April 11, 2012

REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door

The companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, Perkins' debut novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door does not disappoint. 

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 neighbourhood.
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.

One of the things that I loved most about Lola and the Boy Next Door was Anna and Étienne's presence in the plot. Although they definitely could not be classed as major characters, they were not minor either. They provided comic relief and other friends for Anna while continuing Anna and Étienne's at the same time. 

The concept was really cute; girl who loves costuming wants to make Marie-Antoinette like dress for prom. Parents do not approve of her older boyfriend and hunky, old flame moves back in next door - conflict set. Spark Ignites. Match.

What is so great about Perkins' books is that all the characters are likeable. Even the ones who you aren't supposed to like don't annoy you. I loved Lola, Lindsey, Cricket and Lola's parents. I didn't really like Max, and I thought that Cricket annoyed me at times - just tell her that you like her already!

The series of events ticked along. I always found myself looking forward to the next event - never disappointed with the outcome. The end was satisfying, tying up the strings with all the characters and plot lines. 

If I could only use one word for Perkins' novels, cute would sum them up. Perfect, light, fluffy, they sweep you off your feet for a while with swoon-y romances and warming characters.

A definite must read for any 13-17 year old girl who likes Stephanie Perkins, contemporary novels with a touch of romance or if you liked Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh or any Meg Cabot novel.

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