BOOK REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins

Released: September 29, 2011 (Dutton Children Books)

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

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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.

Why I Read This Book

Immediately after finishing Anna and the French Kiss, I knew I needed more Stephanie Perkins in my life!

My Thoughts

I don’t think words can describe my love for Stephanie Perkins. Ever since I read Anna and the French Kiss, I was hooked. I loved the characters, the story, and the fact that the book kept me up all night reading.

Perkins’s latest offering, Lola and the Boy Next Door, was no different. I started reading it later in the evening and was sad that I just couldn’t keep my eyes open to keep reading it, but happy that I would have the morning to savour over it.

Yes, I savour books. Is that so wrong?

Lola and the Boy Next Door is exactly about that. Lola, a budding young designer-wannabe, is dating Max, going to high school, and working her part-time job at the movie theatre like any other day when disaster strikes: Calliope Bell moves back in next door. The Bells had lived there years ago and now they were back, much to the disappointment of Lola, but only because she knows that where Calliope goes, Cricket — her twin and the boy that Lola loved when they were growing up — is sure to follow.

I will admit that this one didn’t grab me from the first page like Anna and the French Kiss did, but once I got into it, I didn’t want to put the book down! I loved Lola. She was so unique and not shy to be herself. I liked her dads — especially the writing of her dads. Too many times I’ll read a book where a character is gay, but it’s just written so obviously. Lola’s dads, Adam and Nathan, are just … dads. There’s nothing weird about it.

Stephanie Perkins writes such great characters and while it was nice to meet the new ones — and falling in love with the name Cricket — it was also great to see the old ones. Yes, Anna and Etienne make an appearance in this book, more than once. I’m glad I read Anna first, and not the other way around, though I have to admit that I thought Etienne was a lot more different in this book. Of course, it wasn’t about him, and even if I didn’t think he seemed the same (alas, love does change book characters, too), it was awesome to feel that familiarity with him and Anna in this book.

I was happy that nobody was perfect in this novel. I love a good romance, but it’s nice to see that not everything falls into place and that there’s always something that could go wrong. Lola’s life isn’t perfect, even though it looks like it is from the outside. And even the dreaded Bells aren’t perfect — they, too, have their weaknesses and their troubles. Stephanie Perkins writes life in such an honest and simple way that it’s hard to realize that you’re reading a young adult romance-y novel.

(By the way, I just have to press a little further on how much I love Stephanie Perkins, from her cute hairstyle, to her amazing books, to reading her acknowledgements at the end of a book. She seems like such a fun person and I add her to my list of people I want to be friends with.)

I give Lola and the Boy Next Door a huge thumbs up and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read. Trust me, you’ll fall in love with Lola and realize that even though she makes mistakes, we too made mistakes at that age. Stephanie Perkins is one of my new favourite authors and I’m not sure if I can wait for her next book to come out!

Who Should Read This Book

Well, if you like cute YA contemporary romance books with kissing that you’ll read in one sitting with plenty of laughs and smiles, then you should read this. Actually, scratch that … I think everyone should read this!

Read More Reviews

Jenn’s review –> Booksessed
Alexa’s review –> Alexa Loves Books
Amanda’s review –> Book Love 101

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


21 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Kristilyn, I haven’t read any of Perkins work and i think I need to correct that. This sounds like a fun, solid read with characters you want to talk about. Awesome review.

  2. Reading your review made me want to re-read Lola!!! (I’ve read Anna 4 times in the past year, but somehow I’ve only read Lola once… I need to change that!)

    I agree with you on the Dad front. To me, I totally forgot about the gay thing, they were just Dad’s. And it worked so well.

    I adore Stephanie Perkins. ADORE.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  3. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (3) | Reading In Winter

  4. I loved Anna and I’m so happy to hear Lola didn’t disappoint after the amazingness of Anna!! I still need to read it (I’ve been saying this for about 8 months now…), bad me… Also: I love it when the parents are fully developed characters and not just plot devices or absent!

  5. I absolutely ADORED this book. Honestly, I may even like it better than Anna (eep!), if only because I adore Cricket more than I adore Etienne. But seriously, Stephanie Perkins is an amazing writer and this was a wonderful story!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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