February 17, 2014

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak
Publish Date: September 28, 2011 (Reissue edition published July 9, 2013)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 Stars

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.

I feel like this review could end up with me comparing this book to Anna and the French Kiss the entire time, and that's not exactly what I'm aiming to do. While it is significant, I don't think the two should constantly be compared. Lola and the Boy Next Door is so different from the first book, even though it's the same genre and even involves some of the same characters.

I'm going to start off with comparisons and involvement with Anna and the French Kiss to get it out of the way. First off, I loved the little parts where Anna and St. Clair popped up. It was literally the most adorable thing. My heart was already exploding from the Lola and Cricket moments, so adding Anna and St. Clair into the mix was almost too much - in the best way possible, of course.

There is one thing I can't avoid: I didn't enjoy Lola and the Boy Next Door as much as Anna and the French Kiss. I think it may have been missing that extra special something. There's that feeling you sometimes get when you read a book and it's decent - or even more than decent - but there's still something missing. That's how I felt when I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door.

But straying away from the bad to focus on the good...characters. The plot in these books are never all that exciting and are downplayed a bit. But the characters, oh my gosh. They're perfect. They're so unique and quirky and special and human that I can't get over it. I want to know everything about their lives and what goes on in them and if they end up happy. And that's the best kind of feeling you can get from reading a book, in my opinion.

One specific aspect of this story I really loved was the fact that Anna and St. Clair were the perfect model for a good, strong relationship. Lola was witness to that while she was dating Max, her boyfriend. Lola's relationship with Max was, long story short, not a healthy one. And after watching Anna and St. Clair and seeing the way things worked between them, she realized what was going wrong with the relationships in her life.

Cricket is the best. His character is great and even though he is a good person he still makes mistakes and doesn't act like a robot without emotions (which I see in books way more often than I should). I have nothing else to say about him. 

Overall, while Lola and the Boy Next Door wasn't quite as good as Anna and the French Kiss, it was still an enjoyable must-read for all contemporary fans.


  1. Lovely review! And I agree about that feeling you can get from reading well drawn out, interesting characters. The plot doesn't even have to have huge twist and turns, if the charcters are fabulous. I enjoyed Anna just a bit more than Lola too. It makes me xurious for Isla though. And of course Cricket is awesome.

    1. Thank you! And yes, I totally agree. If the characters are great, the entire book usually is as well. I can't wait for Isla either!

  2. I really need this book. I have read Anna and the French Kiss and after reading that one, I just needed to read this one as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it though :D

    1. If you read Anna and the French Kiss, you'll adore Lola. :)