After reading Anna and the French Kiss and falling completely in love with it, I could not wait to read Lola and the Boy Next Door. Lola came out at the end of September and, unfortunately, it had been sitting on my desk since then. Part of my was waiting for a time when I could really savor it and focus on just that book for a couple hours, but another part of me wanted to devour it right away and stay up late reading it. Instead, I decided to slowly read it and take it all in. I didn't start it until late November and I probably only read about a chapter at a time, so I really took my time!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
First of all, this book is very similar to Anna, but the character of Lola is completely different. She's a 17 year old girl that is just figuring out who she is and what she wants. She has a very distinct style and wears different colored wigs and eccentric outfits everyday. I loved her. She was such a great character to read and was one of those characters that I wished I could be friends with in real life.
And Cricket. What can I say about Cricket? Except that he is possibly perfect? I don't know how many times I wanted to reach through the book and force Lola break up with Max so that she could be with Cricket. Did anyone else feel the same way?
Another aspect of this story that I loved was that Lola's parents were a same sex couple. I thought this very well done and I would have liked to learn more about what that was like for Lola, but on the other hand I'm glad that it was written as if this was completely usual and same sex parents were common. They probably are in San Fransisco (where Lola lives) but not here in Iowa... I hope that more books like this show up with families that are not as "traditional."
Also, how can I not mention the roles that Anna and St. Clair play in the book?? I knew they had roles and weren't just cameos, so I was really looking forward to this! Their roles weren't big, but they were definitely there! It was nice to read about what they were up to and how they were doing living back in the States.
Final verdict: Loved it. I didn't love it quite as much as Stephanie Perkins's first novel, but almost. If you were a fan of her first book, Anna and the French Kiss, then you have to read this book. If you're a fan of YA and (sometimes) cheesy girly romance type books, you will like this! Possibly love it!