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Monday, December 5, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Release: September 29, 2011

Companion Novel: Anna and the French Kiss

Source: Purchased
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.
Stephanie Perkins burst onto the YA scene last year with her debut novel Anna and the French Kiss. Her witty characters and entrancing romance quickly stole the hearts of readers and reviewers alike. Now she’s back with Lola and the Boy Next Door, proving that she most definitely deserves her spot on my all-time favorite authors list.

I think it would be nearly impossible for me to write this review without filling it with comparisons between Lola and the Boy Next Door and Anna and the French Kiss. To be quite honest, it was impossible for me to read Lola and the Boy Next Door without constantly comparing it to Anna’s story. Fortunately, Perkins wrote yet another fabulous book, ensuring that I was never disappointed by the comparison.

Lola immediately stole my heart, banishing all fears that her story would have trouble standing up to Anna’s. She was colorful and funny and had a huge heart. One of my favorite aspects of her personality (and the novel) was her penchant for costumes. I loved reading about her various outfits, which always went above and beyond my expectations.

Then, of course, there is Lola’s neighbor and romantic interest, Cricket. Perkins has a talent for writing magnificent male leads. They all have their little quirks, of course, but that’s what makes them so swoon worthy. Though Etienne will always have my heart, Cricket is a strong second with his endearing personality and tendency to ramble, as well as his glorious pants (this will make a lot more sense once you read the book).

Speaking of Etienne…I had heard talk that he and Anna would be making an appearance in Lola and the Boy Next Door. And while that excited me, it also made me a bit sad. “Appearance” sounded small, like the “appearances” Sarah Dessen’s past characters often make in her newest releases. Those little cameos are fun, but I loved Anna and Etienne far too much to only get a glimpse of them. Fortunately, Perkins was kind enough to give readers lots and lots of Anna and St. Clair. Not only were the two characters good friends of Lola (and thus frequently popping up), St. Clair actually played a big role in pushing Cricket and Lola together.

After seeing the dynamic between St. Clair, Anna, Lola, and Cricket, I’m really looking forward to Isla and the Happily Ever After. I’m especially excited to see how all the characters will cross paths!

Perkins has once again hit the ball out of the park. Lola and the Boy Next Door is the perfect blend of wit and romance, the ideal read for an afternoon escape. Just be sure that when you pick it up you clear your schedule, because you won’t want to put it down until you turn the last page.

5 stars!

1 comment:

  1. Great review!!

    I also loved how Perkins wrote Anna and Etienne's characters into this book... it seemed natural and unforced. I am so excited to see what happens with Isla and the Happily Ever After! :)

    -Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “Lola and the Boy Next Door” by Stephanie Perkins

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