Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
My Rating: 4.5 peaches
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. (goodreads description)
I loved this book. I loved Lola because she was real. She struggles with knowing who she is, she struggles with her parents, she struggles with making choices and she struggles just with life. Even with Lola's love for fashion and out this world "costuming" she still connects with the reader.
For as much as I loathe the bug he is named for, I love Cricket (the boy next door) and not because the author tells us we should or because he is supposed to be hot and thats all the MC talks about (which is being way over done in most books these days). Nope, I love Cricket for all his quirks and personality that makes him Cricket. Perkins explores Crickets character through Lola's eyes and again gives us something real and believable!
I love Lola's parents and I love the way Perkin's presented them. Lola has two fathers and this book doesn't get preachy or over the top, it just presents it as fact along with their love, concern and pride in Lola.
If you are hesitant about getting into realistic fiction, this is a great starter book. It has some true individual (but believable) characters and it's easy to connect to. I found myself hopping right into Lola's head and her fabulous outfits! The romance is honestly just right. No drowning in angst or wondering why in the world the characters are drawn to each other. Makes me want to go out and find Perkin's other novel, Anna and the French Kiss