Monday, April 29, 2013

[Review: Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins]

"Lola and the Boy Next Door"
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 338
Genre: YA Contemporary
Date Published: September 29th 2011
Publisher: Dutton Books
Format Read: Picked it up at the library


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.

My Thoughts:

I have to say that Stephanie Perkins has a way of adding a certain fairytale element to her contemporary novels.  It's not to say that they are actually drenched in fairy tales, they aren't, but there is a sense of false reality which I enjoy!  She takes people and adds whimsy where there should be none and then puts these whimsical characters into regular, everyday situations.  It's really cool to experience.   

Lola is something of a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss.  Anna and St. Clare have their part to play in this novel, even if it isn't huge and it's nice to see them again, taken out of France and dropped into San Fransisco.  But this story isn't about those two.

I found Lola and her life in San Fran to be enchanting, if not a little cliche?  Maybe a little more than a little cliche actually, but it worked for the book!  Stephanie really got to the heart of the Castro district and made it feel like you were really there in little ways.  She captured one of my favorite US cities so well!

I found Lola's story to be sweet!  She was so lost at the beginning of the novel.  She didn't know who she was and as the book progresses she grasps what makes her her.  Which was so much fun to watch.  I have to admit that she frustrated me at times.  She just didn't get it, but I'm glad that she knew what she wanted and did a lot of growing up by the end of the book.  Plus, her outfits reminded me things that Katy Perry would wear on tour.  I don't know anyone who would dress like that daily, but I give her mad props for seeming to pull it off well!

And Cricket!  He was amazing!  I have to admit that I always like the nerdy guy and Cricket was the perfect nerd.  The fact that I was rooting for him over broody musician Max means that he was awesome!  The only thing I like more than a nerd is a musician and I always wanted Cricket to win out on this one.

Okay and Max was a sleaze ball.  I don't know what Lola saw in him, other than the fact that he was older and wiser and a musician.  But I never liked him.  In most cases I'm not a fan of the love triangle, but for some reason this one worked for me.  Possibly because it actually propelled Lola's growth as a person?  

I also enjoyed all of the family dynamics in Lola's personal life!  Her dads were hilarious and I enjoyed reading about there antics.  It was also interesting that Perkins decided to add Lola's birth mother into the mix.  It created a odd family dynamic that really worked for me.  And Perkins also has a way of adding really interesting secondary characters into her plot lines!

Over all I enjoyed this one!  It was fluffy but still took the time to deal some legitimate issues and be character driven at the same time!  I'm looking forward to the next book and can't wait to read it!

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

I am a failure and have yet to read a Perkins book. Terrible, right? I do really want to read both of these though and I have both on my Kindle so I am at least making progress. I am super curious to see what Lola wears, I am picturing some wacky stuff at the mention of Katy Perry! LOL Great review!

Nicole said...

Gosh I need to read this already. I really enjoyed Anna and The French Kiss. Although I haven't yet been to San Fran its on my list of trips to take soon and I just imagine that I will love that the book is set here. And it sounds like there are a lot of quirky and fresh elements in this book! Great review! Will definitely try to pick this one up soon!