Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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
The short version: Argh! After reading Anna and the French Kiss and completely falling in love with it, I sooooooooooo wanted to love Lola and the Boy Next Door in the same, fangirl sort of way. But I didn't. It was enjoyable enough, but nothing exciting.
The story line sum up: Lola is a 17 year old student and budding costume designer. Max is her older, bad boy, rocker boyfriend that her two gay fathers do not approve of, but Lola doesnt care. Max is "the one". Lola's perfect relationship is thrown into a spin by the return of her old next door neighbours, twins, Calliope and Cricket Bell.
Lola and Cricket had been an almost item two years previously, but he'd left her with alot of questions and a broken heart. Now that he's back, he's making no secret of the fact he still wants her. But Lola has already met "the one", right?
The good bits: Stephanie Perkins writes amazing characters. Lola is quirky and fun. Cricket is sweet and the way he loves Lola is heartwarming. But its not just the lead characters. Lola's two gay dad's, her messed up birth mother, her wannabe detective best friend, the bitchy twin sister, the badboy rocker - They're all so unique and its so easy to get a sense of who they are. They felt like real people.It was the characters that kept me from giving up on this book halfway through.
The bad bits:I didn't really connect with the story line. It felt aimed at young YA, which is fine, but not my favourite cup of tea. I didn't find the story line interesting. It felt a bit cheesy and was very predictable. There wasn't any of the romantic suspense of Anna and the French Kiss.
Sorry Stephanie Perkins, but what kind of a stupid name is Cricket?! Its not even a nickname! Stupid character names are high on my pet peeve list!
Overall: A sweet but predictable teen love story.
Recommend it?: If you're a huge Stephanie Perkins fan, or a big fan of younger YA contemporary, then go for it. If not........leave it be at Anna and the French Kiss.