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.
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Lola is a fantastic character, she has a special sense of fashion and design that is fun and eccentric. She doesn't have the typical family and I think that is what makes her such a great character. She is well-rounded and open to everyone's differences. And then there is Cricket...sweet, sweet, adorable Cricket. You cannot help but fall in love with him right away. I was pulling for him the whole time. Lola's bad boy boyfriend, Max has nothing on Cricket Bell. I also loved the role that Anna and St. Clair played throughout the story.
If you loved Anna, you will love Lola too!
Lola also hopes the twins never come back. She had a huge crush on Cricket before and her heart got broken. But the twins do end up moving back, duh otherwise there'd be no book. Cricket's room is right next to hers and so they begin to talk a little. Lola finds herself falling for him all over again and he clearly never got over her. Lots of drama ensues and lies keep them apart but it will all work out in the end our couple.
Cricket is adorable! I think I might actually like him better than St. Clair, which I thought was impossible. He's so sweet and charming and even quite quirky himself. He's so perfectly matched for Lola and you can see it plainly. They are so much better when they are together.
I love how much Lola grows in this novel and how she also learns to see Max for what he really is. It just took her too long for my liking, bad taste in judgement through. She does wise up in the end though and so I'm proud of her. I'm also glad that she accepted herself as well. Overall, if you like Anna and the French Kiss, then you're going to enjoy this one too. I can't wait though to go back to Paris for the next book.
Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion. She believes in costume. To her, life is too short to be the same person every day. Despite the fluffy costumes, glitter, insane colours and hot boys, I did not enjoy reading this book. All of you guys hate me, I know, and I'm going to accept that . . . but it's not going to change my mind/make me miraculously see and understand this book's awesomeness overload.
After reading Anna and the French Kiss, it made my heart feel warm and bubbly; like I was seeing stars. After reading this . . . eh, not so much. I'm going to try and write this review as politely and calmly as I can and not jump on the characters like I always do in my reviews. I gotta keep this review cute, or put it on mute.
Countless times I wanted to put this down and give it one-star, countless times, but my sister said, 'Danielle, finish this book. Stop being an idiot.' So I forced myself to finish. I was determined to see some good in this book, praying to make me enjoy this as much as I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss. My feelings didn't change. I am generously giving this 2 stars because 1) Lola's awesome; funny parents 2) Lola's sense of style/costumes 3) Cricket Bell and 4) because this was written by Stephanie Perkins.
With that being said -- moving on.
Everyone knows I hate love-triangles. Hate it with a burning passion. Some of you take pleasure in reading about a girl being in love with two boys and trying to decide who to pick and vice versa; I don't understand why. It's vexatious and frustrating to read.
This was a twisted love-triangle. Lola was being immature about the whole situation. From constantly saying 'no I love my boyfriend. I LOVE MAX.' to 'Cricket's here. Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod. Does he still like me? NO. He can't, he shouldn't. I'm happy about this.' Not only was she immature about the whole situation, she was a selfish person. So selfish I was shaking the book in anger. I wanted to throw this book across the room. Me, throwing a book written by Stephanie Perkins, across my room? It hurts me so much.
Why couldn't Lola just leave Cricket alone? Why did she have to always bring pain upon him? She would constantly lead him on then turn and say, 'I can't. I have a boyfriend.' Then she'd go on and say, 'Do I still have feelings for him? But he hurt me a few years ago . . . nope. I don't have feelings for Cricket. This is good thing, so why do I feel so empty, why do I get nervous whenever he's around me?' Isn't it obvious, Lola?
I had to read up till page 200 for her finally realise she still did have feelings for him; that they never left. And then after reading how he had hurt her, I was left with this dumb expression. I thought Cricket cheated on her, or done something that was just completely terrible. It was her not being invited to his birthday party.
Lola was so desperate and determined to forget about Cricket for 'hurting' her (i'm sorry I can't stop giggling) and failed to focus on the life that goes on around her. Like her birth mother, Norah. I would've liked to have read more about Norah besides reading she was a drunk, and she gave Lola up to her brother and his partner. Norah was thrown into this book. How can you write about something so important but fail to make it important?
I just can't any more.
All right. I'm calm again. This book wasn't a complete waste of my time (sort of), some of the quotes were inspiring:
'I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.'
'Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.
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.
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!
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!
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’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!
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.