh, that's funny. I liked Lola so much more than Anna. I loved them both but there is just something about Lola and Cricket I loved. Everyone is different...huh? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I'm with you there. I will be rereading it again. Loved it. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I can't wait to read this one it's still sitting unread on my shelf I just have to make room for it. Eek. IT's awesome that we see the Anna characters I love that! Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  6. Giselle, you really do need to read it. I loved it so much. And one of my favorite things was that Anna and St. Clair were in it.



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