Monday, November 21, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

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. (from Goodreads)

Flo's Review: Stephanie Perkins strength lies in writing imperfections. She writes these teenage boys who are...teenage boys. They make mistakes. They are quirky. They can be immature. But these faults make them real -- so real. And the quirkiness makes them loveable. You all know that Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss is my second fictional crush, behind only Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. He is beautiful and flawed.

Lola and the Boy Next Door introduces us to Cricket Graham Bell -- yes, a direct descendant of Alexander Graham Bell. Cricket wears multicolored bracelets and tight dress pants short enough so you can see his socks. He writes different things on his hand everyday. He has flyaway hair. He has messed up. He is a good brother. He is a good guy. And, here's a Flo Fact, he is AMAZING!!! (Why yes, he has found his way on my fictional crushes list. How'd you guess?!)

Lola herself is a great character to experience the story through. She has this crazy way of dressing and talking to the moon and other things that seem wacky, but are perfectly rational and explainable to Lola. 

My second favorite part of this book (behind Cricket -- have I gushed enough about him yet?!) are Anna and St. Clair. I knew that Lola was a companion book to Anna, and so they would be making an appearance. But I still may have squeed out loud the first time I recognized them in the book. And I didn't realize just how big a role they would have in Lola's story. LOVE!!

The only reason Lola got 4 stars from me and Anna got 5 is because I loved Paris. Lola's San Francisco is bright and fun, but it can't hold a candle to falling in love in the City of Love.

Teri's Review
I will make a confession...Stephanie Perkins has done the impossible...she has me falling in love with a contempory boy..not once but twice now, she is really ruining my reputation as a lover of bad boys! Yes, I am talking about Cricket Graham Bell..he is the most dreamy of boys with his overly tall self, his messy dark hair, his skinny pants, his arm full of braclets and  *sighs* that special star he keeps drawn on the back of his hand!

I started reading Lola and the Boy Next Door because I loved Anna and the French Kiss..I mean..I LOVED that book. Lola and the Boy Next Door started out a bit slow for me. Maybe its the time of the year, being in retail Im super busy right now, but I got the surprise of my life when I turned one page and there was St.Clair ( I knew this was a companion book, but I never really thought about him and Anna being in the book). From that moment on I was hooked! The characters in Lola are all fantastic..Lola herself was fun with her wacky way of dress ( I wouldn't dress like that but I admire that she does so) Her parents, I loved the fact that Stephanie Perkins gave her two dads and made them both loving and protective of her. Hey, I even liked Max ( Sexy bad boy with guitar thing, you know ) up until a certain point when he was standing in a door talking to Lola, then I just wanted to hit him in the face! ( little Teri fact: My very favorite song ever and ever is Lola by the Kinks, it was hard not to love Max when he belted out a line to this ) 

As you can probably tell, I loved this book. I didn't mind that it didn't take place in a romantic place such as  Paris, it could have taken place in my boring nondescript Midwestern neighborhood and I would have still loved it. Like Flo, I gave it a 4 star rating..mostly because for took too many pages for Anna and St Clair to show up!


  1. I obviously need to add Anna and Lola to my TBR list. Flo has been raving about St. Clair for quite some time now and "Here we go again." (OK...shameless JM quote for F. LOL)

  2. Despite loving the fictional aspects of this well written story, the real life depictions of a girl being raised by two gay men, dating a tattooed older MAN who is a rock musician, having a drugged mother and homeless father, and dressing in costumes so that "she" isn't revealed, is messed-up. Psychologically and emotionally this girl is hurting and making bad choices that cannot just be summed-up to being a teenager. There is so much abnormal behavior going on here that apparently is intended to be understood as normal and maybe even healthy because it ends well. Hopefully, the YA crowd to whom this is directed will be able to see the pain and anger for what and who it really is and understand the improbability of this story ending with the "happily ever after" it seems to imply. As a work of fiction, this story is entertaining, as a work of true-life; it is heartbreaking.

  3. OMG - raised by gay men????? Oh no!!!! Give her back to her drug addict mother and homeless father at once!!!