Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 
Published by Dutton 
Date Published: September 29, 2011 
Rating: 5/5

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
For fans of her previous book, Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins is back with her quirky romance, lovable characters, and a story that entrances you until the very last page.

Lola and the Boy Next Door was such an emotional, yet bubbly story. There were times I just wanted to shout, “what do you think you’re doing?!” and other things when I could see love happening right before my eyes. Perkins’ writing has become a favorite of mine ever since reading ANNA last year, and it was so great to come back to that while reading LOLA!

The characters are always my favorite part of her books, just above the settings. Lola is an expressive teen that loves to dress up in costume every day, showing her mood through fashion. Then there is her douche of a boyfriend, Max, who’s in a band and is quite a bit older, but it’s okay because they’re in love. Cricket and Calliope, previous neighbors of Lola's, move back into town and realize there was a flame that never went out.

(And did I mention Anna and St. Claire are back for more in this book?! Because they are!)

All of the side characters were also so well developed that I never felt anyone was left out in the cold. Stephanie knows how to write her characters and I found myself rooting her on as Lola had to make hard decisions. Also, this book was set in San Fransisco, one of my favorite cities ever. It took me back there and I was able to experience the slanted streets, cable cars, and multicolored houses all over again.

One more thing about this book that I loved was Lola's underlying issues. She has had a lot to deal with from an alcoholic mother to gay dads. This book was not only about her finding love, but also finding her true identity and making tough choices. I love that Stephanie puts her whole heart into her writing and it truly shows when reading her books.

If you’ve not read a book by Perkins yet, I strongly suggest you start now with ANNA. And if you’ve read that one, what are you waiting for? Read LOLA as soon as possible!

-Reviewed by Jeffrey

2 comments:

  1. Great review. I adored this book but nothing can beat Anna.

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  2. I finished this book this morning! I didn't find it quite as good as Anna, but I still loved it :) I loved Lola's underlying problems and the characters as well, my favorite character being Cricket. Nice review!

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