Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Publishing
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Given as a RAK from Morgan! Thanks chick!
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 Stephanie Perkins, how I love you! Miss Perkin's books are fast becoming my new comfort reads. You know how sometimes you get into a book-rut and are about ready to give up reading all together because you have just read too many mediocre books in a row? Well Lola (as well as the previous book Anna) is the perfect medicine for being in a bleh-bookish mood.There are so many glee-full quotes and amazing *squeee* moments that you can't help but fall in love right along with Cricket and Lola. I feel myself being drawn out of my bleh mood by pure cuteness.
I thought that Cricket and Lola did an excellent job balancing each other out. Each character is pretty eccentric in their own ways, but while Lola is dramatic and completely off the wall with her crazy fashions, wigs, and accessories, Cricket is odd in a much less visual way. He has his own screws and weirdness with his inventions and things, but they are understated. They compliment Lola's oddities so that they seem to be perfect. Both of them together are just the right combination of crazy and screwy, and I love it.
So Lola and Cricket were the girl and boy next door. They had a thing when they were younger, but then due to some horrible misunderstandings, Cricket ended up moving away when they were both hurt and confused. Lola's been kind of traumatized by their ending and is only just getting out of the hurt with her new rock-star boyfriend Max. Who by the way is 22...while Lola is 17. Yeah...that sounds like it's going to work out...But imagine her shock and confusion when Cricket moves back to town for college. Now she has to deal with all sorts of feelings she thought were long gone. Mixed in with the relationship plot is all sorts of teen drama about alchoholic moms, two gay dads, working a job, dealing with peer pressure, and of course, love.
I just don't get how Stephanie Perkins can write such meaningful and interesting books without getting so deep that they get dark and dramatic. It's amazing that she deals with some pretty heavy issues in such light and fantastic way. Her books aren't fluffy, but they are really easy to fall in love with because they stick with you too, unlike a lot of the contemporary YA books I have read recently.
My one complaint is that this book wasn't as good as it's predecessor, Anna and the French Kiss. There was a lot more funny banter and character development in Anna than there was in Lola. I'm pretty sure that Anna was a lot longer and it gave a lot more time to grow along with the characters and fall in love with them. Also, even though I loved the cameos of Anna and Etienne, it kind of took away from me bonding with Lola and Cricket. I was too caught up in how much I loved the old couple's relationship that I didn't care very much about the new one. It was nice to see them though...I would love for them to get another book to themselves...but I don't think that's the direction Stephanie is going.
I give Lola and the Boy Next Door 4 Keys out of 5. I loved the way this book ended. All the loose ends are tied up and you kind of like how all of the characters end up. There were a few things that were unexpected along the way, but the majority of the book you kind of know going into it. Still, there was so much cute awesomeness you're practically choking on kitties and puppies...in a good way...lol. I caught myself laughing out loud a lot and I really enjoyed myself while reading. I definitely read it in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down.