Retro Review {3} Review {20} Lola and the Boy Next Door

LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR
AUTHOR: Stephanie Perkins
SERIES: Companion Novel to Anna and the French Kiss | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After (Publication: May 7th 2013)
PUBLISHED: September 29th 2011
ACQUIRED: Borrowed | Library | Need to Own
EDITION: Hardcover, 338 pages
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
RATING:  5.00/5.00  |  GOODREADS RATING: 4.06/5.00
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: 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 absolutely ADORED this book! Every character in it was just amazing and so individualistic and quirky! I wish they would all come to life and be my friends, I’d never be bored again!
Lola is truly inspirational. She is fantastic, and so comfortable with herself and who she is and what she wants in life. Lola proves that you can have a crazy family, batty friends, and frenemies for neighbors and still come out on top. Lola talks to the moon for advice and wears wigs and crazy outfits and truly embraces her individuality.
Cricket is the boy-next-door/science nerd. I have a thing for nerds, so let the crushing begin!!! He’s the ultimate swoon-worthy heartthrob. He’s so sweet and gentle, and loves to help out those he loves – including Lola. He’s willing to do anything for anyone.
The relationships between Lola and her parents is different from any other book I’ve read. Her birth mother, Norah, was a teen mom and Lola doesn’t have a good relationship with her. However, her relationship with her parents, Nathan and Andy is great. They are cute and help show a good balance between two males in a relationship and raising a teenage daughter.
The story starts out with Lola dating bad-boy Max, who’s 22 to Lola’s 17. He is the rock-star, tattooed, alcohol consuming, pot smoking bad boy who does try to appease Lola’s dads, but ultimately it just doesn’t work out. 
And then our beloved Anna and Etienne St. Clair make their appearances. But… I didn’t like them in this book! I know, what the heck, right? Because I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss. Absolutely adored it!!! But they just annoyed me in this book.
As far as the writing style goes, Perkins melts my heart, she truly does! Her writing is FANTASTIC. It never feels forced or out of touch, and it is very quickly paced and engaging. I can’t think of any parts where I really wasn’t into the book, and couldn’t find any scenes that the writing failed at. She handles scenes with grace and force, and it’s so easy to picture myself back in my seventeen-year-old shoes! Perkins writing portrays real life scenarios, and she handles them perfectly. Her characterizations make you feel like you live in Lola’s world, like you know all of these characters personally, and her visualizations are wonderful as well.
The thing with Perkins as well, is that she will give her characters their “happily ever after” but you better believe that they are going to work for it!! After all the crud that Lola dealt with throughout the book, she lived, she learned, and she got the prince in the end. It wraps up neatly and perfectly, as is Perkins style.
My final thoughts are these: I want to go back and be seventeen again, and be Lola for a day! Really, I do! Perkins has created this amazing character in Lola. Someone who falls down but picks herself right back up, brushes herself off, and continues on conquering the world in her costumed-fabulous way! Lola inspires you to follow your heart and dreams and to be whoever you want to be, because the real you is perfect just the way you are!

Favorite Quotes:

“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

“Perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring.” I smile. “You don’t think I’m perfect?” “No. You’re delightfully screwy and I wouldn’t have you any other way.”

“And if I’m the stars, Cricket Bell is the entire galaxy.”

“And I hold my head high toward my big entrance, hand in hand with the boy who gave me the moon and the stars.”

“And it didn’t matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated.”

SIMILAR READS: Past Perfect by Leila Sales | Shut Out by Kody Keplinger | Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally | Saving June by Hannah Harrington | Amplified by Tara Kelly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hi there, I’m Steph and I wrote Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. They have funny bits and kissing, so you should totally read them. If you’re into that sort of thing. The final companion is called Isla and the Happily Ever After, and it will release in 2013. I have two additional YA Novels that will also be published by Dutton – a teen slasher in 2014 and a yet-to-be-named project in 2015. I often miss blog comments made on Goodreads, so if you want to make sure that I recieve your message, please click over to my actual blog and leave it there, thanks! For more ways to reach me, go Here. (taken from Goodreads)

Happy Reading,

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