Release Date: September 29, 2011 (US)
Lola and the Boy Next Door is another fabulous novel by Stephanie Perkins. It is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss – a book that blew everyone’s minds back in December of last year – and it is just as great.
As a main character, I really liked Lola. Throughout the novel she went through lots of character development, both good and bad, which I absolutely adored. There is nothing worse than reading about a main character that doesn’t change at all throughout the novel. Some aspects of Lola’s character annoyed me, mainly the part of her that feels it’s necessary to lie her way out of most situations, and I found this very aggravating. But it was also realistic! Like Anna in Stephanie’s first book, Lola really came into her own and became such a fantastic character. I hope to see more of her in Isla and the Happy Ever After.
Lola had a relationship with an older boy – well, more like a man, he was 22 – and she thought that at 16/17 this was totally acceptable. I will neither agree nor disagree with this, because the age of consent is different here in the UK. Anyway... Max was in a band, he had tattoos, he was a bit of a player and he smoked drugs – every parent’s worst nightmare for their daughter, basically. I really didn't like Max, I thought he was a complete idiot. He made me so angry! But again, I could deal with him, because to counter his stupidity there was the awesome-sauce that is Cricket Bell.
Cricket acts as the Etienne of Lola and the Boy Next Door. Kind of. He’s the boy next door that Lola has been in love with ever since she was five years old. Their bedroom windows face each other and are just metres apart. It’s meant to be, obviously. Cricket didn’t have the same charm as St Clair – does anyone? – but he was the sweetest and kindest male character I’ve read about in a while. I loved him. I would have liked to have seen more of his inventions, but that’s just the science geek coming out in me!
As predicted, Stephanie Perkins’ writing was phenomenal. She has this amazing ability to let the reader step into the character’s head and experience the story with them. Her writing just pulls you in, you can’t help it.
Did I mention that we see lots of Anna and St Clair in this book? I was expecting maybe a scene or two with them in, perhaps a cameo, but oh my goodness they both work at the movie theatre with Lola! And Cricket is ... no, that’s a spoiler. I won’t say anything! I loved reading about those two in this book, they were just as hilarious and in love as they were in ‘their’ book. *Hugs them tight and never lets them go*.
Overall, I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door. Oh my goodness, it was everything I had been waiting for. It wasn’t as good as Anna and the French Kiss, in my opinion, but it’s definitely high up there on my rating scale. Sorry, but it's impossible for me not to compare the two books!
If you’re a fan of Anna and the French Kiss, then I’m sure you’ve already ordered your copy, so I won’t recommend this to you guys. I don’t need to! But if you've not read Anna and the French Kiss then you can most certainly read this novel without spoiling yourself from the first book. This is just a companion, after all!