Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton – Penguin Group, USA
Release Date: September 29, 2011
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.
Stephanie Perkins has done it again. I fell in love with this book – the unique characters, the family dynamics, the friendship, the romance, and the self-discovery. It was definitely an emotional roller-coaster, and this has just become my favorite contemporary novel. My favorite part was definitely Lola’s family and her own personality. Her dreams to be a designer are completely realistic, and I loved her sense of self, even if she didn’t always realize she had it. Her dads, too, her hilarious. I loved how they both worked together to raise Lola and how the gay parent dynamic was explored. It was interesting to see Lola’s perspective about her dads, too, and on her birth mother. I’d say thatthatpart of the family was just as dysfunctional as every other family in real life. It was great to see it come to life. And then, of course, there’s Max and Cricket. I’m not going to get too into that – it’s way to complicated. I’m just going to say that the ending was sweet, and I can’t wait to see what Stephanie has in store for us next!