Review by Sarah
September 2011 by Dutton Books
Amazon + Good Reads
"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."
The sequel (of sorts) to Anna and the French Kiss, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Lola and the Boy Next Door. Stephanie Perkins is so great at characterization and story. She is quickly rising to the top of my favorite YA contemporary authors; up there with John Green and Rainbow Rowell.
For as much as I adored Anna, I think I actually loved Lola even a bit more. One of my favorite parts of this book was the character of Lola in general. She was different and quirky and flawed, and she wasn’t afraid to show these traits. I loved that she wore wigs to express herself, but that she was still Lola when she took them off. I love that she wanted to wear a Marie Antoinette dress to the dance. I love her love interest.
Cricket Bell. What a boy next door. Cricket is kind and thoughtful and everything I look for in a fictional boyfriend (I promise I don’t do that too often). I was totally rooting for the two of them and was happy with the outcome.
And I can’t forget to mention two of my favorite characters – Lola’s dads. Yes, plural. This is the first time I have read a book that explored the world of gay dads. It was brave and done well. Each dad had his own personality – Andy the lighthearted, funny one and Nathan the tougher, more disciplinary one – and each was lovable.
I also loved that Anna and St. Clair were sprinkled into this book a bit. It was a nice to revisit them and know they are doing well.
Basically, all the characters in the book, sans Max, are awesome. I fell in love with each one and highly recommend this book.
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