Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
September 29, 2011
Bought from Amazon
Goodreads Page
Amazon Page
Grade: A

Synopsis (from Publisher):  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 feel as though everyone’s already said all there is to say about Lola and the Boy Next Door, but when has that stopped me from rambling on?  (Answer: Never)

I started Lola with a bit of trepidation.  After all, I’d loved Anna and the French Kiss so much – was the new book going to measure up?  What if I didn’t love it?  I didn’t want the pressure of the disappointment!  To my relief, after an uncertain first thirty or so pages, I fell completely in love with Lola in all her quirky and costumed glory.

I feel like Lola experiences more of an internal journey than Anna did (and, yes, I’m going to have to compare the two a bit because between the fact that they’re companion novels and the fact that Anna and St. Clair are secondary characters, the comparison is just so immediate!).  Anna’s journey was one of trying to figure out who she was after being ripped away from everything familiar while Lola had to determine if her need to stand out was her real self or some sort of disguise surrounded by helpful (and not so helpful) family members and friends, all with opinions of their own.

I really loved her quirky and hilarious voice even when (especially when) it turned bittersweet as she tried to muddle through the boy and family troubles, many of which really seemed universal.  We don’t all have an older rocker boyfriend or a homeless mother showing up on our doorstep, but we all have probably had the boyfriend (or girlfriend) that our friends hated or parents who don’t quite see where we’re trying to go.

And then there was Cricket.  Sigh, Cricket with his awkward limbs and great sense of style and total adorableness.  I was half in love after his first introduction and totally head over heels as the book continued.  I really liked seeing the tension as he was pulled between his twin sister Calliope and his crush in Lola.  He so badly wanted to be there for both of them, and neither made it all that easy on him.  Speaking of which, I loved Calliope in all her prickly, perfectionist glory.  If book 3 could be Calliope and Her Quest for Olympic Gold, I would be all over that.  Because seriously, how awesome is she?

As long as we’re on the secondary characters, I was so excited to get the glimpse into Anna and St. Clair’s lives!  Other blog reviews had mentioned that they play a big role of course, but I was thrilled to see them interact with Lola, Cricket and her other friends and just to see how they’re doing a bit down the line.  Especially I liked how their complete connection and little jokes still were at the point where people outside of their little circle of two were slightly excluded.  …okay, not that that’s a good thing, but it seemed so relevant to their relationship that I loved seeing it continue.

So yes, I ended up loving Lola and thinking myself totally silly for ever worrying about it.  Now…can I have Isla’s book please?  Maybe right after I reread Anna?


  1. I'm glad to here that Lola lived up to all the hype. I can't wait to read it since I loved Anna so much.

  2. I'm right in the middle of it now!

  3. @Lisa - yes! I was worried too! When that debut novel is so very good, there's always that 'sophomore slump' specter. I loved Anna that much more, but Lola was still great.

    @Jennifer - I hope you like it! I can't wait to see what you think!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read and adore each one.