Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Summary (via Goodreads): 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 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.
Cricket made this book for me. I liked most of the other characters, but I LOVED CRICKET BELL! The book was a little slow at first, but I fell in love with this book by the end. I ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars.
Lola was harder for me to relate to as a main character than Anna was, and that detracted from the story a bit for me. She’s so outgoing and exuberant that someone who’s introverted and likes flying under the radar (i.e. me) wouldn’t really be able to imagine themselves in her place. But with that said, she was still an interesting character. Her outfits were kind of outrageous, and I admired her commitment to her style. I usually end up wearing the same familiar clothes, while she never wants to wear the same outfit twice.
I loved Lola’s parents, especially Andy. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re really not a traditional family. Yet they’re exactly what Lola, and the story, needed. I absolutely loathed Max. He was pretty much every bad boyfriend personified in my opinion. I wanted to punch him at least a few times while reading.
CRICKET! OH MY GOD! I loooooove him more than I could possibly express. He’s so sweet, so thoughtful, so adorable, so everything. He chases after Lola! Yes you read that right. A boy chases after a girl! He’s #1 on my book boyfriend list right now. I really wish there was a Cricket in real life for every girl. Cricket is more than enough reason for everyone to read this book. He’s so worth it.
For readers who liked Anna and St. Clair, or even those who didn’t, we get to see quite a bit of that pairing in this book. I was happily surprised by how much we did see them, because I thought we’d only see a glimpse here and there of them. I hope we get to see appearances in Isla and the Happily Ever After of both couples.
I made way too many updates (18) on Goodreads while I was reading. There were so many swoon/squeal worthy moments that I couldn’t resist. Some of my favorite lines were: “It’s easy to talk about things we hate, but sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why we like something.” and “’And your tight pants,’ I add. Cricket makes a startled choking noise. OH DEAR GOD. WHY WOULD I SAY THAT?” and “‘I like being different.’ ‘And I like that about you,’ Cricket says. ‘But I like the real you best.’”
This is such an amazing series so far. I’m simultaneously excited to start on Isla’s story, and sad that the series will be over. I’ll definitely be rereading these books.
Final note: This was a great book. Cricket is worth rereading this book over and over again. If you haven’t read this series, you really should. I don’t think you’ll regret it.