Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.
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.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is a companion novel to author Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss. I read Anna and the French Kiss a few months ago and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was refreshing to read a love story where no supernatural beings or doomed love triangles were involved (Because seriously, that's pretty much all I read....) So when I saw Lola and the Boy Next Door on Perkins' website, I was very interested in reading it, but for some reason it took me a while before I actually purchased it. First thoughts: Lola and the Boy Next Door, personally, wasn't as great as Anna and the French Kiss- but it was good.
What I think really made me like this book was that it's not just about some silly highschool romance. There's real depth to all the characters- and you really see that in the story. The main character, Lola, has all these issues in her life that she has to face and come to terms with. And Cricket, has some family issues that he is constantly dealing with throughout the book.
I have to say, the love story in this book was really sweet. It was so nice seeing both Lola and Cricket have those shy and cautious conversations because, they felt so real. My only complaint would have to be that, unlike Anna and the French Kiss, the passionate side of the romance really lacked for me. The key word for this romance is sweet. And I'm used to hot, hot, burning. Like I said earlier, being used to reading such intense relationships (that usually require a much needed fan to read) I didn't find myself overly in love with the pair.
An extra thought: I loved seeing Anna and St.Clair become part of this book. Although they weren't the focus of the book, they were still much more involved in the story than I would have thought. The only thing I felt was annoying was how, on more than a few occasions, we hear references to St.Clair's height :P Come on, give our guy St.Clair a break!
What a cute cover! Like Anna and the French Kiss, the cover for Lola and the Boy Next Door is so adorable. At Chapters, this cover just popped out to me- grabbing my attention each time. I love that we get to see Lola wearing one of her many unique outfits, as well as Cricket's bracelets! Ahhh Cricket's bracelets!!!! (Those of you who have read the book will understand the significance of the bracelets ;)
“If I weren't standing next to your boyfriend, I'd be tempted to ask you out myself."
She blushes, and St. Clair bounds inside the box office and wrestles her into a hug. "Miiiiiiiiine!" he says.
"Cut it out." Anna pushes him off, laughing. "You'll get fired. And then I'll have to support your sorry arse for the rest of our lives.”
-Cricket, St.Clair, and Anna
“Perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring."
I smile. "You don't think I'm perfect?"
"No. You're delightfully screwy, and I wouldn't have you any other way.”
-Cricket and Lola
“So do you believe in second chances?" I bite my lip.
"Second, third, fourth. Whatever it takes. However long it takes. If the person is right," he adds.
"If the person is... Lola?"
This time, he holds my gaze. "Only if the other person is Cricket.”
-Lola and Cricket
Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door didn't quite reach the high expectations I had after reading Anna and the French Kiss. If you've read the first book then I definitely think you should read Lola and the Boy Next Door in preparation for the third book. Isla and the Happily Ever After will be the final companion, and will be released some time in 2013 (long time away, I know). Read more about the thirs book here in Perkins' FAQ. Be sure to let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments and follow me on twitter to see what I'm chirping about (aha see what I did there?) Keep Reading!
Your YA Bookworm,