Lololololo-la! Sorry, can't help but hear the Kinks song in my head, each time I hear the name, see the title...you get the picture. I thoroughly enjoyed "Anna and The French Kiss" and was really looking forward to "Lola" and I was not disappointed!
I'm a sucker for a good cover and I LOVE this cover! The more I read, the more I flipped back to look at it and swooned over the tiniest details that were included. (I heart stars!)
Once again author, Stephanie Perkins has created unique characters full of heart, passion and who are just plain fun to read! If you could take a rainbow, a few rays of sunshine, some shooting stars (for their sparkle factor), and maybe even a snowflake or two, mixed them all together and shook them out, Lola is what would you get. She's bright, colorful, full of life and has a sparkle that's all her own.
"Lola" has all the love and heart pounding romance that "Anna" did but with a couple of interesting twists thrown in. There's also a few unexpected guests who had me squealing with delight and I DO NOT squeal. (Really, I don't) Plus, "Lola" has not one, not two, but three cute boys... T-H-R-E-E! Let's take a peak at them shall we?
Max is our resident rocker bad-boy. What makes him bad? Weeelll, for starters, he's just a "few" years older than Lola but just a few. Her two Dads aren't too thrilled with the idea of him but then again they're dads. He's cute, he sings and writes music, has multiple tattoos and engages in less desirable behavior (according to dear old "Dads) which of course, makes him a total chick magnet.
Cricket is Lola's neighbor and childhood friend. He's not only cute, nice and super intelligent (he invents cool stuff like Barbie elevators) but he's tall - really, really tall. He's also the twin brother of Calliope Bell (aka figure skater extraordinaire/mean girl). Lola's parents like Cricket and there's a bit of history between he and Lola which isn't all happy, happy sunshine but no biggie, because he's the very definition of "Tall drink of water". Thirsty much? Yes.I.Am!
Whose the third cute guy? Well, now, that would just spoil the fun so you'll have to read it for yourself. *wink* *wink*
Lola struggles with making the right choices sometimes as a way to protect herself or those around her from getting hurt. This is familiar territory for her considering she's had her fair share of pain either from her mother's behavior or for being ostracised for her appearance. What she learns is that in order to be true to yourself, you have to "be" yourself, regardless of what others think...you have to live fully and without fear. (You wanna wear a pink wig, a sparkly tutu and combat boots? You go girl!) She also discovers that some things are worth the risk if you're willing to give it a chance, even if it's a second, or a third chance and she finds that when it comes to love, sometimes you have to go back to the start in order to cross the finish line.
**Personal side note** I have hot pink stripes in my hair and when my 7yr old son saw the "Lola" cover he said, "Hey Mommy, that girl has purple in her hair kinda like you have pink in yours. Cool!" I smiled. So, a BIG "Thank you!" to Stephanie Perkins for making striped hair cool, especially for those of us over the age of, well, 17. :D
Witty, sweet, romantic and all of these characters have redeeming qualities, even if their choices don't always reflect that. A great message too about just being yourself regardless of what anyone else thinks.
I was disappointed in this book. Really disappointed.
I finished reading Anna and I was on such a Stephanie Perkins rush that I tried to make myself excited to read Lola. One the initial first chapters wore off, I wasn't interested. I didn't like Lola and I wasn't in love with Cricket. Sure, there was some character development with Cricket but not enough to make me love him as a person. Not like I loved St. Clair.
Speaking of St. Clair, THANK YOU STEPHANIE PERKINS. I think the fact that Anna and St. Clair were mentioned in this book quite a lot was the only thing that kept me reading. I would smile everytime I saw their names mentioned, everytime I read about their love. It was a great touch, and a much needed touch.
The romance was too slow and ... weird for me. There was an aspect of it that just didn't seem built upon well enough. Cricket was just too nice. I'm always one for sappy love stories but this was a weird love story with an ending that was kind of disappointing. Another disappointing thing was Max. Why did he have to become another asshole ex-boyfriend? I almost liked him. I mean he had a Chevy Impala. A CHEVY IMPALA and trades it in for a van. Wrong life decision.
