Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Related Books: Anna and the French Kiss
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Purchased
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.
Stephanie Perkins became an automatic must-buy author for me after reading her debut, Anna and the French Kiss. So I was very excited for the release of its companion, Lola and the Boy Next Door. And this sophomore novel has reaffirmed every good opinion that I have of Stephanie Perkins. It's a fun and flirty story with cute and quirky characters, and I absolutely love it.

Lola is such a unique and expressive protagonist. She's cute and quirky and fun. She's fashion obsessed and creates flashy/shiny/outrageous outfits costumes for herself. She's a little bit obsessed with Cricket's pants. Lola has two gay dads, Nathan and Andy, who are attentive and loyal and protective and amazingly well written. Any situation that Lola gets into that involves a guy is twice as funny because she has two angry, overprotective fathers reacting to it instead of one. They are wonderful father figures with unique and realistic personalities - you won't see any gay stereotypes in this book. Cricket is just as unique as Lola, though in a more understated way. He's an inventor and spends his free time making little gadgets out of parts. He's really tall, and so is his hair. He always has a reminder written on one of his hands. And he's courteous and considerate and smart. Anna and St. Clair are in this book as well, and not just for a too-brief cameo - they're minor characters in the story. Stephanie Perkins gives voices to her characters that are so natural and authentic that it is impossible to avoid falling in love with them. The characterization is absolutely flawless.

San Francisco is the perfect setting for Lola. It's just as unique and interesting as the characters are. It creates the perfect atmosphere for Lola and her story. The pacing is perfect. Every scene does its job - creating mood, developing characters and moving the plot forward while infusing smiles and laughter and tears. The relationship between Lola and Cricket is honest and real. It's easy to imagine them growing up together and to see those old feelings taking over again. Stephanie Perkins is an awesome writer, and there are about eleventy billion quotes in this book that I want to write down and keep with me forever, either because they're meaningful or because they're hilarious and could probably cheer me up no matter what sort of a mood I'm in.

If you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss, then you need to do it (and probably before reading Lola because you'd get more out of Lola that way). And if you've read Anna and loved it, but have yet to read Lola and the Boy Next Door, then WTF are you waiting for? Go read it. Now. You will love it just as much, if not more. I highly recommend this book. I'm extremely impatiently awaiting the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After because I just can't get enough of Stephanie Perkins and her characters.


  1. I love this book! And Anna as well! Stephanie Perkins is such an amazing author. I, too, cannot wait for Happily Ever After! Yay!

  2. Great review. I really enjoyed Anna so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Anna.
    I love it when you get to glimpse old favourites as characters in other books.


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