Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Affiliated with Anna and the French Kiss
Publisher: Speak (this edition)
Published: July 9th 2013 (this edition)
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Date read: April 28th 2014
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
“Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon.”
So, after reading Anna and the French Kiss, I had to go read Lola and the Boy Next Door right away. I heard that Anna and St. Clair, my OTP, would appear as minor characters, so of course I had to pick this book up ASAP. The book revolves around Lola Nolan, a costume-enthusiast. She recenetly turned 17 years old and has only three wishes; going to the winter formal as Marie Antoinette, that her parents will finally approve of her 22-years-old boyfriend, and to never see the Bell twins again.
This changes soon after the twins finally move back to the house next door. Dun dun duuuuuun!
Lola Nolan: My first impression of Lola was… weird. I’m not a big fan of daily-wear costumes, but I do applaud her for the courage that she has. I do not, however, like the fact that she dates a 22-years-old pot-smoking-disrespectful-guy. By all means, I’m not the type to judge by age, I’m just personally just not a big fan of disrespect. Her character is absolutely different from Anna, which I didn’t grasp that well. I do like Lola, but I love Anna. Their characters are however totally different. I don’t know how to pinpoint it. With one word, I would describe Lola as loud (not offensive). As I previously said, I do like Lola, I just don’t love her. I grew to like her more after reading more of the book. I love how much she had developed by the end of the book.
Cricket Bell: I first reacted to the name, but have since warmed up to it. Cricket seems like such a cute guy, whom I would absolutely love having as a neighbour
and boyfriend. He’s so sweet, and so giving. I’m peculiarly incapable of describing the character in this review, but to keep it short: I love Cricket. Almost as much as I loved our dear St. Clair. He’s tall, intelligent, extremely kind and conciderate. Perkins sure knows how to create the perfect guys. Gosh…
The dads: Holy Zeus! I love Lola’s dads so freaking much! They are the most adorable gay couple ever. They are also the first I’ve read about, so well. I can’t actually say much there. But my main point is, they have the right amount of parental traits (i.e. guidance) and sassyness. They love her more than anything, and she knows it too. They all get along so well as a cute little family and I absolutely love it. There should be more of this. Just saying.
Anna and St. Clair: I can’t express how much I love the fact that they were actually in this book. For realsies. They have the best relationship ever, and it’s also observed by Lola herself. She takes in how they always are so naturally perfect for each other. Their train of thoughts, their efforts in the relationship. She looks at them and realizes how her relationship with Max isn’t as perfectly good as she had thought.
Lola and the Boy Next Door was slightly easy to predict, specially because of the title. Come on, “boy next door”, you’re practically serving it to the readers on a gold plate. But despite already knowing that Lola would end up with our lovely boy next door when I opened this book, I still loved the developements. The book starts of with Lola already having a boyfriend, Max, so it was interesting reading on to find out how exactly Lola was going to end up with Cricket.
During the whole time, I had a bittersweet thing going on with Max. Okay, so he is the tiniest decent, concidering the fact that he actually sat through Sunday Brunch with Lola’s dads so that they would trust him (ish). However, during their breakup scene, he spilled all the beans and it shows how much of an inconciderate, selfish, dirtbag he actually is. His whole demeanor just changed abruptly.
It makes me happy that they aren’t together anymore, as I truly believe more and more that Lola belongs to Cricket. I love all those scenes with their window conversations and those nights where he actually came over to her room at the middle of the night. Makes me slightly want something like that for myself one day. By the end of the book, we get to meet a more hormonal (if I may say so) side of Cricket, by the way Lola says “These are not the kisses of a sweet, wholesome boy next door”. While reading this part, I think I actually laughed out loud. Throughout the book, Cricket seemed like he always was inexperienced and cautious. Well, he did actually confess to her, but still. I didn’t see that coming. However, in my opinion, it only stregthen his overall character even more.
Over the course of years I’ve been reading, there are some books that just drags on and on with the plot, and the reader, such as I, may get bored and fall asleep (if seated too comfortable, that is). This is however NOT the situation here at all. I was pushed through the book way too fast and before I knew it, I’d already finished Perkins’ beloved book.
All in all:
Recommendation: I would absolutely recommend this book to young adults (hehe) and of course, to all of you who loved Anna and the French Kiss; this is a MUST read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ( Anna and the French Kiss set the bar very high)
UP NEXT: I’ll be posting a review of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sometime soon. Stay tuned!