Published September 2011 by Dutton
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Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: 1. Anna and the French Kiss 2. Lola and the Boy Next Door* 3. Isla and the Happy Ever After (2013)
Rating: LOVED IT!!
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. (Source: Goodreads)
It has been over a year since I read Anna and the French Kiss. It warmed my soul. I fell in insta-love with Stephanie Perkins, though rightfully earned. Her contemporary romances are filled with interesting characters with depth. I can picture each and every one in my head. I probably even could cast them for the big screen. Each is flawed in unexpected ways making you fall in love with something that might usually annoy you. You are pretty sure where the destination is, but can in no way exactly predict the journey. Lola and the Boy Next Door is no different.
I instantly fell in love with Lola and her zany expression through a costumed presentation EVERY DAY. She exudes confidence and has a great set of parents to encourage and love her quirkiness. They even handle quite well her dating a much older guy, Max. They parent with a nice balance of trust and respect for Lola and require the same in return. Max is required to attend Family Sunday Brunch and Lola has to check in regularly while she is out.
Lola’s world teeters on its axis the day Cricket Bell moves back into the house next door. How do you describe a boy like Cricket? He is tall and gangly. He has an inventive sense of fashion, yet not near as daring as Lola, but makes a statement. He is intelligent and loves to dabble with inventions, not a far stretch considering his family descends from Alexander Graham Bell. Mostly he is considerate and sweet, but not in that syrupy-sweet-gag-me-find-the-nearest-bad-boy kind of way.
The journey…these two will have to come clean and discover each other’s truths from the past and the present. But even more they will have to delve into themselves to find out who they are. Do their families define them? Or is there a balance and appreciation for what is that can be achieved?
Perfection. Lola brings the sunshine and Cricket melts you to the core.