Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
Realistic Contemporary Young Adult
Published: Dutton Books
Released on: September 29,2011
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.05
Pages: 338

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis:

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 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Important Information: I recently read and reviewed the first in this series. Anna and the French Kiss. You can read Lola and the Boy Next Door without having read Anna, but I recommend reading them in order. My review of Anna is here.

Overview of the Novel: Lola might be eccentric but she has a great boyfriend. He's older, more mature, and definitely what she needs. But then Calliope and Cricket Bell move back into the house next door and her world is turned upside down. Lola used to be friends with Calliope and then Calliope burnt her. She was friends with Cricket and maybe even more and then he completely crushed her. She doesn't want to have to deal with him and besides she has an awesome boyfriend. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I had heard such fantastic things about Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door that I was really excited to read them. I was slightly disappointed with Anna, but I still really liked it. So I went into Lola with mixed feelings. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving it.

Lola was eccentric and yet I found myself connecting with her character and desperately wanting to learn more about her. I think many of us can relate to liking our best friend, the one guy we think we can never have, or at least think we can't.

It's a plot that's cliched. Girl loves boy next door. Boy next door doesn't love her back....and so on. But Stephanie Perkins did a great job of breathing new life into this cliched plot. I was never bored. 

I also loved how Stephanie tied this novel into her last one. I loved learning more about Anna and Etienne. I love when authors weave in old characters without overpowering the new characters' stories. Perkins did that masterfully.  

And although, I knew what would happen in the end I thoroughly enjoyed getting there. This book was an exciting one to read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

So why 4 stars? Although I loved it, it just wasn't quite 5 star material. I liked the novel—the writing was masterful, the plot was expertly crafted, and the characters were intriguing. But it lacked that extra kick to make this novel especially memorable. It's still one of my favorites I've read this year, however.

In Summary: Stephanie Perkins has created a realistic contemporary young adult series that readers will adore. She writes quirky, realistic characters that readers will fall in love with and does so with a depth that is unusual to the genre. Definitely recommended. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Lola's parents are gay. If that bothers you, then this is probably not the book for you. However, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this novel. 

The Wrap-up: I can't wait to see what Perkins does in her next novel. This one was beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable. I flew through this one and can't wait to read the third one.


Danica Page


  1. Great review! :) I loved Lola as a character too, she's flawed but honest with herself. Here's my review of Lola last year:

    I'm actually rereading Anna right now too lol. I really loved that one, but I can understand being disappointed after all the hype!

    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked my review. I do love how honest she is and aren't we all flawed. Thanks for leaving a link to your review.

      I'll have to reread Anna and see if my opinion changes. Thanks for commenting.

  2. What a small world, another Danica that wants become a published author! I wish you a lot of luck! I'm hoping to become brave enough this year to search out an agent! :) Danica Martin

    1. Wow! That is a coincidence. Good luck with your writing endeavors and thanks for stopping by.

  3. Lola sounds great! I enjoyed Anna and have been meaning to pick this one up.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. I hope you get to this one soon. If you enjoyed Anna, you will most likely really enjoy this one. Most people seem to like this one a little bit better than Anna. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I actually wasn't a big fan of this one, but I'm glad you liked it so much! I also haven't read Anna so maybe that's why I didn't enjoy it as much as you. *shrugs*

    1. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like this one. It's definitely not everybody's cup of tea. Thanks for commenting and for reading my review.


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