Google+ Reading Teen: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (September 29, 2011)
Author's Website: http://www.stephanieperkins.com/
Buy the book:  Amazon

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, 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 move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - 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.
Who knew I could fall in love with a boy named Cricket?? I just finished this book, and my chest aches with that feeling....you know the one.....the one where you'll just die if they don't kiss already! Yeah...that one!  

I didn't start out loving this book as much as Anna and the French Kiss.  I had a hard time connecting with Lola at first.  I do NOT like it when girls lie about their age so that guys will date them.  I think this is SO wrong, so Lola kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  Plus, her choice in boyfriend just....well....I don't care for any guy that smells like smoke, let alone pot, so that was strike two.  But as I got to know her, and realized that there were definitely reasons that she was making these choices, Lola started to grow on me.  There's just something about Lola.  I love her more-ness!  More sparkles, more colors, more make-up, more hair, more personality....she just has MORE.  I think I would have way too much fun being friends with her. 

All of the characters were so fully fleshed out in this book.  I knew Anna and St. Clair were going to make an appearance, but I didn't realize they'd play such a big role.  I love seeing them again.  As far as the others go, I don't think there was one character that was mentioned that I didn't end up feeling like I really knew.  From Lola's fantastic friend, Lindsey,  who is always there for her, to Lola's two dads, who bake pies, force Sunday brunch on Lola's boyfriend, and go into attack mode if they find a boy in Lola's room, to her homeless biological mother, who makes it hard for Lola to really feel loved and wanted, to her boyfriend, Max, who may....or may NOT be "the one," to her neighbor Calliope, a figure-skating, Olympic hopeful, and even Heaven's to Betsy, Lola's dog, they each found a way into my heart.  Yes, even Max....kinda.

Then there was Cricket.  I mean, really....Cricket?  Naming a character Cricket is like a challenge.  You're starting off at a negative on the manly scale, and you've got to get to at least a plus seven to make me happy!  How are you gonna pull that off?  Well, if you want lessons, talk to Stephanie Perkins, because by the time this book was over, I would have handed Cricket my heart on a silver platter.  He wouldn't have even had to steal it!  Manly scale?  What manly scale?  This guy was off the charts!  The writing on his hands, his pants, his hair, the way he loves to invent things that have no meaning, but mean so much, how much he loves and supports his sister, the way he aches for Lola and what he let slip away.  I just love him!!  You couldn't tell, could you?

One thing I really loved was the contrast between Lola's relationship with Max, her rocker boyfriend, and her relationship with Cricket.  Lola and Max's relationship is on overdrive.  Instead of connecting on an emotional level, they connect on a physical level, and things get hot an heavy quickly.  But when Cricket moves back in town, old feelings start to resurface, and soon Lola starts questioning what she really wants.  The developing relationship with Cricket is so subtle and slow and unsure, but the emotions and the tension and the deep meaningful feelings they have for each other are so much more intense.  All it takes is a brush of the hand to make me melt.  It just really showed how it isn't sex that "sells," it's love (and some serious freaking tension!!)

Speaking of tension....this book is FULL OF IT!  I'm beginning to think that Stephanie enjoys ripping my heart out and tearing it into pieces, only to put it back better than new.  My chest seriously ached for Lola and Cricket to find a way to reconnect.  I feel like I could go ON and ON!!  Oh, wait, I already have. 

Ok, if you haven't gotten the point by now, I loved this book.  It was funny, and witty, and emotionally gut-wrenching, and fabulous, and sparkly!  Stephanie Perkins has done it again.  After reading Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, you can be assured that I will buy anything that this woman writes.  

If you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss, or you just want to relive the memories....you can check out my review here.

  • Sexual Content:  Heavy
  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Violence:  None
  • Other Notables:  Underage drinking, smoking, pot use, 

For more details, check out Lola and the Boy Next Door on Parental Book Reviews.

23 comments:

  1. You got me so excited for this book, i almost teared up. I seriously cant wait and I am glad this book will be released on September and not on December.

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  2. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!! [: I loved Anna and the French Kiss just like you and ever since I finished it, I have been wanting to read Lola.

