Title: Lola and the Boy Next DoorReview:
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: has 2 companion novels
Genre: YA Romance
Publisher: Dutton Books (member of the Penguin Group)
# of pages: 338
Challenge: RRRC Treasure Hunt (Quarterly Challenge)
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 loved Stephanie Perkins' first book (and reviewed it not too long ago), so I was a little hesitant about reading this next one. I didn't want to be let down. But I sucked it up and borrowed it from the library, and I'm so glad I did! Because I loved it just as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss!
I really like Stephanie Perkins' writing style. Her first person point-of-view really lets you connect to the character and puts you in their world. It's a fun and easy read, with me finishing this book in a day. I just couldn't put it down!
Lola, our narrator, is happily living her life with her 2 dads, Andy and Nathan, and her rocker boyfriend, Max. That is, until her past comes back in the form of the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket. They were her neighbors up until 2 years ago, but now they're back and Cricket Bell is acting like they never moved away. Lola is confused, to say the least. Soon she must decide between her boyfriend, who she thought was "The One," and the Boy Next Door.
The story draws you in, but the characters are what makes the story. You want to know what happens to them, and you want everything to turn out alright and for them to have a happily ever after. All the characters are really likable in this book (well, except Max, who turns out to be a jerk). I find that I can relate to them, even though we have different personalities. And once again, Perkins has created characters who, if I met them in real life, I'd want to be their friend. Characters like Lola, who is quirky and funny, with a unique sense of style. She makes her own clothes, and I totally wish I could be like her. (She can be self-centered at times, but that's a fact of life. She's a teenage girl, after all.) And Cricket Bell who is an inventor of sorts, and also very cute, from what I imagine through Perkins' words. He is described as 6 foot 4 inches, with dark hair and intense blue eyes. I wish I had a boy like Cricket living next door, when I was growing up, lol.
Besides the main characters, there are several side characters, and they are all delightful. Anna and Étienne make a reappearance in this book and are Lola's example of what a happy couple should look like. (I am still a big fan of this couple, and am still in love with Étienne, though now I am also in love with Cricket, haha!) Lola's dads, Andy and Nathan, are hilarious at times and great father figures throughout. Also, Lola's best friend Lindsey is pretty kick-ass.
The setting was also great, and reading about Lola's escapades through San Francisco brought me back to my trip there last year. It was my first time there, and I really liked it and had hoped to go back. After reading this, I really hope to go back now, haha!
There is so much to like about this book, from the writing style to the characters. This book is great in my opinion, and I would highly recommend it!
However, there is one thing I wish it had. Even though I really like the first person point-of-view because it really works with her stories, I wish we could have read a little bit from the guy's point-of-view. I especially want to know what Cricket is thinking, while he's away from Lola...
And finally, the last thing I like about the book is the first thing you see before reading: the cover! I like pretty/cute cover, but get a little annoyed when it has no elements from/nothing to do with the story. Like having a blonde model on the cover of a book with no blonde characters. What is that?! But that's not a problem here! The models on the cover have the appropriate hair color. In fact, "Lola" has rocking hair, and I wish I had that hair. The cover is cute, and after reading the story, all I think when I see it is, 'That is so Lola and Cricket,' all the way down to the rubber bands around Cricket's wrist and the drawing on his hand.
Plot - ★★★★★
Characters - ★★★★★
Ending - ★★★★★
Overall - ★★★★★