Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: ‘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.”

Stephanie Perkins has done it again.  She has made me fall in love right along with her characters.  Lola and the Boy Next Door is a wonderful, contemporary teen romance novel with interesting characters that make you wish they were real. 

Lola is not a perfect girl.  She makes poor decisions and lots of mistakes, but that makes her real.  I have known many girls like Lola.  She lies when she is afraid to tell the truth.  She struggles with her identity.  Her heart is traitorous and out of control.  In other words, she is a typical teenage girl.  Lola’s costumes are both an expression of who she is and a mask to hide from the world. 

Lola has two guys in her life.  Her boyfriend, Max, is a 22 year old musician.  Max seems like a pretty good guy—he submits to all of the unreasonable dating demands placed on him by Lola’s overprotective parents.  He struggles with trusting Lola, but he has good reason for him doubts.  The other guy in her life is Cricket (aka: the boy next door).  Despite his terrible name, Cricket is a super cool guy who is clearly crazy about Lola.  Unfortunately, he broke her heart two years before, and she hasn’t forgiven him.   

Like Perkins’ first book, Anna and the French Kiss, Lola is at its heart, a great love story.  The chemistry between the characters is red hot!  Lola and Cricket didn’t leave me with heart palpitations in the way Anna and St. Clair did, but it was romantic and sweet.  Definitely an excellent second novel.  Can’t wait to read what Perkins come out with next.

I loved the themes explored throughout this book—self-identity, honestly, friendship, forgiveness, creativity, age & maturity, what it means to be in love, etc.  Perkins wove them throughout the story brilliantly.  I also liked the Anna and St. Clair made it into this book. 

Overall, I give Lola and the Boy Next Door

Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character development – 5 bookmarks
Love story – 5 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Sarah Hyland (Lola), Diego Boneta (Cricket), Daveigh Chase (Calliope), Trevor Donovan (Max)


  1. I loved Anna, too -- really looking forward to Lola. Thanks for the review!

  2. Just finished reading it. I really liked it too! Stephanie Perkins does such a wonderful job of creating believable teenage characters that I don't want to scream at (I'm 32 so sometimes teenagers get on my nerves - just being real!).
    I need to get my review up - definitely excited to read more of her stuff.
    Oh and I love your bookmark rating system!