30 January 2017

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.

That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola's past be the love of her future?

Fall in love with the international bestseller from queen of young adult fiction, Stephanie Perkins.

Unfortunately, I'm giving this book a 2/5. I enjoyed the book before this one (Anna and the French Kiss), but I found the main characters of Lola and the Boy Next Door too eccentric to be relatable. Don't get me wrong -- Stephanie Perkins writes light-hearted stories that you want to be able to relate to. This one was about a typical "first love never dies" story about the boy-next-door. It tugs at your heartstrings and all, but... I feel as if the quirkiness of the characters seemed too force.

I loved everything else, though. I like how Lola had two overprotective fathers, and I liked how Cricket had a matching bitchy, protective sister. Max, Lola's older and rebellious boyfriend, added a good conflict to the story as well -- though I'm sensing that a recurring theme in Perkins's books is being torn between 'two lovers' and ultimately having to make the hard decision of letting go of a difficult relationship and realizing that someone else 'sees the real you'.

And... Lola, our leading lady. She insists on being seen as mature but nothing about her decisions (or personality!) were mature. At all. It was frustrating because Cricket seems genuinely nice, but here's Lola, who I have a hard time liking because she's just downright immature. It's not even just the strange costumes. That was more a quirk that anything else. It's the infatuation with the OLDER guy, the lying to her parents, the leading Cricket on, etc etc.

In summary, the overall premise (boy-next-door first love) was sweet and endearing, but the two main characters were not. Not a fan.


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