October 6, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins

Young Adult
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: September 29, 2011

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 don't think there's much more I can say about Stephanie Perkins' awesomeness or the unique feel-good dreaminess of her books, that has not already been said. Lola and the Boy Next Door is another contemporary YA romance masterpiece just like Anna and the French Kiss was.

Anna was my TOP favorite book last year. It must be hard to follow up such an amazing debut. But Perkins did it flawlessly. While I felt Anna was mainly focused on setting development, I think Lola was more focused on character development. The parent's relationship was so powerful and felt so absolutely real that it drew me in to the point that I felt myself wishing I had two gay parents. It's an extraordinary family portrayal unlike any other I've experienced or read about. And this felt SO refreshing!

Needless to say that my expectations were high in the boy department. While I don't think Cricket reached the levels of *drool* that St. Clair did, I think he was very well done and very swoon-worthy. I specially loved all the boy next door dynamics. And Lola! Okay. Lola was whoa. Probably one of the most memorable characters you will ever read! Absolutely loved her.

Also, don't you hate all these instant romances in all other sub-genres of YA?  I'm sorry but I don't quite buy it. Love happens, and it's complicated, and it takes time, and sometimes it works in weird awful ways, and others it just doesn't. I'm so delighted to read an author who can actually portray the innocence of teen years with the depth of the feelings in a believable manner. Not that there aren't others who do it as well, but this story just has a something that feels more true and relatable. And that is WHY I read.

If you want to read about truly authentic teens in a light yet deeply loveable story, this is THE book for you!


  1. I totally agree that Lola was the perfect portrayal of an innocent teen with the depth that made her a very believable and completely awesome character. Love her relationship with her parental units too. Despite the fact that this has been reviewed so much you still managed to provide so great thoughts worth considering.

  2. Completely agree! She has a knack for capturing first love and all its complications and awkwardness. I loved this book so, so much and it honestly reminded me of my husband and I when we first met!

  3. Sigh, I love this one too. I agree, love is sometimes complicated and messy and insta-love doesn't always happen the way it does in some YA sub-genres - true to life love stories are what Stephanie Perkins does best.

  4. Hear, hear! You said it all in this review. It's so nice to see an author who doesn't have them falling in love by Chapter 3.


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