Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: September 29th, 2011
Source: Won (from Emilie's Book World)

My Rating: 5/5

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. (Summary from Goodreads)

I was really excited when I won a copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door a few months ago. I absolutely loved Anna and the French Kiss (although, the title is still not my favourite) and I knew that Stephanie Perkins would blow me away with this companion! And, I can safely say, I was swept off my feet by Lola and the Boy Next Door!

I don't think you can truly understand how hilarious this book is until you read it. I found myself laughing out loud more times than I could count and having a smile plastered on my face throughout the entire novel. Perkins is just such a funny, creative writer! And her character of Lola Nolan was absolutely endearing and original.

And man, oh man did I love Lola Nolan. She was just such a pleasure to read about! Narrated in her sweet and funky voice, she amazed me with each turn of the page. And swoon-worthy Cricket was definitely a great addition to the story, especially since he wasn't swoon-worthy in the normal fashion of YA books. Which leads me to one of my favorite things about Stephanie Perkins' novels: imperfections. Both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door were filled with imperfect characters. Each character has their little quirks and flaws that make them all the more lovable. Lola is colorful and bubbly, always decked out in some sort of crazy costume. Cricket is adorably sweet and gawkily tall. Together they play off each other in the most endearing way, making me love them more and more each scene. They are realistic and interesting characters, which just makes the novel all the better.

Lola and the Boy Next Door, despite it's cutesy name, isn't just a cutesy, light novel. It's also a story that tackles real issues with humor and heart. The concept and definition of one's identity and place in the world comes to play a lot in the novel. And I really enjoyed the way it was underlined in the story. It wasn't in-your-face, but still an integral piece of the picture.

Overall, I just want to hug Lola and the Boy Next Door and never let go. It lifted my heart, put a stitch in my side, and made my cheeks ache from smiling so much. This is a novel you want to read. It's one that anyone can and will love. And one that has painted a glittery, quirky little place in my heart.

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Stephanie Perkins' Website

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