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Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
YA Contemporary
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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.


I adored this lovely, romantic, funny and warm novel.  The characters were just so believable and sweet and they captured the teenage angst over missed opportunities at love so well.  Lola grows so much in this book especially while remaining very true to her unique personality.  She becomes a better person by just realizing it was always in her to be that person.  The main drama comes from how Lola realizes who she is through making some pretty painful mistakes and needing to experience things before she can really understand them.

But she did get some help through her interactions with Cricket, who is another amazing, warm and wonderful character!  He's a perfect swoon-worthy boy, with just the right amount of quirky and appealing boyish charm.  Seriously this story is overflowing with humor and earnestness which is all due to the wonderful characterizations of Lola's friends and family. Every character in this book had such a distinct and engaging personality with the bonus of seeing more of Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.

The story is mostly sweet and entertaining, but there are a few very mature moments that I think added to the  compelling way the story unfolds.  Lola is in a relationship with a man a bit inappropriately older than her, and both Lola and Cricket have to deal with issues of self-worth.  And somehow the author makes all the varying degrees of serious and humorous drama come together flawlessly.  The setting, the characters and the story paints a vivid, realistic portrait of teenage emotion with an authentic, vivid feel for San Francisco and it's culture.

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  1. Alice @ Alice in ReaderlandApril 25, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    This looks really cute! I read Anna and the French Kiss, but only got to skim this one before I had to take it back to the library, but your review definitely makes me want to go back and read it; Cricket sounds awesome too. :)

    Great review!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  2. This is really sweet and very much in a similar vein to the adorable of Anna and the French Kiss but the characters are very different which I find so interesting. I think you will enjoy this if you liked Anna!

  3. Kayla @ The Thousand LivesApril 25, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    I completely agree about the more mature moments; I didn't think they were heavy handed at all, but it was nice to see them addressed. Especially Lola's romance with the older guy - he was such a creep!

  4. I did like Lola and the boy Next Door, but it took me such a long time to warm up to Lola. I think I just loved Cricket so much, and I was so worried about him, that when Lola made some of those not great decisions, I was mad at Lola. But, like you said, she did really grow in this book, and I did end up really liking her.

  5. A friend recommended this one to me for book bingo! I am so glad you loved it too!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  6. This was such a sweet read! I love Stephanie Perkins's writing style- it's so breezy, and she has a great sense of humor, too. I can't wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After! :D

  7. Yes those mature moments were so well done - they weren't diminished but it also didn't drag down the adorableness of the story. And I know! I couldn't wait for Lola to wise up to that guy! :)

  8. Oh I know Cricket was just the sweetest, It was a great aspect of the story to show that Lola needed to work on herself to deserve him. :)

  9. Book bingo! That sounds like a game I should be playing! :) Yes, this is shaping up to be a great series!

  10. I don't think I really marked Stephanie's writing style which was probably good because the story drew me in so much - but Stephanie's style is perfectly suited for the tone of her stories! And I am looking forward to Isla now too!