Book Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: September 29th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Age Range: 14-17 years old
My Rating: 3 out of 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.
After reading Anna and the French Kiss (my review on that here), I immediately craved for more contemporary and I thought what better book to read than the companion novel: Lola and the Boy Next Door?
I’ve encountered quite a few problems when reading this book. But before that, let me tell you what I liked:
• The writing, once again, was amazing. The best thing about the book, no doubt.
• The characters felt so real to me,and that’s one important factor for a contemporary book to meet my expectations. Also, how interesting are the characters: an outgoing costume designer and an awkward inventor!
• I LOVED the ending. It was the best scene in the book, in my opinion. So magical!
Okay. That wasn’t a lot of pros, but what can you do? LOL. Now, there are a handful of things I was disappointed about:
• I didn’t quite connect with Lola more than I would have wanted to, maybe for the reason that our personalities are the complete opposites. Okay, maybe it was partly my fault for expecting the protagonist to be a lot like Anna Oliphant. (I’m sorry but I can’t help it, I just love her!) But there would come a time when reading—please don’t hate me—that I couldn’t care less about Lola’s thoughts. I think understanding her or connecting to her on a level more than I-need-to-understand-her-because-shes-the-protagonist would’ve made my reading experience with this book a lot more enjoyable.
• Some of the characters lack presence in the entirety of the story. Lindsey for example was there just for the sake of Lola having a best friend. I don’t think that Cricket was shown enough in the story either, aside from a few flashbacks and when he comes home from Berkley, that’s it and I didn’t get to know about him more than I’d like.
• Anna and Etienne weren’t the same people. This bothered me because I fell in love with their personalities in their book. The first appearance the couple had, I had this weird feeling right away. It’s not like they’re completely different, it’s just that there was something off.
Overall, I liked it but not so much as the first book. I would’ve given it 2 stars (or less, yikes) if it weren’t for Perkins’ captivating writing. I am now such a huge fan of her writing! The story is still pretty good, worth checking out—maybe you’ll end up liking it more than I did. So if you haven’t already, read the book and let me know what you think.
All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.