RELEASE DATE: September 29th, 2011
AGE GROUP: 15+
RECOMMENDED FOR: People who enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Stay by Deb Caletti, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
SEQUEL TO: Anna and the French Kiss
RATING: 4 Stars out of 5 Stars
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
Cricket Bell. Forget Etienne; this guy is my type. Smart, funny, nerdy, shy. European guys are so out of style now. The ones you really want are the boys at home, especially the ones right next door.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is its own exuberant costume-panniers, stays, wigs, and all. It's unexpected, sweet, and a charming story set in the lovely background of San Francisco, California. The romance is to die for, and references to Anna and the French Kiss made me want to squeal.
My favorite part of this story was Lola. What kind of girl was she? Blind, maybe. Brunette, so so. But Lola? All the way; especially when she wants to wear something like a Mary Antoinette costume with a wig and combat boots to her Winter Formal. At first, she wants to go with her boyfriend Max, five years her senior to her young age of seventeen, when the family next door-the Bells-move back in, and she has to search deep within herself to reconcile the feelings she's had with Cricket Bell.
Especially if that means awesome fashion (oops, I meant costume.) I know SO many people who would love this book just for the fabulous clothing.
The only thing I really have to complain about Lola was the voice. Stephanie Perkins was so good at Anna-sarcastic, funny, and breathtakingly captain obvious. But Lola? Her voice never really breaks out in a true, unique way, and I like the difference between her and Anna, but I needed some laughs.
And-okay, maybe there's one other thing-the romance. Just so... so.... so.... well, I don't know. That's the thing. The romance was already there, but someone needed to act on it, whereas in Anna and the French Kiss, the romance built and was created. You don't see a lot of that development here. And in Anna, Perkins managed to be romantic without getting chaste, but here, there's a lot of mention of those kinds of scenes, if you know what I mean.
Nonetheless, Lola and the Boy Next Door makes me want to dress up in a renaissance dress and march to my school dance. And maybe meet a boy named Cricket on the way. (Grasshopper will do too. Praying Mantis? Maybe.) Whatever happens, I want the next book of these companion novels to come out, and I WILL read it, no matter what.