Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perks
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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
Okay, what I really loved about this novel, to start with, is that while its a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, it is not necessary to read the first book to enjoy this one. I mean, well, it is a little bit but you can read this book without reading the first one, definitely. I really enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, but I enjoyed this book even more than that. I was pleasantly surprised and I loved everything about this novel.
First off, the character of Lola. Lola is so real and genuine. She has this tendency to be these different characters every day with her various outlandish outfits and sometimes a character like that can come off as fake or stereotyped or something like that but I really felt that Lola was so genuine. You bought into her uniqueness and you bought into her personality and you just fall in love with her so fast. She wants to go as Marie Antoinette for her school’s winter formal and you’re all thumbs up for that. She wears various wigs and has the craziest get ups but even though they are such an essential part to her personality, her personality is so strong that you can’t help but want her to be your best friend. I definitely want her to be my best friend.
Then there’s Cricket. I’m not going to lie; the fact that his name is Cricket drives me crazy for the first half of the book. All I can think of is, how am I supposed to like this guy when he’s named after a BUG? But he’s so sweet, and he’s so beautiful and wonderful. Stephanie Perkins claims him as a Hufflepuff and I completely agree with it. And I love me some Hufflepuffs. He’s so…god, I want to say things without ruining the book because of my commitment to spoiler free reviews. He’s a sweet, humble, intelligent, selfless person and he has a humor and a deep personality that would make any reader fall madly in love with him.
Plus, I just enjoyed the story. Its not about having a total point and purpose, with a conflict and all that. The conflict is Lola and her personality and her desires and wants and her coming to terms with all of them. Its about her handling all the things in her life and coming to terms with them. Its very much a coming of age story. You know, Anna is used to be unusual with her crazy outfits, and her fantastic personality and the fact that she has two dads but its not until she makes the journey through this book that she really embraces it and realizes how much it is who she is. I love it.
Lastly, I really do love that Lola was adopted by a gay couple. I love this. I love that Stephanie Perkins shows this because so many books out there just cut those things out. They don’t represent the “us” that is out there, and she really does that in this book. She recognizes that there are plenty of gay couples with families out there, and that they have the capabilities to be wonderful parents just the way a straight couple would, and vice versa. I loved both Andy and Nathan, and I loved their inclusion and importance in this novel. I really did.
Oh, one more thing: Anna and St. Clair in this novel was awesome. I did enjoy that thoroughly. <3
5 out of 5 Stars
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