Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Companion books with Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Released: 29 September 2011
Summary via goodreads.com: 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 Review: Lola, oh Lola. How I have loved you. Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. Although many have mentioned that they like Anna better, I have to disagree. Lola was amazing! Although maybe I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lola herself (although I did envy her wardrobe, and her awesome dads!) I was a MASSIVE fan of one Mr. Cricket Bell.
Holy crap can anyone say SWOOOOONNNN?? Because that’s what I did people! I freaking SWOONED. As she did with Anna Perkins set the stage of San Francisco (another one of my favorite cities) perfectly. Right down to the houses that line the parks that pop up out of no where. She also wove her characters together perfectly. The relationships in Lola felt somehow, more real, than they did in Anna. Maybe it’s because it is Perkins second novel and she is dealing with more adult aged characters instead of high school kids? Who knows, but I know that the way Perkins voices her adults it perfect. Especially the adults in Lola’s life. For me, Perkins has always been a master of dialogue, seriously guys. It’s not heady like Veronica Mars or Brick, it’s just real. The conversations that run through this book are conversations that I have had with my parents, or with people that I know. She is such an incredible talent of an author.
There were a lot of points where I felt like, “this is Anna, from St. Clair’s point of view” St. Clair and Lola are so similar personality and life-situation wise. It was so nice to see the story from Lola’s point of view, to see her struggle. Lola is the kind of heroine that I can really get behind because she cares a lot about Cricket. She cares more about him than she cares about herself. I feel like, not only is Lola an incredibly enjoyable and practically perfect read, it is also sending out the right message (finally!) to girls every where: That relationships are about being there for each other and building things up together. They’re about caring more about the other person than yourself. That’s the message that I took away from Lola, and that is the reason that I truly love it so much. (though her outfits and family helped a lot too) However, I DO recommend that you read Anna and the French Kiss first (if not just so you can squeal when characters re-appear).