Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary // Romance
Format: Physical Copy
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. 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).
Lola and the Boy Next Door is a cute novel about lost love and the everyday struggles of family. And of course, I managed to devour this one in less than a day, Stephanie Perkins you are a wizard!
Plot: Stephanie Perkins takes us stateside to sunny California where budding fashion designer Lola Nolan is dealing with her fathers not liking her rocker boyfriend. I thought the pacing to was perfect and I never found there to be a lull in action or story. Likewise, Perkins has this uncanny ability to make any situation light before you get bogged down by too much emotion.
Characters: Where Anna was soft and sweet, Lola is all edges. Lola is spunky and flawed. I'll admit, there are times where I didn't like Lola, but Stephanie Perkins read my mind and addressed each flaw later in the book and managed to make Lola's flaws likable. I don't know how, it's magic. I feel really bad because I kept comparing this book to Anna and the French Kiss and that may have taken away from me enjoying this book completely. I welcomed any scene that had a cameo from Anna and St. Clair and more often than not, I thought about rereading Anna. Lola and Cricket have a very cute story and I loved the two of them together, but I think Anna and St. Clair have ruined me. Moving away from the romance, I think my favorite characters in Lola and the Boy Next Door are Lola's family. Lola has an interesting family life, it's not perfect but you can just feel the love that they have for each other.
World Building: One thing that I learned from Anna and the French Kiss is that Stephanie Perkins can transport you to any land - hell if she were to write a story that takes place on Jupiter, I'm sure that world building would be superb. I felt as if I were in San Francisco (which is probably in park to the cover update) and walking with Lola and Cricket on the hilly streets during chilly nights. It was spot on, which is truly a display of Stephanie Perkins writing abilities.
Short N Sweet: Lola and the Boy Next Door is a super cute and emotional story about imperfect people who learn to live with their flaws. While I couldn't help compare this to Anna and the French Kiss, I did enjoy it.