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.
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?