Release Date: September 29th 2011
Also by this Author: Anna and the French Kiss
Buy It: Book Depository
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.Unlike Anna and the French Kiss, which I technically lied about devouring since in between putting down the audio book and picking up a hard copy there were several months where it lay dejected on my, albeit crowded, bookshelf, I really did devour Perkins second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door in less than twenty four hours.
So in reality, I didn't love Lola quite as much as Anna, and that had a lot to do with the main character herself. The love interest this time around, Cricket, was incredibly charming– even if I don't quite get the fascination with guys wearing tight pants, and he had believable chemistry with Lola. But unfortunately, Lola herself tended to be kinda flaky, other times arrogant, and sometimes even flat out dishonest, in a way I didn't find entirely attractive. I had a hard time relating to her fashion obsession, and I really disliked how she lead Cricket on, while continuing to stay with her boyfriend, who was definitely a jerk, but didn't deserve how she treated him.
Asides from Lola getting on my nerves occasionally, I really did love this novel. There's a huge presence of Anna and St. Clair, and that was charming and wonderful to read about. Lola's family played a huge role in her life, which is always refreshing in YA, and Perkins did a great job with making the dynamic authentic and entertaining. There's a brand new cast of entertaining and unique characters brought to life in Lola and the Boy Next Door. And of course, there's Perkins' ever present, adorable sense of humour.
Lola wasn't a second Anna, but a wonderful story in its own right, and even if I didn't always like the protagonist, I definitely still consider myself a Stephanie Perkins fan for life. After reading her two first novels, it's hard for me to imagine Perkins ever writing anything that I would not read– grocery lists and instructions for using dental floss included.