Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
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 have three simple wishes. They’re really not too much to ask."
Even though I didn’t like Anna and the French Kiss all that much, I took a chance and went ahead and read Lola and the Boy Next Door. It completely exceeded my expectations. I was expecting something more similar to Anna, and instead got something more similar to a lot of YA “chick lit” . . . and actually liked it more for that!
Lola is a good kid. She doesn’t get in trouble, doesn’t do drugs or alcohol, etc. Her only “rebellion” is her boyfriend, Max, who’s 5 years older than her. Her two dads (yep, gay parents, who reminded me of Cameron and Mitchell from Modern Family) do not like him. LONG STORY SHORT, the boy she’s liked since forever, Cricket Bell, has come back to town and now she’s got to figure out how to handle the situation.
Honestly, I just loved that this story wasn’t as complicated, long, and difficult, as Anna’s. I loved that I could predict the ending. I loved Lola’s fashion sense. I loved Cricket for everything. I loved Anna and Etienne’s little side character roles. I loved her detective-story-obsessed best friend.
I wish I grew up with a friend living in a room right across from me. How cool would that have been? VERY.
So although this was predictable and sugary sweet, I loved many aspects of this story. With her talent for unique, realistic, amazing characters, Perkins can make any story a great read, and I just appreciated this one more than her last one. Keep writing!
Content Warnings: Language, kissing, sexual situations/comments