Number of Pages: 388
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: September 28, 2011
“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’ve been meaning to read this book for years, basically ever since I read the first page of Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss and fell in love with it. Many people have told me that they enjoyed Lola and the Boy Next Door even more than the first book in this series, so understandably I began this book with very high expectations.
It was fantastic! All of the characters were so diverse that there was never a dull moment. I particularly liked the fact that Lola was raised by two fathers because I had never seen that in a young adult novel before. It was a bold move for Stephanie Perkins to make and it definitely paid off. Lola herself had a distinct voice and personality that burst from the pages and made you feel like she was actually a real person. Picturing countless crazy outfits was a lot of fun, especially because they were so unique. Also, this novel seems much more realistic to me than the love story in Anna and the French Kiss. Lola has real problems in her life that she has to confront (her mother’s irresponsibility, her boyfriend’s jealousy, her fathers’ strict rules, her new/old neighbors next door) whereas Anna focused mostly on St. Clair. The relationship progressed at a more realistic pace as well, although there was definitely some rapid insta-love going on. Lola had so many conflicting emotions whizzing around in her head that my own heart ached for her the entire way through.
I loved it- just not as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss. It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series so it’s probably time for a reread, but I can still remember the way I felt when I read it. The setting of a school in Paris was interesting in itself, and I didn’t have that same fascination with Lola’s neighborhood. Most importantly, I absolutely LOVED St. Clair. He was intelligent, funny, attractive, AND HAD A BRITISH ACCENT. I liked Cricket, but again I didn’t feel as strong a connection with him. I think it’s because a lot of the book was focused on Lola’s older rock-band boyfriend Max, who I despised. By the time we got to Cricket the book was pretty much over. Moreover, some of the best parts of Lola for me were scenes that included Anna and St. Clair. I was still in adoration of their love story, and therefore it prevented me from fully investing myself in the relationship of Cricket and Lola. I didn’t get that amazing warm, fuzzy feeling reading Lola that I experienced when I read Anna, so as far as feelings go I prefer the latter.
Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a terrific book. It’s better when reading for a more realistic teen love story, but Anna and the French Kiss takes the cake for me when I’m reading simply to fall in love with the characters and have some fun. I have no complaints about either novel!
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! But I would definitely read Anna and the French Kiss first so you have the background on them when they appear in this book.
Which book did you prefer? What are your thoughts on either one? Let me know in the comments section below!