Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release: October 4th, 2011. Canada (September 29th, 2011. US)Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Chapters.Indigo / Barnes & Noble / Amazon
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.
A Delightful and Tender Love Story
Stephanie Perkins, once again, dazzled me with a marvelous story and adorable characters that I will never, ever forget. Lola and the Boy Next Door is, no doubt, my new addition to favorite reads of this year.
Delightful and outstanding are the words I'd like use to describe Perkins works. She caused such a big impression on me when I read Anna and the French Kiss, that I had troubles satisfying myself with many post-Anna reads. Now, I dare to say that Perkins is the one author, in this genre, that can delight me in the way she does. However, I still feel more attached to Anna and the French kiss than to Lola and the Boy Next door (probably because Anna was the first contemporary YA book I read). Yet, Lola's story was captivating and reached all of my expectations!
The characters are absolutely charming. Lola and Cricket are, as I said before, adorable! I love the way Perkins brings them to life by making them imperfect. They have personal conflicts that we can easily empathize to. I think, Lola and Cricket's innocent relationship will make you appreciate more the simple and tiny things in life. Also, I highly appreciate the way Perkins illustrates Lola's fathers. Yes, I said fatherS. Lola has, in fact, two of them because she was raised by her gay uncle Nathan and his boyfriend Andy. Perkins, clearly explain how this happened and she procures to remove some common stereotypes in gay couples such as -who is the woman in their relationship- while there is no woman at all. Lola clearly estates that, by having two fathers, neither of them is "...less-than-dad" p.32 and to this, she also says that "...neither is "the woman" They're both gay men. Duh." p. 32. So as she said, they are both gay men, gay fathers, and they are the way they are. Period.
In Lola's life there is also Max; Lola's boyfriend who simply didn't feel right. Norah, Lola's birth mother and source of great conflict in her life. And Lindsey, Lola's best friend and constant support.
By the end of the book, it is outstanding to see the character's growth. It feels, for me, like a reward to see how they have changed for good and specially, to see how Cricket's presence brings a balance to Lola's life.
A bright point in Lola's story is the setting. Stephanie Perkins surprised her readers, once again, with a unique and beautiful place called San Francisco. How I wish I could go there! Also, another bright point in Lola's book is her friendship with Anna and St-Clair! Yes! Anna and St-Clair from Anna and the French Kiss are characters in this book!! How happy I am to see them again and to know how their life is going in San Francisco. I've missed them for such a long time, and it's so good to see that some of my favorite characters are still alive not only in my mind, but also in pages.
A delightful and tender love story that will keep you floating among pink sugary clouds. Lola and the Boy Next Door is a remarkable read that you will always remember. If you want to read something that will make you smile, blush, swoon, laugh, and even cry of sadness and happiness, then Lola and Cricket will guaranteed you all this and more! and... don't forget to have a Kleenex with you when you read the last sentence. ~It made me cry. (of happiness ;).
Trivia- I am one of those readers who always reads Acknowledgments. I highly recommend you to read Perkins' Acknowledgement in this book. You will be so surprised!!
Visit Stephanie Perkins' website at http://www.stephanieperkins.com