Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door

So sometimes I have to do Goodreads summary+bullet point reviews because it is the best way for me to organize my thoughts and because I waited way to long to write a paragraph review because I’ve been reading like a maniac and not writing because dude, baseball is on TV.

Goodreads Summary:

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.

  • The characters made this book.  Lola is awesome.  She loves to dress in costume and is pretty artsy and while she really loves this about herself, she has moments of insecurity about it.  Because she’s 17 and that is what being 17 is actually like, even if you are one of those quirky-cool girls like Lola.
  • Lola has two dads, Andy and Nathan, and they are also awesome.  They are pretty protective of Lola, but in a way that actually allows Lola to make her own mistakes.  In return, Lola does what she can to live up to their expectations.  This was one awesomely healthy parent-teen relationship for YA… Even though Lola doesn’t always obey her parents, she respects them and doesn’t spend the whole book complaining about them being either absent or unfair.
  • Cricket is the super duper nice, mechanically-inclined boy-next-door.  He’s a total nerd, but in the cute, quirky way and he is seriously nice.  Cricket has been pining for Lola for years and that is just so swoon-worthy.  Seriously, Lola, you gotta pick this dude.
  • One big obstacle to Lola and Cricket getting together is that Lola already has a boyfriend and she hasn’t quite realized he’s not the guy she wants him to be.  I actually liked the handling of this because I was totally that girl at one point in my life (I met my husband when I was dating someone else) and I have gotten some pretty nasty reactions to that fact (even though I broke up with the other guy before starting to date husband).  You don’t get to pick when love comes your way and sometimes it’s not exactly convenient.
  • The only thing that bugged me about Lola and the pacing of this book was that she wasted SO MUCH TIME on her rocker boyfriend, Max.  Max was a total tool who was way too old for Lola and I really hated him for just being a jerk whose instinctual response to everything was anger.  Lola isn’t in love with him, just the idea of him (I hate that phrase, but it’s totally true here) and it eventually got frustrating to see her keep going back to him.
  • This is considered a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss and Anna and St. Clair appear rather frequently as minor characters.  I haven’t yet read Anna and the French Kiss and picked up Lola when I saw it at the library (my branch didn’t have Anna).  I have to say that St. Clair was ANNOYING in this book.  I still plan on reading Anna, but if it hadn’t received so much love, I might not.  Seriously, St. Clair was kinda icky in this book.
  • This is a cute YA romance that deals with some big issues (dating older boys, homosexuality, adoption, liking two boys at the same time) in a very honest manner.  Not very steamy, but then again, most YA isn’t.  I’d definitely recommend if you like YA and romance!

Other Reviews:
Brandyn @ Brandyn’s Book Blog loved this so much she read it three times in one month!

(If I left out your review, holla at me and I will link you up!)

10 thoughts on “Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins

  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!! I am not normally a YA comtemp person, but holy crap I devoured this one! I loved Lola and Cricket and found Max to be quite annoying, but that was probably the point, I think. I will definitely be rereading it and recommend it ALL THE TIME to students looking for a good contemp.

    I will say though…I tried reading Anna and the French Kiss and just couldn’t get into it. I know I’ll try again at some point, but I just couldn’t do it at the time. I also found St. Clair kind of…annoying in Lola, so maybe that was it.

    BTW, the more I read of your reviews, the more I realize how similar our tastes are 🙂

    • I think I’m pretty picky about YA contemps, too. Like… it needs to be John Green good. This was not John Green, of course, but it was definitely well-put-together and fun and cute and all that you want/need out of a contemp read!

      When I met St. Clair in this book, I was like HUH? this is the guy all the bloggers swoon over? seriously? Who want a short, cocky, meddlesome boyfriend? And I thought it was weird that he hung out with Anna at work when he didn’t work at the theater. Come on, back off and let the girl do her job!

      And I’m glad we have similar tastes… it’s nice to have someone to share books with!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I can’t tell you how much I agree with you on Lola’s dads. Seriously I feel like this book was the perfectly portrayed parent teenager dynamic.

    I know a lot of people though Max’s change from good boyfriend to jerk was abrupt, but I think the thing with Cricket just brought out a side of him that was always there she just hadn’t noticed before. Max was only nice to people when there was something in it for him (ie Sunday brunches).

    I actually reread Anna a couple weeks ago and liked it better than I remembered. I think I went in with too high of expectations. I agree though – I find St Clair a little annoying.

    • Yeah, Max never really seemed like the good boyfriend Lola pretended he was. Lola’s attitude towards him changes rather abruptly, but that is definitely because of Cricket coming back into her life. Thanks for recommending this one so highly!

  3. I wonder what you will think about Anna after reading Lola. St. Clair I think comes off a little better in the first book, but he’s already made a bad first impression so I’m not sure if he’ll be redeemed for you! I totally agree that Max is in this book far too long- he annoyed me even more when I read/listened to the book a second time. Lola’s dads are Cricket are awesome.

    • I’m going to try to be open-minded about St. Clair. He might read differently from Anna’s view than from Lola’s and perhaps his meddlesome nature will be more charming!

  4. I completely agree with EVERYTHING you say in here – even the annoyingness of St. Clair, and I’m probably his biggest fan! (okay, not necessarily true). I sincerely hope reading him in Anna will change your mind. And if not… hey, you’ve always got Cricket!

  5. So I actually DIDN’T LIKE Anna and the French kiss! Gasp. I know. This one seems better to me. For one thing, I like that it’s set stateside. The Paris setting felt a little unnecessary in the other – almost pandering? Also St. Clair was in fact annoying. But you should check it out and decide for yourself 🙂

    • It’s not high on my reading list, but I will probably read Anna at some point just out of curiosity. It won’t surprise me if I’m not a big St. Clair fan given my impression of him from Lola. I guess we’ll wait and see!

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