Saturday, 15 October 2011

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

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.

To say I was excited for this book is an understatement. I have been counting down the days until I could read Lola and the Boy Next Door  after having devoured Stephanie Perkins' first novel, Anna and the French Kiss, over the summer. The wait was certainly worth it! Lola's story is sweet yet realistic. I loved the fact that Stephanie Perkins really brought issues such as family and personal identity to the forefront of the novel. Lola's struggle to discover herself was really a topic that I'm sure any teen can relate to.

The romance plot was also very well executed in what is essentially a reverse of the love triangle originally presented in Anna and the French Kiss. Sure the story was predictable, but it still gave me little butterflies in my stomach every time Cricket stepped into one of the scenes! Besides, isn't the whole point of romance novels to give reader's a happy ending where the two main protagonists finally get together in the end? The fun part is in trying to figure out how the two lovebirds will get from Point A to Point B! 

Although I really did enjoy Lola and the Boy Next Door, there were nevertheless  a few aspects of the novel that rubbed me the wrong way. One of the main ones was the way that Perkins approached the topic of homelessness in the novel. While it had the potential of being a really great theme in the plotline, Perkins kind of just lets it fall to the side. Instead, readers are left with Lola harbouring a form of resentment towards homelessness which is never completely resolved.

Another thing that strangely bugged me about this novel was the appearance of Anna and St. Clair as supporting characters. While I absolutely adored them in Anna and the French Kiss, and should have been thrilled to see them appear again, they actually ended up annoying me a bit. Maybe it was because I was viewing their relationship from Lola's point of view, but Anna and St. Clair were presented as being so gushy and in love that it was almost sickening. 

Nevertheless, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a nice, light distraction away from my school work. While I ultimately enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss more, Lola brings her own charm which I'm sure other fans of Stephanie Perkins will fall in love with.

Rating: 4 Stars


Jenny said...

I haven't read this one yet but I'm wondering which one I'll like better.

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