Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date – October 4, 2011
Publisher – Dutton
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 338 pages
My Rating- 10/10
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
If you read my highly gushing review of Anna and the French Kiss, or follow me on Twitter you can imagine how excited I was to finally get my hands on Lola and the Boy Next Door. I had very high expectations for this novel. I expected to swoon, to fall in love, to laugh, and most of all I wanted it to feel real. I wanted Lola to be someone I could be friends with like I felt when I met Anna. I wanted to see if Cricket could top Etienne in the hotness scale. I am happy to say that Lola was all that and more. Everything about this book was PERFECTION. The characters, the setting, and the feeling it invokes are all things that make this novel magical.
Our adorable heroine Lola is someone that I wish I was friends with in school. She wants to wear a Marie Antoinette style dress to her school’s dance which is amazing. She lives to dress up, and loves sparkles. She’s sweet, but flawed. Her family background isn’t perfect, but yet you can feel how much she loves her family (especially her fathers) and how much they love her in return. She has a fantastic best friend who is supportive and whom she’s supportive of as well.
Her two fathers were fantastic. They were present, and involved. They actually take the time to punish Lola and ask her what is going on when they notice things. They are involved enough to notice. It was refreshing.
Cricket. Swoon. Did he surpass Etienne? Almost (Etienne has that accent working for him). Cricket is the type of boy you should want to be with. He’s sweet, shy, awkward and adorable. He writes mystery words on his hands, and wears coloured rubber bands. He’s the type of boy that will give a girl the stars and the moon because he loves her.
Lola's boyfriend Max is sort of the dream of every girl at some point. I've dated plenty of guys like Max. The thing is guys like that are usually trouble. Max is this older, sexy guy who happens to be in a band. I like that this wasn't so much as triangle as Lola realizing that she was falling out of (or never actually in) love with one guy as she is falling hard for another. It shows perfectly that sometimes you don't know what love is until you're actually in it.
Stephanie’s talent is that she’s able to make her novels sensual, and sexy without there being anything graphic in them. It’s all about the build up, the tease to the kiss that you know is coming. Stephanie has you breathless waiting for the moment and when it happens you’re almost as light headed as the characters.
Anna and Etienne are in this book. They are not huge characters, but I was reminded in the brief time of why I fell in love with Etienne and why I wanted to be best friends with Anna. Stephanie has these characters that seem so real, and that stay with you much longer than the time it takes to read the book.
This novel has many quotes that I could chose to highlight, but there is one that sums up everything thing I love about the book, the boy and the girl:
“Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn't matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated.
One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name.
At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights.
The boy did. By thinking about the girl.”
This book will leave you grinning, swooning, and wishing on stars for your very own Cricket Bell.