Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

PhotobucketLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Format: Advanced Reader Copy
Source: Borrowed
Age Level: Young Adult
My rating: 5+ of 5 stars
Buy: Amazon | IndieBound

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)

Stephanie Perkins has officially made it onto my “automatic pre-order author list” (so far, a list of one). I waited to post this review in order to tame down my gushiness but I don’t think it’s possible. I absolutely loved – LOVED – this book! It actually gave me stomach butterflies while reading it, no joke.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss (my review here), and it was fan-freaking-tastic to be with the characters Anna and St. Claire again. They show up quite often in Lola, and it’s a definite treat for fans. Prior to reading this, I had heard some people say that they thought Lola was even better than Anna… but I just didn’t think it could be possible. I’m still not sure I’d say it’s better, but it is definitely just as good fantastic!

I think my favorite thing about Perkins’ writing is her characterization; her characters are all so realistically flawed. I loved the tall geekiness of Cricket, and the spunkiness of Lola and her obsession with costumes. I also loved how honestly Perkins depicted teenage life and alternate lifestyles (Lola has two dads for parents)… it is so refreshing to see this realism in YA. Most of all, I loved all the little moments between Lola and Cricket. I didn't think anyone could unseat Etienne St. Clair from his pedestal, but Cricket did... or at least forced him to share it!

If you can’t tell from my review, I HIGHLY recommend these books! In my opinion, they are the best of YA contemporary. I can’t wait for my pre-ordered finished copy of Lola to arrive (releases 9/29/11) so I can read it again, and I'm already pining for the next companion novel, Isla and the Happily Ever After! Seriously, I would read anything Stephanie Perkins writes.

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