Thursday 20 December 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door
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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.

My thoughts 

After reading Anna and the French Kiss I had to read the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, because I loved Perkins' writing in Anna. Actually, I loved everything about Anna. Anyway, I was very excited to read Lola, but as a companion novel I couldn't help compairing it to Anna at times, and for that I was a teeny bit disappointed. I think it lacked the warm feeling that Anna always left me with, and then I just didn't like Lola as a character as much as Anna. But that doesn't mean I didn't like Lola, because I really did. It was a fun and sweet read, and I'll definitely be rereading it in the future. 

It all begins with Lola being with her boyfriend, Max, who I couldn't decide if I liked or not. Well, right until I met Cricket, whom I very much preferred. He was just a very sweet guy. And the best part was, that he felt real, because he acted like every normal guy, you know, he didn't always say or do the right things. Anyway, Cricket and his family move back in the neighbor house, and Lola is left as confused as ever while all her long buried feelings for Cricket slowly come to life again. I liked this inner struggle she has, and how she constantly tries to find out what she wants, and who she really is. 

I really liked Lola, though she was certainly a different character with all her constant costume changes and all her colour. At first I didn't quite understand it, but then I came to like her passion for clothes. I like when a character knows what she wants to do and go for it, maybe because I never know what I want to do. But Lola dressed up all the time and she never cared what other thought.
Cricket was.. very much Cricket (if that makes any sense). He was this geeky boy who was a little awkward, and a whole lot of sweet. I kind of find it hard to discribe him properly, so I'll just think I'll leave it to you to get to know him yourself. Though I can say I wish he was my neighbor.     

I very much liked all the side characters. They all had a part in the story, and they all contributed to the story in their own way. I espacially liked Lola's dads, they were both funny and very likable as parents - and I liked that for once the parents actually play a part in the story about a teenager.
Another reason why I love Perkins' books is how she makes all her characters unique, they all have things that makes them them. From what they like, what they say and do, and even these little things as small habits. And she doesn't just tell they this characteristic, she shows it, and they keep them through out the book. I really appreciate these little details. 

One of the things I had looked forward to upon reading this book, was a tiny glimpse of Anna and St. Clair. And I got that, actually they were present much more than I had expected. And I absolutely loved that. They are some of my favourite fictional couples, so it was nice seeing them together, and they were, like, always together.

Overall, besides missing that warm and fluffy feel that I had hoped for after reading Anna I really liked Lola and the Boy Next Door. I'll definitely recommend it, both if you've read Anna but also just as a contemporary, though you might want to read Anna and the French Kiss first. 
Now I'll just have to wait for May to read the last one, Isla and the Happily Ever After, which features Isla and Josh's story. Eeep!

☆ ☆ ☆ 

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