Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title:  Lola and the Boy Next Door
Series:  Anna and the Fresh Kiss #2
Author:  Stephanie Perkins
Published:  July 9, 2013 by Speak (originally published September 28, 2011)
Source:  Gifted.  Thank you!
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 Review:   After reading and loving Anna and the French Kiss, I knew I had to pick up this book.  It took me a while to do it, but I finally did and, while it wasn't as good as the first book in the series, I'm still very happy to have read it!  It was a fun and strong novel that wasn't afraid to touch on hard issues and had characters that stood out as individuals.

Lola was a fun and interesting character.  I loved her creative nature and I adored that she wasn't afraid of what others thought of her.  She was strong and stubborn without being overly so.  I liked that, even though she was a powerful character, she also had a vulnerable side that she let out every once in a while.  Despite all of these good qualities, I also found her to be immature at time and, frankly, quite frustrating.  She was a compulsive liar.  I was getting so tired of the way she consistently avoided telling the truth throughout the entire novel.  I wanted to jump into the book and knock some sense into her!  The choices and decisions she made were impulsive and, at times, just plain ridiculous.  

Cricket was a characters that I actually very much enjoyed.  I thought he was cute and adorable and so sweet.  His patience and understanding of Lola as a person was touching and slightly heart-wrenching because she definitely did not do much to make it easier for him.  I liked that he had his own story (though we only saw it through Lola's eyes) instead of just being an accessory to Lola's.  He was a three dimensional character and wasn't without his faults though none of his were as infuriating to me as Lola's lying was.  

Another thing I really appreciated was that Lola had two dads.  I loved that it was handled so well by the author and that all of the characters in the book completely accepted their relationship for what it was.  It was a brave thing to do and I commend the author for her courage in putting such a controversial issue in her book.  

Lola and the Boy Next Door was a cute, fun read with a strength and uniqueness I haven't before seen in other books.  However, it wasn't without its faults - one of the biggest being the protagonists many lies.  Despite this, it was well worth the read and I'm excited to pick up the next book in the series.  

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