I wanted to gush a bit, in spirit of Stephanie Perkin’s capitalization use (which I love), before I began commenting on Lola and the Boy Next Door. I could go on for hours … really, I could. It’s lots of fun.
First off, I was skeptical about Lola and the Boy Next Door. Why? Anna and the French Kiss, Perkins’ first novel, was such a knockout that I predicted a sophomore slump. How could she top the chemistry between Anna and St. Clair? How could Perkins possibly create another relationship that made me grin in utter giddiness (while in a classroom!)? I honestly do not know how Perkins did it, but she did. Lola and the Boy Next Door surpassed her debut with flying colors and feathers and rainbows and Lola’s crazy, bedazzled costumes.
The Great: The book never slowed and always held my attention. Each character had their own voice; even her parents who I adored were unique in their own way. I should have known that Anna and St. Clair would make an appearance, but I must have forgotten, so when they showed up, I was even more excited. I really liked the world that Perkins created, and Anna and St. Clair didn’t just make a single cameo appearance (like the stars they are), but instead, they were nicely integrated into the book to not only support Lola’s story but to constantly give us glimpses of their own. Though not a sequel, Lola and the Boy Next Door surpasses Anna and the French Kiss because of the plot. Instead of relying solely on the romantic relationship, the book has multilayers that kept me on my toes.
The Okay: We never get an explanation for why Cricket and Calliope Bell, the twins next door, have such odd names. I’m still curious, because let’s face it, no one just names their son Cricket without a reason. Right? Secondly, I’m usually not a fan of intense description on the clothing front. Sometimes it drags down the book when I can hardly picture them in elaborate outfits anyway. With Lola, her passion is costumes and fashion, so I quickly realized continuous clothing description would be a must. I got used to it because her clothing reflected her personality.
I happily rate the book 5 out of 5 and recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary novels and YA romances.