Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

17-year-old Lola seems to have it all: an awesome best friend, a hot rocker boyfriend, and the coolest clothes. That is, until the dreaded Bell twins move back in next door. Cricket Bell is suddenly part of her life again, and her current relationship with Max seems to be developing some deep cracks. And what about the Marie Antoinette dress she’s making for the winter dance?

Stephanie Perkins’ sophomore novel is just as delightful and swoon-worthy as her 2010 Anna and the French Kiss, and readers who couldn’t get enough of Anna and Étienne St. Clair, will be thrilled that they make a reappearance that feels authentic and unforced.

Set against the backdrop of San Fransico, Perkins makes the city feel as dynamic as the characters themselves. You too will feel like you’re walking around the Castro district and living in an old Victorian just like Lola. One of the novel’s greatest strengths is how Perkins portrays Lola’s family. Lola has two gay dads, and by avoiding preaching about LGBTQ rights and presenting Lola’s family as perfectly normal, Perkins ends up makes a bigger statement. Additionally, unlike so many young adult fiction romances, Perkins’ characters are wonderfully realistic with legitimate shortcomings and quirks, and the love story unfolds in an incredibly lifelike manner.

It will be impossible to finish this novel without also falling in love with the boys and dreaming of creating outfits as awesome and daring as Lola’s. Move over Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins just might be the new queen of YA romance.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

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4 thoughts on “Lola and the Boy Next Door

  1. Great review, Ella. I loved this book too, and especially Lola’s dads. I think also that they stand out by being such involved, visible parents, which we don’t see too often in YA books. Can’t wait to return to Paris with the next book Isla.

    • Thank you! I’m normally not a lover of this genre of YA, but Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Dessen keep reminding me that it’s not all trite and cliche. I love how complex they make their characters, and Perkins’ stories always feel legitimate and probable, never unrealistic. Also, Perkins creates love interests like none other. English/French/American St. Clair with a British accent and whose fluent in French, totally charming, has the hair and style of an artist and European, and is smart and a history buff? Inventor, scientist, super-smart, stylish, impossibly kind and understanding Cricket? Yeesh. They’re just perfect! Who COULDN’T fall in love with them?

      I can’t wait to read Isla! As much as I loved this book and San Francisco, I can’t help but want to return to Paris. I’m very curious to see how the reappearances work out.

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