Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publish Date: September 29th, 2011
Genre: Chick-lit, Romance, YA
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 can’t really say that I enjoyed this book as much as I thought I would have. I thought that I’d be able to relate to Lola because of her obsession with clothing and costuming (because that sounds really fun and I love fashion). But unfortunately, that was not the case.
I found that this book was a lot less about the adventure of love and learning, but more like growing up and realizing what you wanted for yourself. Unlike in Anna and the French Kiss where Anna is learning how to adjust to her school in France, Lola is trying to grow up and become a better version of herself. She’s sick and tired of being judged and controlled by her parents because of the decisions she makes. This isn’t a bad thing but I was just expecting something that was as funny and endearing as the first book and Lola didn’t deliver. I found that the plot seemed to be slower than it did in Lola. What really annoyed me was that it took her a good 250 pages to even get close to the beginning of her relationship with Cricket. Lola just needed to make up her mind and act on it by that point because I was fed up by how indecisive she was acting.
Lola was an interesting protagonist. She’s spunky and unique yet also very sensitive. I didn’t really like her that much. She acts like a confident person when in reality, she’s actually quite insecure, which I suppose, is one of the most important aspects of the book. Personally, I found her to be whiny and annoying even if she the rest of her personality was interesting. The characterization, like in the first book, was well done. Lindsey, Cricket, Max, Norah, her dads, everybody seemed realistic. I actually wish I had seen more of Calliope in the story but more often than not, she was just someone that they talked about. I loved Lindsey, Cricket, and Norah (I don’t care if she was a terrible mother, I still loved her character). Lindsey was fabulous. Her crush on Charlie was adorable and her observing personality was great. Cricket was cute (in my opinion, better than Etienne). It might just be because he had a slightly nerdier quality than Etienne did (nerdy, awkward guys are the best). His character was super realistic, more so than a lot of the other characters.
Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door didn’t have that many problems. It’s just that it didn’t live up to my expectations after reading Anna and the French Kiss. If anything, the main problem I had was with Lola’s character and the fact that it took them a ridiculously long amount of time to get together. You’ll find yourself screaming at the book because they don’t get together.