    Thanks for the review, I've been wondering how this is going to compare to Anna.

    new follower and blogger:
    http://letsevaluate.blogspot.com

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  3. Eeek! I'm so glad you liked this. What Stephanie really excels at it writing fully fleshed characters. That's what made Anna and the FK stand out. I'm glad this is the same.

    I couldn't figure out how it was a companion novel. Now I understand since Anna and Etienne appear.

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  4. So glad to hear this book is so full of awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

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  5. Good review!! I cant wait to read her books, they sound really good.

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  6. I'm glad no one is seeing me right now 'cause I look sooooooo stupid: crazy-bug eyes and HUGE grin that shows all my cavities. No seriously, I'm even making strange noises half way between a giggle and a mwahaha.

    As if I wasn't already SOOOO excited now you write this review!
    I cannot wait ANY longer!
    *dies, goes to heaven and reads Lola and the boy next door*

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  7. oh gosh! thanks for making this review... i so wanna read this already! i got to read anna and the french kiss a few weeks back and i totally fell in love with it.

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  8. I want this book soooo bad!!! I re-read Anna the other day, so bloody great no matter how many times one reads it. I want this new addition. like. right. Now.kr

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  10. That sounds awesome! Can't wait to get my hands on this one. Thanks!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. That was seriously a great review. I felt like I was reading it along with you, except that I was also jealous that I wasn't actually reading it. :) I can't wait to get this one.

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  13. I love this review! Every time I read a review for Lola (or even a mention of it) I want to read it all over again. Gah, it is so good! And Cricket! Oh how I love Cricket <3

    I'm still ready to fight you (and Kiersten White) for him :)

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  14. How nice you liked it so much, Andye! I still have to read Anna and the French Kiss. :)

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  15. Nikki: BRING IT ON!!! :P

    Jam: You must read Anna!!! Do it!!

    Everyone else, I'm glad you liked the review!! I'm so excited about this book, I'm sure you couldn't tell!! :D

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  16. Okay... this only makes me want to read this more now! No, I mean NOW. Like did Kit happen to pick up a copy of this for me at BEA kind of NOW!

    lol.

    Aw, Crickett... he's sure to be a chirp, I mean a chip off the old Etienne block if Steph wrote him! ; )

    G.C.

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  17. I can't wait to read this book! Anna and the French Kiss is such a lovely story and this one seems to be just as great.

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  18. Ah how is it possiable that I want this book more then I alreafyy did!!!

    I NEED IT

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  19. HOLY CROW, I NEED TO READ THIS!

    Period.

    P.S. Thanks for the review!

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  20. Spoilers!

    I enjoy Stephanie's books but I'm not falling in love with them, which is annoying.
    Lola was definitely something, but as crazy as she was I didn't know if I liked her costume changes. If Lola were my friend I would accept her as being just that way, like Cricket said, it's Lola. But at a glance I wouldn't know whether she was playing someone, lying to the world or herself. I don't know if I'm making any sense. I just wasn't in love with the continuous costumes. Nor was in love with her relationship with Max. I didn't have such a big issue with the age difference but it was clear that they just weren't on the same place as each other. And Max just annoyed me.

    You've got a point about the name, what is up with Cricket? I would've liked a background story on the name, if there was one, but read the name "Cricket" enough times and you forget that it's weird. Specially when the guy with the name is just swoon-worthy perfect. St Clair was alright but Cricket? Haha, this guy is too cute and too sweet for words! Tall, good-looking with good fashion sense? Brilliant! And I want that gift he gave to Lola at the end!!!!

    It's a good book, just like Anna and the French Kiss, and I'm still interested enough to read about Isla in the next book :)

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    1. I hate that you're not falling in love with them!!! I loved these books SO MUCH! What are some good romantic comedy types that you've really liked? Maybe I'll have to check them out. And yes, Cricket!!!!!

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  21. Hmm, maybe romantic comedy isn't it for me when it comes to books since the last one I enjoyed was Graffiti Moon? And I only found out about that through here. Before that I loved Meg Cabot's Mediator and Missing series - but they both have an element of fantasy in it, not completely contemporary.

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    1. Yeah, I don't read a lot of rom coms either, but I definitely loved this one. I liked it more than Graffiti Moon. But at least that gives me an idea of your tastes!

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