Author : Stephanie Perkins
Publisher : Speak
Source : Bought
Pages : 368 (Paperback)
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.
The first is to attend the winter formal dressed like Marie Antoinette. I want a wig so elaborate it could cage a bird and a dress so wide I'll only be able to enter the dance through the set of double doors. But I'll hold my skirts high as I arrive to reveal a pair of platform combat boots, so everyone can see that, underneath the frills, I'm a punk rock tough."
Because I had soooooo much fun with Anna and the French Kiss last time (Etienne luv luv!) and have already fallen in love with Stephanie Perkins' writing, I was both excited and terrified to read this book because my expectation were somehow already high. I was afraid I would not enjoy Lola as much as I've enjoyed Anna.
And after I finished reading Lola, I have to admit I still love Anna much more.
It doesn't mean Lola is bad. Generally I enjoyed this book quite much so I still give it 4 shining stars (you know I'm kind of too generous in giving stars =p). The story, the characters are still very lovely, relatable and realistic, about a unique girl named Lola who lives with protective two fathers (I loved them by the way) and a lovely dog with attractive name; has a loyal Korean best friend and also befriend with Anna and Etienne (LOVE THEM SO MUCH HERE), loves to wear not just an ordinary clothes as her usual attire, but a full costume; and out of the blue she's torn between 2 attractive boys in their own way. I was happy to meet different circumstances and unique people in this book. I also loved the relationship between Lola and people around her, and especially with her biological mother which develops more and more every page. I can say that somehow this book is more complex, if you compare to Anna's which seems common and normal. But because this book is very relatable and realistic; like I've said before; I could not help but analyzed and made several personal judgements based on my personal values and I found some of Lola's were not very suitable to me.
My problem with Lola was somehow I found a double-standard in Lola's wearing-costume habit---which actually the most unique point of her---as her daily attire. Actually this was a thing that made me a bit nervous to read at first. For me, wearing costume could have two meaning : you just like to be stand out and have a plenty confidence of it, or you don't have enough confidence of yourself without costumes covers it. And Lola is most likely the first and then develops to the second. So while I read this whole book from Lola's head, I also thought which was the real Lola. Thankfully Ms. Perkins vocalizes this question of mine through Max, Lola's former boyfriend so I could feel it wasn't only me who disappointed with her. And maybe a love triangle which involves 2 people who are already a couple, lies and cheating is really not my thing. Quite personal, eh? =)
Nevertheless, beside all the fuss about self-confidence, Lola is still a lovely girl and I really admired her guts to be different and very passionate about it. I also loved to read how she grows maturer and willing to give a chance to people who have ever hurt her in the past. She definitely stood out, unique and unforgettable.
Yes, of course this book has several fabulous side characters!
I was really happy when I heard Anna and Etienne make some appearances in here and was grinning like an idiot when I met this lovely couple. They stole my attention though they briefly shown up because.... THEY'RE JUST THAT LOVELY! *emotional*. And Ms. Perkins created a unique and fabulous boy for Lola, Cricket Bell *can you guess from who he gets the 'Bell' name? :)*.
I found Cricket was very very different from the other YA contemporary love-interest who is usually super popular hotty with hot body, nice hair, a party-go-er, a bad-boy, and another droll-worthy qualities; that made him unique. Cricket maybe has not fully developed his physical qualities yet (well, who knows?) but he was certainly hot in his own brainy way, I definitely agree with Lola for this one. Though sometimes I like, okay, love to read about bad-boys, in reality I appreciate good-and-smart-boy much more and Cricket is one of perfect good-and-smart-boy image for me (after Etienne). He's literally an inventor, very nice, slightly shy and awkward which makes him more adorable, and I LOVEEEEEEEEEED his preppy style (THANK YOU SO MUCH MS.PERKINS), it accentuates his smartness more. Fashionable brainy is new sexy =).
Lola and the Boy Next Door is a fun, cute and fabulous contemporary reading with realistic, imperfect but lovable characters you could not help but in love with. Despite my very personal issue, I still fully recommend this book if you love realistic contemporary story. Stephanie Perkins is officially my favorite contemporary author and I can't wait to read the next companion book, Isla and the Happily Happy After which (finally) will be released this year, silently hope I could meet either Anna-Etienne nor Lola-Cricket.
Happy reading! =)