Lola and the Boy Next Door
By: Stephanie Perkins
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.
This Blonde‘s Review:
Lola is someone I would have always described as a character. She doesn’t follow the same path others do. She would rather dress in costume and enjoy her clothing than follow the current trends. She makes her own clothes and wears them with pride. She has two fathers who support her dreams, friends who enjoy her, and a boyfriend she loves spending time with.
When someone moves back in next door Lola hopes they’re renters. When it turns out that the Bells have moved back in she can only hope that Cricket isn’t with them. She and Calliope had a rocky history, but her past with Cricket was enough to send her for cover.
Lola’s attempts to avoid Cricket aren’t successful since he seeks her out repeatedly. As she spends more time with him she can’t avoid their history or what happened between them. She doesn’t want to admit what is growing between them now either.
I really loved Cricket. He was so sweet and geeky that we had to wonder what could have really happened in their past to upset Lola so much. He’s a great character and you can’t help but cheer for him, even if Lola’s boyfriend seems like he’s cooler than Cricket.
Lola is a character you can’t help but love for her confidence. She doesn’t allow the opinions of others to keep her from dressing the way she wants to. When she does let that happen and dresses normal we can’t help but wish she’d dress flamboyantly again. It gives her a chance to see what others really think of her clothing and decide if that matters to her.
Lola has to learn what really matters to her and who matters. Watching her struggle with how she sees the world and whether she’s on the right path were great to see. Her romance with Cricket is adorable and something we can’t help but hope turns into something lasting.
If you’ve read Anna and the French Kiss this is a companion novel. If you haven’t you will meet Anna, but you won’t feel lost without reading her story first. I haven’t read it yet, but getting to know her makes me want to read her story soon.
If a young adult story about a girl finding her place in the world and standing tall in it while learning to forgive sounds great, then you should give this a try. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by this author.