- Publisher: Penguin USA
- Format: Paperback | 338 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 28mm | 340g
- Publication date: 23 January 2014
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0142422010
- ISBN 13: 9780142422014
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 3,278
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. 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.
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Stephanie Perkins (www.stephanieperkins.com) lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband.
By Amber Smith 22 Oct 2014
This review was originally posted on my blog: http://cosyingupwithbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/book-review-lola-and-boy-next-door-by.html
This is the sequel to Anna and the French Kiss and, in no way, did it let the first book down! I loved the new characters and the fact that Anna and Etienne were prominent characters throughout.
Firstly; the characters. Cricket was adorable in every way. The perfect amount of shy and confident when he needs to be. He was almost old-timey chivalrous towards Lola and I think he fit perfectly within the story. Lola was certainly a lot more extroverted and dramatic than Cricket but I really liked how she was the complete opposite to Anna. I was worried that the author would stick with what she knew worked but she didn't. Lola was a wonderful, enthusiastic person although her outfits sometimes made me want to cringe. I'm all for everyone being who they want to be and whatever but hell, this girl wore a new costume every day. That being said... I really did like the fact that she doesn't have one signature style yet she's still ALL Lola.
The things Cricket did for Lola were small but meant a lot as in they were very personal. It wasn't like he bought her flowers and chocolates and confessed his love. He gave her a rubber band to wear on her wrist (which seems a helluva lot sweeter if you've actually read the book haha), he seemed to know exactly when she needed comfort and what to say, albeit a little awkwardly, but it was cute nonetheless. He also gave her the moon to hold in her hand so that she'd never be lonely and she'd always know he was with her, even when he was away. Again, these acts are a lot more meaningful if you know the reasons behind them!
When I went into this book the one thing that a lot of reviewers had said was that Lola annoyed them with the decisions she made. Having read the book I totally disagree. Lola definitely made some bad decisions but don't all teenagers? From personal experience and a lot of silly falling outs I can tell you that it's perfectly normal for people to make mistakes. My worst mistake was only a couple of years ago when I was 16, a teenager, and I regret it but I sorted everything out. That's exactly what Lola did. She made everything right in the end and that's what matters. She was also the bigger person when it came to the whole Max situation towards the end. She held her head high even when he tried to knock her back down. You have to remember that that was actually a pretty realistic example of everyday choices and what they bring. Just because they're fictional characters does not mean they should be perfect. The character development when it came to Lola was immense - better than in AATFK by a mile. Maybe that was because there was a lot more for Lola to work through as I think she was a more developed character. Anna did have some great development by the end but nothing compared to Lola's.
The ending was perfect. I'm not going to explain why or what it was because reading it without knowing anything was amazing. It was so perfect for her story and such a wonderful way to end the book. I kind of just sat there with the book to my chest as I ran the ending through my head again and again. It was so satisfying AND CRICKET YOU SWEET BOY, YOU.
Okay... Now for the one thing I didn't like; Sometimes the drama got a little out of hand. I rationalised this by saying it was just Lola's character and maybe it was but sometimes, even with Lola being the one to bring the drama, it felt overworked and fake. That was the only thing that got me... I had a longer list of things I didn't like by the time I'd finished the book but when I read over them they didn't seem so bad and they made more sense after completing her story. (I make notes throughout reading so this happens a lot, whoops)
Do I recommend this book? YES! Did I prefer this story to Anna's? No because Anna's story was the one that made me fall in love with Stephanie Perkins's writing and will therefore forever be my favourite book of hers. Should you add this book to your TBR? ABSOLUTELY!!!
What did you guys think of Lola and the Boy Next Door? Was it your favourite in the series? Isla and the Happily Ever After - here I come!
"Step back--it's going to fly off the shelves."--"School Library Journal""A delectable companion to [Perkins's] debut hit, Anna and the French Kiss."--"Kirkus Reviews""Snappy dialogue...a lively romance."--"Publishers Weekly"