Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

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.

*Sigh.* I love Stephanie Perkins. I wish I could just say that and be done with this review. But do you know why I love Stephanie Perkins? I love what she is able to do. How she makes me fall in love with the characters, the BOY, the story, the everything. I've been so excited to read LOLA since I read ANNA and fell in love with everything about it *cough* especially St. Clair *cough*. LOLA most definitely did not disappoint! I loved this book!
First off, Lola herself is a fantastic lead. I loved her quirkiness. All the different costumes. And just her attitude in general. She was such a fun and fresh character, but she had her faults and problems too. Perkins's characterization is always so spot on. She knows how to make her characters come off the pages, and really makes them feel like real people, people that I could know or even be friends with. Lola has her problems to deal with, but don't we all. Though, admittedly, sometimes I just wanted to shake her, and make her see what was right in front of her.

Cricket was so adorkable. Yes, adorkable. He was just so cute and sweet and nice. A reoccurring problem I've noticed in YA is that a lot of the guys have this--attitude and aloofness about them. What happened to the nice guys? No, they don't always finish last! In my opinion, the world needs more of them! I LOVED Cricket and all of his awkwardness. His tallness, him being a science nerd. His pants (LOL). So cute!

Though Max creeped me out, majorly. Like dude, you're 22. What do you want with a 17-year-old girl? (Though, it wasn't the age difference so much that creeped me out, but just him in general.) But that's all I'll say on that topic.

I loved Lola's dads! Yes, dads. Gay parents are something that's rarely done in books, and I totally loved it. They were perfect, and I just love it in general when parents play an important role in a story. And they always do in Perkins's books. The characterization of Nathan and Andy were just so perfect and real and protective and awesome.

And then we got to see more Anna and St. Clair!!! Which, admittedly at first was the reason I was most excited to read this book. I liked how they weren't just thrown in as a random cameo, but they were actually a part of a story by working at the movie theater Lola worked at. Also, Cricket goes to the same college as St. Clair. They were given a purpose in this story, and it was still nice to see how they were doing as a couple (Awww!) Though, I did find it ironic that St. Clair was the one to tell Lola that she needed to start being honest with herself.

The writing is still witty and fresh. And the plot is fun and complex which leads to me not being able to put this book down. I can't believe how invested in these books I get. How in ANNA I was yelling at St. Clair, and in this book, I'm yelling at Lola. That's when I know a book is awesome. When I delude myself into thinking these characters are real people. (St. Clair, where the heck are you) I just couldn't get enough of this book. And I want to reread ANNA right now, despite only reading it a few months ago. The stories are fun, but the writing really strikes a chord. Like, it's both deep yet light at the same time. If that makes sense. All I know is that it saddens me when I realize how long I have to wait to read another Stephanie Perkins book. (WHYY IS THE PUBLICATION PROCESS SO SLOW?)



Anonymous said...

Great review. I think I might read it. :)