Lola and the Boy Next door – Stephanie Perkins

“I have three simple wishes. They’re really not too much to ask.
The first is to attend the winter formal dressed like Marie Antoinette. I want a wig so elaborate it could cage a bord and a dress so wide I’ll only be able to enter the dance through a set of double doors. But I’ll hold my skirts high as I arrive so everyone can see that, underneath the frills, I’m punk-rock tough.”
Lola just wants to attended the winter formal dressed like Mari Antoinette, for her parents to approve of her 22 year old boyfriend and to never see the Bell twins again. The first is nothing new, she believes in costume not clothing, and her new year’s resolution was to never wear the same outfit twice. The second is a little harder, shes only just turned 17 and that five year age gap aint looking pretty to her parents, especially when Max is the front man of a rock band, covered in tattoos, smokes weed and drinks. Then the third, that should be easy, the Bell twins haven’t lived next door for two years… except a removal van has just turned up and there is Calliope Bell standing in next doors yard… but maybe it’s just one twin, maybe Cricket won’t be joining them? Lola can only hope.

Oh Stephanie Perkins, you have done it again. Im not a girly girl, I don’t do romance that much but when I read your books I have a yearning for my boyfriend to transform into a Cricket or St Clair of my own (and for the record, hes an awesome boyfriend, it wouldn’t take too much transformation!)
I had a feeling I would like Lola more than I liked Anna, Anna was a great story but I didn’t relate to Anna as a character as much as I knew I would Lola, shes just me and that’s why I was so excited to read this book! The storyline sounded interesting because to be honest I usually don’t think I’ll like love triangles but when I started reading I knew that I would like this one, it helps that I disliked Max, so I was rooting for Cricket the whole way through.
I loved that we are thrown in head first. Lola HATES the Bell twins but we don’t actually find out why until 60 pages in. Theres a lot of build up before then and you get a feeling for who Lola is and her background without Cricket and I really liked that. You also get some of her and Max’s relationship info slowly and information about her parents too. I love how spaced out the story is but nothing ever falls flat. I have seen some people say that the whole Gay parent thing in Lola is a bit stereotyped but I don’t think it is, I liked that Lolas dads acted like equals, neither was more feminine than the other.  This added well to the story though and I guess they weren’t any more overprotective as a normal dad would be, just it was over powering because there were two of them and tey didn’t want her to go the same way as her mum.
The characters were all fantastic. From Nathan and Andy to Norah and Lindsey they all had depth and more to them than Lola. I loved that although she was Lola’s best friend Lindsey has her own stuff going on with Charlie, her school work and her parent’s restaurant. I would have loved for her to be in the story more and felt bad because Lola had basically dumped her a bit since starting to see Max. Norah was awful but you could tell she was just stuck in her ways and didn’t know how to change. You get glimpses of who she wants to be when she’s staying with Lola and her Dads and I would love to know how she handles moving out! Then we get Anna and St Clair… I thought theyd be in one or two scenes but they are actually quite prevalent in the book. They work with Lola and Anna is kinda a shoulder to cry on with things get crazy! I lcan totally see them in the settings they were in and loved that we catch a glimpse of them post-Anna and the French Kiss.
Now on to the main character. Max, Max, Max… youre a douche. Sorry but you want a little groupie who will follow you around and worship you and that’s fine but don’t make that person Lola, she derserves better! I cant believe she couldn’t see that for herself! I really thought he was a prat but I know people like him… they are ok as mates but you wouldnt want to date them! Saying that though… If you’d have sent a Max my way when I was 16 I wouldn’t have said no, we can be young and foolish and not see whats right in front of us hwen we’re that age!
Cricket; stop being so shy, you are lovely and kind and you deserve happiness, and to not have to follow your bitch of a sister around all the time. I understand you are all shes got but that’s her own problem! Now go tell Lola you like her and do something about it… get into a fight with Max, don’t just let them walk away together.
Lola… youre 17. You have some growing up to do and although you appear confident and amazing from the start we all know it is just 17 year old cover up. Also there is 6 and a half years between my and my boyfriend… but that didn’t start ’til I was 20 and I would have been locked in a tower by my father if it was when I was 16!!
But anyway, I love how much Lola grows up through this book, she goes from a teen who wants to prove she’s something to the world by doing all the wrong things, to a teen who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to achieve it. She grows up dramatically and it’s awesome. I think at the beginning of the book she’s trying too hard to be “herself” but shes not certain who that is yet and it is a mask but when she works it all out everything clicks into place. The whole Marie Antoinette wig thing at the end is proof of this.
The characters in Lola really made the book, that and the writing. The story is pretty much a basic love triangle between a girl, a boy and another boy next door. There wasn’t all that much to the main story, there was depth thrown in with Lola’s mum and stuff but it was basic… The writing though. Ahh I love it. The way everything is described and the pace and the dialogue all flows so well that you can’t put this book down. Perkins has such a great talent and I cant wait to see what she brings us next!
Lola and the Boy Next Door is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. It was released in hardback by Dutton Books on September 29th in the US, it does not have a UK publisher but can be bought from various online stores. I was very lucky to win my copy through an international giveaway at The Reader Bee, Thank you Christy!


%d bloggers like this: