by Stephanie Perkins
Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Teen)
Book: #2 of Anna and the French Kiss
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Found: Series Continuation
Rating: 4 Voodoos
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.
That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola’s past be the love of her future?
As I’ve come to expect, Lola and the Boy Next Door is another of Stephanie Perkin’s books that leaves me all warm and fuzzy inside. There’s something sweet and natural and beautiful about her characters and I can’t help but love them!
Lola is a teenager who loves to design and create costumes that she wears every day. To those on the outside she seems out going, different, a unique and glitzy individual but inside, Lola is just like every other teenage girl. She’s insecure, she’s emotional, she’s unsure of what she wants… and that makes her the perfect character to read about. Lola has dreaded the return of her neighbours, the Bell family. Calliope Bell has always been mean to Lola, shutting her out of her glamorous figure skater life no matter what Lola did to be friends with her, and then there’s Cricket Bell… the boy who broke Lola’s heart and then left without a word. Now they are back and Lola would do anything to avoid them, but somehow she just can’t seem to stay away from the oh so sweet and nerdy Cricket Bell.
This book tackles that period in a teens life when they are unsure of who they are and what they want. I loved watching Lola try and figure this out and how her family were so supportive of her. The family dynamic, for me, was perfect.
The romance, as you can expect, wasn’t that straight forward. Lola has a boyfriend already, when Cricket storms back into her life, Max. Max was perfectly fine in most circumstances and yet, things between them weren’t quite right. Sometimes its hard to admit to yourself that something doesn’t work, especially when there isn’t a really obvious reason why its not working. Yes I think Lola could have handled the situation a little better but I feel Stephanie Perkins wrote it well. Sometimes there is just someone better and more suited waiting right there for you but it takes courage to take that jump.
I really loved the quirkiness of the characters and at times I actually preferred Lola and Cricket to Anna and Etienne! I know shocking right! Speaking of Anna and Etienne, I was so happy they had a little cameo in this book. I’ve missed them loads. It’s lovely to see that their relationship is still as strong as ever and they are even more in love
I can’t wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After as I’m suffering from withdrawals of the cuteness already! I’m hoping for more cameo appearances and even quirkier characters! All in all the perfect teen romance to bring in the start of Spring!