Author: Stephanie Perkins
Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Romance, Humor
Published: September 2011
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the 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.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is the second novel in the ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ series by Stephanie Perkins. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, so was really looking forward to reading the rest of the series! I’ve already reviewed Anna and the French Kiss, you can read it it here!
If I’m completely honest, I didn’t like this book as much as the first – I don’t think I clicked as well with the characters in this book than I did in Anna, so couldn’t be as invested in the storyline as I usually would be. I find it quite funny that the character I didn’t really connect with was Lola, as she is one of the few teenage girls in this book. I feel like I couldn’t relate to her as much as I could with Anna, for example. I think one of the main differences between myself and Lola is that she is someone that makes a statement with her fashion/costume, whereas I would much rather play it safe and go unnoticed. We don’t share many personality traits, so sometimes I found it hard to understand what she was thinking or why she did something.
I found that Cricket and Calliope Bell were quite interesting, and often exciting, characters. Cricket is quite nerdy, sweet and awkward, whereas Calliope is definitely the more noticeable, strong-willed and sassier twin (though there is a lot of character development which is really nice to see).
However, I do have say that I really enjoyed the overlapping characters between the books, where you see some characters from the first book returning in the second, and loved that you get to learn even more about them and what they do when they’re at home as opposed to their fancy school in Paris.
Though San Franiciso isn’t Paris, I still thought it was a really beautiful and unique setting for this book. You do get a lot of descriptions about the area that Lola and Cricket live in, as well as some of the less personal places that they visit. I’m actually quite envious of her home (not the actual building but the surrounding streets) – it seems really authentic and rich, and somewhere I would love to visit.
This book was a little too slow-paced for my liking. Yes, there were some exciting and dramatic events, but for the most part, everything seemed kind of mediocre and like not much fuss was made about it – the drama should’ve been even more dramatic!
It took me a bit longer to get through this book than it did with Anna, however, I still really enjoyed it and am excited to read the final installment in the series!
Star Rating: ★★★☆☆
Check back on Sunday for the final review!