Audio Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Random House
Age Group: Teen
Source: Borrowed from library
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

My Thoughts

Cricket Bell.  Seriously, where is my Cricket Bell?  Where?  It took me such a long time to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I don’t know why, because I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  But for some reason I just couldn’t get  myself to read Lola, even though I had the book from the library.  So finally I decided that I would listen to it via audiobook, only to discover that my library system did not own one copy of the audiobook.  But finally I decided to put in an inter-library loan request.  The audiobook came all the way from Arkansas!  Yay for Washington County Library System in Fayetteville, AR for lending me their audiobook.  Because it was so, so good.  And not just the story (although that was wonderful) but the narrator, Shannon McManus was phenomenal.

I’m going to be completely honest here, and tell you that I wasn’t in love with Lola at the beginning.  She really irritated me.  I felt like she was really leading Cricket on, and I also felt like she wasn’t being nice to Max (not that I was his biggest fan) either.  I guess that was the whole point, though.  To see how she grew as a character.  And by the end I loved Lola.  But I do wish that maybe so much of the book wasn’t with frustrating Lola.

And this can’t be a complete review without talking about Cricket Bell.  Sweet, wonderful, perfect Cricket Bell.  I was not sure Stephanie Perkins could create another boy as fabulous and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.  But man, did she!  And what is wonderful, is that Cricket is amazing, but he isn’t at all like St. Clair.  Cricket was just the sweetest, nicest, most wonderful boy ever.  EVER!

I must say, that I was anxiously awaiting the Anna and St. Clair scenes, particularly in the beginning and middle of the story when Lola was annoying me.  I just loved seeing Anna and St. Clair again, and seeing how happy they are.

And let’s hear it for companion novels!!!!  Not a series!  I loved that.  Stephanie Perkins excels at creating really interesting characters, but also creating a boy and girl that belong together.  The reader can tell what a wonderful couple Lola and Cricket (and Anna and St. Clair) would make, not because Perkins is telling us, but because she is showing us.  She shows how their personalities fit perfectly.

Anyway, if you haven’t looked into Stephanie Perkins yet, what are you waiting for?  I liked Anna and the French Kiss more than Lola and the Boy Next Door, but I still really enjoyed Lola.  If you have read them both, did you have a favorite?

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About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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5 Responses to Audio Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    Sounds interesting. I still haven’t read Anna and the French kiss, but it’s on my TBR list. I’ll add this one too. Thanks for the review! 😀

  2. Heidi says:

    Oh I’m glad to hear the narrator for this one is good, I tried listening to Anna on audio and hated the narrator (it was a different one) so much I had to quit and move to print. I haven’t picked this one up yet either, partially because I wasn’t actually the biggest fan of Anna. I may be the only girl out there who actively dislikes Etienne St. Claire, and it makes me worry I won’t click with her other characters either. I still want to try when I’m in the mood for a cute YA romance though! I couldn’t agree more with that hurray for companion novels. 😛

    • Quinn says:

      I do love St. Clair, but I can see why people might have issues with him. I mean, why was he dating his girlfriend forever, when he had feeling for Anna. I’m not a fan of leading people on, or stringing people along, either. But I could forgive St. Clair.

      I think you might have some issues with Lola. The character, I mean, not the book. Well, maybe the book too, because of the character Lola. I will be honest, she made me mad during the first half of the book. But, she did grow as a character, and I think she became a better person (for a fictional character 🙂 ).

      But I bet you will love Cricket. He is different from St. Clair. Cricket is incredibly sweet, and adorable.

  3. I just read Anna and the French Kiss this summer and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I do feel a certain reluctance to read Lola and the Boy Next Door, however. Lola just sounds like such an out there character. One aspect I really enjoyed about Anna and the French Kiss was how relatable all the characters were. I don’t feel like that will be the case with Lola or Cricket (seriously I don’t understand that name haha). But we’ll see. I do want to read Isla and the Happily Ever After when it comes out. Maybe I’ll read Lola before then, but I have to think on it.

    • Quinn says:

      I totally understand you hesitation. I felt that way too. Lola says she believes in costume, not fashion, and let me tell you, she takes that to heart. But, surprisingly, besides the crazy outfits, she is very real. She makes some idiot decisions, but she feels like a real person.

      Haha, when I read that the boy’s name was Cricket, I was thought seriously? Is that a nickname or something? I mean crickets are insects! Are people named ant, butterfly, spider (okay, spiders are not insects, but you know what I mean)? No, they are not. But Cricket is adorable, even if his real name is Cricket. Seriously. I love him. Love him. He is the most sweetest boy ever.

      I do recommend this one. If you liked Anna, I think you will like Lola. But I liked Anna more.

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