ARC: 338 Pages
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
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From Goodreads. 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.
Review by Kate
LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, by Stephanie Perkins, is the adorable companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. Lola is a girl with an intense eye for fashion, two gay dads, and a twenty-two year old boyfriend (Lola is seventeen). If her life wasn't full enough, her former best friend and crush, Cricket Bell, moves back into the house next door along with his ego-centric figure skating twin, Calliope. Their parting years ago stuck with Lola but with Cricket back in town, can she handle the rekindling of a former flame?
I had a great time reading this book. Lola was adorable, fun, and quirky. I loved her interesting style and her family dynamic with her two dads. She seemed to have a pretty stable head on her shoulders, minus the whole 'dating a guy in his twenties'-thing. From the beginning I really disliked the relationship between Max and Lola. I felt the same way everyone else did in the book in that dating someone five years older than you works later in life, not when one of the parties is a teenager. I found Max controlling and very insecure in turn suffocating Lola. On the other hand, I loved the history between Lola and Cricket and I yearned for them to get together! I liked how Perkins slowly revealed their past together and I think the idea of loving the boy next door is classic and romantic.
Along with a bunch of new characters, Perkins brought back Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss, so I think fans of that book will definitely be pleased. Anna and St. Clair had a larger role than I expected but it was nice to have some connection between the books.
Without spoiling too much, I just wanted to say that this book is definitely one to add to your list before the year is out. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Lola is a well formed character and one that I think teens can relate to. She is not 'the popular girl' but she does what she wants and what makes her happy. I loved her crazy fashion sense and it definitely plays a role in each aspect of her life. I give this book a thumbs up and I you will enjoy it too!