Not a huge fan, but I'm still excited for Isla and the happily ever after because JOSH AND ISLA AND PARIS. IT'LL BE GREAT!
Well...what I loved about this book. Number one was that I really enjoyed the main character and I'm not just saying that easily because I usually have the most trouble understanding the main character. I just really liked her personality and funk( I say that because I consider myself to have a little funk in my life). Number two was I loved the romance. I have literally tried to find another book to compare with Anna and the french kiss or this book that I am reviewing right now, but I can't. Why you may ask? Well, most romance books are usually for adults( if you know what I mean) But the author Stephanie Perkins makes it completely fine for younger children to read like myself. Number three was that I really enjoyed how Lola was kind of mentally fighting herself when Cricket came back. AND....drumbroll please....I ABSOLUTELY loved Cricket. I mean what could you hate about him. He is literally the man of my dreams. He is funny, charming, sweet, and I mean it doesn't hurt that he is kinda hot on the cover also. So, if you are looking for a light, fluffy romance to read then I reccomend it to you!
I really enjoyed Lola and Cricket and Max and Lola's parents and all of the other characters. I love Lola and her eccentricity. The other thing i liked a lot was the name of her dog.
I like the way that its not a traditional wealthy guy/girl falls in love with not so wealthy guy/girl. It wasn't too cliche.
Lola and the Boy Next Door (A Room with Books review)
Oh. My. Golly.
This book made me want to squee and laugh and jump up and down and hug myself. So I did. Mutiple times. One cannot contain the joy and happiness and emotions that Lola and the Boy Next Door holds.
If I’m not careful this will just be one long, gushy review, so let’s start with a list of things I loved:
1) Lola’s parents and her relationship with them. When I’d seen people saying how much they liked this I figured they would be the “best friend” type of parents, but they weren’t. Her dads are very protective of her, but you can tell how much they love her too. They yell at her and ground her and do normal parenty things which is awesome.
2) Max and Lola’s relationship. Going in, I figured I was going to hate Max since he sounded kind of douchey. I didn’t, though. No matter how much I wanted to hate him I just couldn’t. It was interesting to watch Max and Lola’s relationship deteriorate knowing that theirs wasn’t the most important relationship of the story.
3) Cricket Bell. I mean, really, do I even have to say it? He’s kind, funny, sweet and fantastic, but he’s more like a real boy than almost any other I’ve read. I love that he’s transparent about his feelings which means, yeah, he does yell at Lola (not in an abusive way, promise) once or twice because he’s so dig darn frustrated. In more ways than one. He gets angry and sad and we see it all. Plus, he’s super nice to his sister and little niece. Oh gosh, I’ve got to stop now before this turns into an all out “gush about Cricket” fest.
4) ANNA AND ST. CLAIR! They aren’t just a small part of the story, they’re Lola’s friends! How cool is that?
5) Lola. She’s so colorful and lively and real. She yells at her parents, storms out of the house, cries on her bed, agonizes over guys, makes impulsive decisions, gets gooey-eyed over her neighbor, and makes mistakes. I could go on and on, but what I’m trying to say is that Lola is someone most girls will be able to relate to. She’s always second guessing herself and wondering what she’s supposed to do which basically describes the being a teen.
6) All the clothes talk. You might think that it would get to be too show-and-telly, but it didn’t. It was fun reading about everyone’s clothes from Lola’s costumes to Cricket’s pin-striped pants.
And then the review was getting long and gushy so let’s wrap this up!
The Nutshell: Lola and the Boy Next Door will make you laugh, break your heart a little, and have you swooning all over the place. This is definitely not your typical girl-meets-girl-long-journey-to-love-happily-ever-after story. I mean, there is a happily ever after, but it’s not all about Lola getting the boy next door. In fact, she’s still with Max for over half the story which I thought was really interesting. This is one book you do not want to miss. Even if contemporary isn’t your thing, you should give this one a chance!
LOLA is definitely another amazingly addictive novel by Stephanie Perkins. But If I'm honest, I didn't like it as much as I liked Anna and the French Kiss. I think it's because I read ANNA first - the writing styles between the two books are very similar, and I think ANNA has a bit more humor than LOLA did.
