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.
Lola and the Boy Next Door was a positively wonderful companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. While Anna will always have a special place in my heart, I did love Lola and the Boy Next Door almost as much. Filled with quirky characters, an entertaining plot, sweet romance, and cameos from two of my favorite characters- this was a 5 star sophomore novel!
Lola Nolan was a fantastic main character. Her love for costume made her such an interesting person to read about and her personality was great, too. I adore unique characters and Lola certainly fit the bill. Stephanie Perkins made her so real and believable that I couldn't help wishing she really existed! While Lola did frustrate me at times, I ended up really connecting with her by the end.
I especially love when family has a key role in a story and Lola's parents did not disappoint. Her dads were well developed and were not just random, flat parents- they were there for a reason and supported Lola in so many ways. There were many secondary characters that I enjoyed getting to know and not one of them was underdeveloped.
While there were many characters I adored in Lola, the one that stole my heart was Cricket Bell. He was a sweet and dreamy guy and was the perfect match for Lola. His own family had a large part in the book, as well, and I liked getting to know them. Their romance was very real and believable and Lola and Cricket were adorable together.
As I mentioned before, Anna and St. Clair returned in this book! Yay! I wasn't sure what role they were going to play, but it turned out to be a rather large one! I loved getting to see how they were doing and to see them through the eyes of someone else. I am anxious to see what characters from Anna and Lola turn up in Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Contemporary YA is most definitely my favorite genre and Stephanie Perkins has proved herself as one of my favorite contemp authors. Her character development, adorable romances, and unique plots keep me hooked and I am always left with a warm, happy feeling after reading one of her books. Even if you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss, I highly recommend picking this up. Her books are brilliant and lovely and I am anxiously awaiting the release of her next novel!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
September 29, 2011/Dutton/338 Pages/Young Adult/Companion Novel
Other books in the series: Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After (2012)