What: Lola And The Boy Next Door
When: September 29th, 2011
Where: Dutton (Penguin)
How: For Review (BEA)
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.
Yup, she's done it again. Stephanie Perkins has given us a funny, heart-warming and whirlwind contemporary that reminded me why I love her writing so much!
Lola was a lovely heroine. She's vibrant and fun and loves putting on costumes almost as much as she loves making them and I loved every little qiurk about her, even the bad ones. And that's what I love: there are bad ones. Stephanie's characters always have two sides to a coin, like everyone in the world does. And while Lola was wonderful, she was also naive and a tad impulsive and she refused to see what was right in front of her eyes until it was almost too late. But it's Lola's journey of self-discovery and finding out who she really is under all the colors and feathers.
The plot revolves around first love, and what it's like when someone who completely disappeared from your life comes barreling back into it. It was so sweet and unique, because Perkins can take any idea and make it hilarious and amazing, that I actually loved it even more than I did Anna and the French Kiss! It was such a slow build for Lola to realize everything that she should've understood in the first place that you'll be cheering the minute she makes the decisions she needed too.
But this is a character-driven story, so let's talk about characters! Lola's parents are two gay men who basically adopted her. Both of them were funny and so caring and loving that...gah. I wanted to give both of them hugs. Especially Andy, considering the difficulties we had to go through when Lola's mother (his sister) comes back into town. Lindsey was so sweet and sounded like a great friend and Calliope sounds like that girl you can't help but envy, but can't even gather up enough hate to...well, hate.
And then you have Cricket who is one of the best YA boys I have read in a long time. He was sweet and awkward and a fumbler who didn't really know what he was doing but he was so sure about his feelings that I just completely adored him. Plus, he was charming and an inventor! Max was a total douche and I hated him and that's that.
And of course, i'm going to mention the cameo appearance of Anna and St.Clair. I loved this. I loved that they didn't just waltz in for one scene but both were recurring characters and an important part of Lola's journey. You get to learn about where there relationship went and more St.Clair loveliness and how much their relationship grows. Out of the two, Anna and St.Clair are still my favorite couple and I loved that I got both of them in this book.