September 29th, 2011
338 pages (hardcover)
Publisher - Dutton
Source - Purchased
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.
Lola is quirky, colorful, and the type of girl who wears what she loves, no matter everyone else's opinions of her elaborate and amazing costumes. Lola's also the kind of girl who accidentally voices her feelings out loud when she's upset, and acts younger than her age because that's the easy way out of life's pesky problems. While Lola is no Anna, she is incredibly endearing in the way that you remember your high school days and all the silly decisions you and your friends made when it came to love, life, and everything else. Lola and the Boy Next Door is sweet, sad, humorous, and so much more than you might expect at first glance.
Highlights: Cricket. So sweet, and I loved seeing his personality shine through the awkward moments. Family is at the heart of Lola and the Boy Next Door, and it's great to have a protagonist's parents take an active interest in their child's life (Lola's dads, Andy and Nathan, were amazing characters). Overall, Perkins excelled in creating an authentic bunch of characters with their own unique quirks.
Lowlights: Lola could be a little too immature. I wanted to shake some sense into her whenever she was being an idiot. This book was good, but Perkins' debut was better.
Note: Anna & St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss make multiple appearances in this story, and are just as awesome as ever.