Lola Nolan is a frustrating character. Most of the time, I love her, because she has her own hobbies, she's different, she wears whatever she wants and doesn't care what people think most of the time. But she's also realistic, because there are times when she does care, when she gets just as insecure as the rest of us. But the rest of the time, I was just angry with her. I don't understand what sees in Max. At all. And it's not just because I liked Cricket. I wouldn't have understood even if Cricket hadn't existed. And then there was the fact that Lola was stringing Cricket along a little too much for me. She knew he liked her. She knew she had a boyfriend. She practically encouraged Cricket half the time. It was just a disaster.
Another thing I had a problem with was the writing. In some parts, the emotions were amazing. In others, they were . . . lacking. And I think Perkins has to work on the whole "Show-not-tell" thing. Saying things like "I start to get angry" made me angry. It's okay to do that sometimes, but Perkins did it a few too many times for me.
AND NOW, ONTO THE GOOD THINGS. Cricket being the obvious one. I loved Cricket. He was adorable and didn't come with a bagful of drama. (I suppose I could argue that Calliope, his twin, is that bagful of drama, but I won't, because she didn't really cause a bunch of problems, except for a certain thing she did two years ago.) And he also had an awesome hobby, he was very realistic, and I LOVED HIM.
Another thing I loved is how Stephanie Perkins manages to write books that I can't stop reading. I stayed up until almost two in the morning reading this, and I don't even care. I'm glad I did it.
Another thing: ANNA AND ST. CLAIR! They were in this more than I was expecting. And St. Clair-who-I-can't-call-Etienne was still adorable.
Overall: Although I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss more, (and am probably going to go reread that now) Lola and the Boy Next Door was still an adorable book that I couldn't put down. 4 stars.
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.
Lola’s vibrant personality
Getting to visit with Anna and St.Claire (From Anna and the French Kiss)
The author’s quick wit, smooth writing style, and descriptive imagery
The fact that I wanted to shake Lola at times to help her see clearly and make the right decision when it came to her boyfriend Max or Cricket (A.K.A. The Boy Next Door)
The internal dialog of Lola as she worked through determining who she was and who she loved
Cricket’s sweet and caring awesomeness
The descriptions of the various ensembles Lola wore, as well as Cricket’s striking wardrobe
“There's something about blue eyes.
The kind of blue that startles you every time they're lifted in your direction. The kind of blue that makes you ache for them to look at you again. Not the blue green or blue gray, the blue that's just blue.
Cricket has those eyes.”
“I don't believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be same person every day.”
“It's easy to talk about things we hate, but sometimes it's hard to explain exactly why we like something.”
“Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.”
After Anna and the French Kiss, this book had a lot to live up to. While it was missing the magical setting of Paris, Lola and the Boy Next Door certainly didn’t disappoint! This book left a huge smile on my face, and I’ve thought a lot about the characters since I finished the book. When a book has me thinking about it long after I have finished it, I know it is special! To me this is a “comfort read”. It just makes you feel good. I am in awe of how Stephanie Perkins can make a relatively normal situation feel magical and inspiring. This, along with its companion Anna and the French Kiss, have made it to my very exclusive lists of books to reread!
Before I read this book, if someone mentioned contemporary to me, I was always like, "meh." But then Stephanie Perkins opened my eyes with Lola!!!
I loved this book! It was light-hearted and full of fun and romance. I'm not one for the tear fest kind of books, so I love that this is a real-life story without all the death and abuse and what not. It was fun and I read it in one sitting.
I really enjoyed Lola--she's spunky and unique. Her sense of fashion is out of this world, and reading about her "costumes" was one of the best parts of the book. Lola was vulnerable and open to disappointment, and I really felt for her when her heart was broken. But even better, I wanted to cheer for her when she picked herself back up.
And Cricket....he just couldn't get any more cute! He's the kind of guy that does something nice and everyone around says, "ah!" Just thinking about him right now makes me tilt my head to the side and smile. He's so caring, and the things he does are different and sweet.
This was such a great book...if more contemporaries were like this, I'd read more of them!