BOOK REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction, Romance
FORM: Audiobook
NARRATOR: Shannon McManus

SYNOPSIS: Lola is perfectly happy, well mostly perfectly happy. She has the best boyfriend ever; the best older boyfriend, who’s in a band, and has awesome tattoos! She loves her family, which includes her two dads, and their black dog, Betsy. The only thing that could make it a bit better is if her Dads and friends would like or at least except her boyfriend, but that will come in time….

Then Lola’s world begins to be flipped upside down. The Bell twins move back into the house next door, including Cricket Graham Bell. He’s the boy Lola was in love with as a child, the boy who broke her heart two years ago, the boy she never, ever wanted to see again.

REVIEW: I have been waiting on this book since I read Anna and the French Kiss. I was/am so in love with Anna and Etienne that I just couldn’t wait to get more of Stephany Perkin’s writing. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I would not be able to sit and read her books back to back (to back – when the third is released), because her books are most certainly about a girl and a guy, and how they circle each other with heated desire. Of course the characters have their issues, but it’s all part and partial to their feeling for one another, which continues to escalate throughout the book until the moment of impact (however that may play out.) I love these books – because it is all emotion/love/romance driven, but large quantities all that the same time would probably get old.

I really like Lola and I think I want to marry Cricket – they are amazing for each other. They are completely funky and crazy. To see them walking down the street together would probably be a lot like watching a rainbow, or a cartoon, or something else equally as bright and magnificent. I think I just have a small problem with Lola. While she dresses crazy and makes amazing costumes, I was a little frustrated with her lying and deception of everyone around her. I did not blame Max, her older boyfriend, for being upset and hurt (however his selfish anger was a little annoying, and his rudeness a bit unredeemable), because Lola was really, really unfair to him. She does see this about herself, and admits this, and talks about “proving herself” or “redeeming herself,” but the amount of time given in the book for what it would have taken to gain trust and respect back was not adequate. Though, I don’t know how else it could have been written. I just found her rather immature and it that was hard for me, as a reader, to really love her.

EVERYTHING about Cricket was perfect though. Like I said, if I wasn’t already married to the one perfect guy of my dreams, I’d want to marry him. I wanted to touch his hair and have him help me pick out my clothes. I am a tinsy bit of a sucker for the slight nerd/hipster combination. He was so open and honest and just naked with his emotions. There was a scene near the end – that I won’t elaborate too much on – but his “anguish” was the most amazingly hot, and sweetest thing I’ve read in a book in a very long time.

I had read about Lola and the Boy Next Door a few times, and I knew that Anna and Etienne would be in the book, but it did not prevent my heart from giving that little leap of excitement when I “heard” Etienne speak for the first time. Thank goodness for consistent narrators!! I finished listening to Anna again a bit over a week ago, so I guess I wasn’t expecting to hear from them again so soon. They are, of course, as amazingly cute and perfect as ever.

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