Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Posted by Caitie F on October 16, 2011
Summary (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
I adored Stephanie Perkins first book Anna and the French Kiss. In fact, I loved it so much that I said it was one of the best books I read in 2011. So this book had a lot to compete with.
Well, you should expect to see this on my Best Books of 2011. Perkins knows how to write an engaging and beautiful romance. She knows how to make you fall in love with all her character (except Max, but more on that later). I felt like I was reading about friends that I cared about the entire book. Lola is smart, creative, and caring. She is actually a good teen, doesn’t get in trouble and loves her parents. She is what many many teens are like and I think that is a big reason why she is so lovable!
The relationship between Max and Lola will remind readers of so many first romances. Max is not a lovable character, yet it is easy to see why Lola is so interested in him and falls in love with him. An older reader will see the warning flags and the problems with him, but it is very real to life. When you are in love for the first time, the flaws are hidden and you are just infatuated. Since this relationship felt so real, Lola’s emotions throughout felt real and deep.
Cricket was another swoon-worthy male character. He was so kind and caring, not just with Lola but with her family and friends. He is just the kind of guy you cheer for and hope that everything works out for him. The best part of him though is that he brings out the best in Lola. That is what great relationships can do – they bring out the best in each other and it makes the relationship strong and makes it last. I would have learned a lot about relationships from this as a teen.
The relationships between Lola and her family also add another layer that makes this more than just a fun romance. She has to deal with two overprotective fathers and her birth mother (the sister of one of her fathers) who has made so many mistakes that she cannot deal with. Reading the familial relationship grow and shift added another layer to everything and again, made it feel more realistic.
Finally, Anna and St Clair are back! I won’t spoil anything but they are in the book and i loved seeing them again.
I adored this book and cannot wait to see what Stephanie Perkins writes next. She is a genius and you should really read it!