Wednesday, October 5, 2011

READING: Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Publication date: September 29th, 2011
Published by: Dutton
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 4,5/5
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.

First off, I'd like to say how I absolutely love Stephanie Perkins and her writing. Anna And The French Kiss blew me away and touched me deeply. Of course I was looking forward to Lola like crazy. I tried to get my hands on an ARC but I couldn't, so when my hardback copy came in the other day, I was super excited and I read it in a day.
Let me tell you know in one sentence what I thought of Lola and then analyze it a little bit.
Lola was good but it was not Anna.
Yes, I'm afraid comparing these two is inevitable.
And Anna is way better than Lola. My opinion.

So the rating should be 4/5, and for a Perkins book 4/5 is like 2,5/5 for "regular" books. But I added that 0.5 just because it IS a Perkins book.

I digress. As Always.
Let's get the bad out of the way first.
I couldn't connect with either of the protagonists. Well actually, I connected more with Cricket than with Lola. Lola is a person I never knew, not even remotely, someone I never hang out with, someone no one I know knows. She is a complete stranger to me in every way. I found her a little bit over dramatic(the whole almost-fainting thing when she found out that Cricket moved back in the house next door was not necessary), over spoiled, over the top in general about eeeverything.

The't like them at all. They were unnecessarily strict, doing more harm than good. They treated Max like dirt and no, I don't think Max was a jerk. Not at all. He treated her parents with nothing but respect and they were really rude to him. And why? Because he happens to be 22. Pffff big freaking deal!!!Like guys Lola's age can't possibly be colossal douches! But if he was say a company exec or a rich kid, I doubt they would think twice about his age. But noooo. He's 7 years older than our precious little flower AND he's in a band. Ew. Yuck.
What was admittedly wrong, was his behavior towards Lola's BFF. But you know what? That's Lola's fault, too. She could have either set some boundaries right from the start, or she didn't have to put up with it and just dump him. He must have shown signs earlier on. Or did he just conveniently went from being THE ONE to a complete tool just because Cricket came back? That's the problem with triangles in YA. Current boyfriend is super awesome and hot and cool until new guy comes along and the girl tries to justify her attraction to the new guy by suddenly realizing that her current boyfriend is not good enough for her and that she deserve better.
Anna @ Books To Brighten Your Mood actually pointed this out after a discussion we had about Lola. And I completely agree.

Lola herself was veeeery insecure, in my opinion. Granted, the relationship she had with her mother and her mother's condition in general have always weighed down on her.
She was obviously jealous of Calliope (who I really liked by the way, don't know why she was portrayed as such a bitch at first), jealous of her boyfriend(gonna find someone his own age and leave her. Like she couldn't do that. Wait. She did. Oops), jealous of Cricket(when she heard her friend's voice in Cricket's room she grew suspicious??? Give me a break! She is your friend and she has a boyfriend. Chill!)

Cricket. He was such a sweet guy. Very nice, really.
For a friend.
I couldn't see Cricket as a boyfriend. I tried, but failed. I don't know, it just felt that the "romance" part of him was dormant. The attraction between them was totally believable, I was just not attracted to either of them.
I also wanted to know a little bit more about Lyndsey, Lola's BFF. She was just standing by in case Lola needed her, she had no character and no background.

What I really really loved was the Nancy Drew reference. I am a huuuuge fan of ND video games, I played each like 4 times!, and I competely agree with Perkins: George and Bess, they do nothing to help Nancy solve mysteries. No help whatsoever! They only want to gossip and bicker at each other. Ned on the other hand,  is a sweet and understanding boyfriend who supports Nancy and helps her. She was right to pick Ned for a nick.
So yeah, if you don't know who the hell Nancy Drew is, skip the last paragraph.

And last but certainly not least, the writing, this amazing talent Perkins has to just suck you into her world. Its flow, it almost has a cinematographic feel to it, like you're watching a movie through the pages. Absolutely beautiful! So despite the fact that I wanted so much more from Lola, I will without a doubt continue reading Perkins's future works.
Because she totally rules. Simple as that.

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  1. Yay! So excited to see that you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read this one as I really enjoyed Anna!

  2. I felt the same way you did! It was good because it was by Stephanie Perkins, but it didn't blow me away!


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