Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Published: 29th September 2011, by Dutton Books
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
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.
Don’t hate me, but I preferred this book to the first one.
Lola’s a 17-year-old girl who prefers to stand out from the crowd. Her fashion sense is really out there and she doesn’t like wearing the same outfit twice. She used to know this guy who she’d always play and hang out with when they were young. This guy was Cricket Bell. When they were about 14 or 15, Lola realised she liked him, but then something happened between the two and Cricket moved away. Fast-forward two years and Lola is now 17, dating a guy who’s 22. She’s finally managed to forget about Cricket and her feelings for him, when she looks out her window and finds out that Cricket and his family have returned – something she’s been dreading for those past two years.
Lola isn’t someone I could imagine. She seems so ‘out there’ and unique, and quite frankly, I don’t really know anyone like that. Mostly in the YA section you get main characters who are are always like:
“I’m so shy. I only have like, one best friend, and this really hot guy keeps staring at me but I have no real personality so I don’t really know what to do. It’s dangerous but I’m falling for him.”
I am so tired of main characters who think like that. Luckily, Lola is seriously nothing like that. She’s the kind of person I’d want to be friends with because she’s the complete opposite of me.
Then there’s Cricket Bell. Oh, Cricket. In Anna and the French Kiss I found it hard to really fall for St. Claire. Don’t judge me, but it was the whole him-being-kind-of-short thing. I don’t have anything against short people – I’m only 5 foot myself. Sigh. It’s just that I get completely turned off if a guy’s short. Sorry.
With Cricket I didn’t have a problem. You know how I just said I can’t fall for a short guy? Well I love tall ones. And Cricket’s tall. He’s very tall.
I always love it when an author brings back characters from previous books – and that’s what Stephanie Perkins does in Lola and the Boy Next Door. So all of you readers who ship Anna and Étienne won’t be disappointed. All of you will probably be jumping around inside whilst trying to maintain a calm facial expression for the outside world.
I just generally recommend this book to anyone. The Anna and the French Kiss books are both so feel-good and romantic. They're also very fit for fangirling over.
5/5 stars – it’s one of those contemporaries that you don’t really forget easily. The ones that are hard to come by.
“I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”