Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


Published: September 29, 2011 by Dutton
Received: borrowed from Cynthia - thank you!!!
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. {taken from goodreads.com}

Have you ever read a book that just completely consumed your world while doing so and loved every second of it?  I picked up Lola (yes that is what I refer to the book as, in short) with anticipating fingers.  I had my suspicions though.  Anna and the French Kiss, being Stephanie Perkins debut novel, was such a huge success.  I have yet to meet someone who has read it and didn't love it.  With that knowledge I was iffy on her sophomore novel.  Could it be just as good? or quite possibly better?  My answer to both of those questions: yes & yes.  A thousand times YES!!!!

Lola (the name she gave herself) is an outlandish teenage girl who wears her personality on her sleeve, literally.  From the elaborate costumes she creates from her imaginative mind, to her warm & bubbly personality -- how could one not love her.  Immediately I was drawn to this character.  Always wondering what outfit she'd have on, and what crazy thoughts she'd be coming up with.  I loved her family dynamic as well.  Raised by two dads added a nice variety to the storyline.  Lola's parents are present in so much of her life.  They showed Lola to never be afraid of who you are, no matter how different it may be from what's "socially acceptable".  She always held her head high, and her parents were always supporting her every step.  The only hiccup in their fathers/daughter relationship would be Lola's rocker (older) boyfriend Max.  Their disapproval of him only propelled Lola to want to be with him more.

Just outside Lola's bedroom window sat a very close neighbor boy that she shares a past with.  Cricket Bell.  He's tall & charming, every thing a girl could ever dream about being only a few feet away.  Due to his family's tight schedule centered around Cricket's twin sister, who happens to be a professional figure skater, they are often in and out of the house.  Cricket's absence creates a void that Lola tries to ignore.  On his final arrival back in to the house, just a side yard away, something from their past creeps back in to Lola's bedroom window.  Just when she thinks she is happy with her boyfriend Max, it's Cricket who has changed and starts to shed some new light on Lola's already sparkly world.

I loved, loved, LOVED the late night window chats shared between Lola and Cricket.  I think every teenage girl dreams to have a hot neighbor boy living right next door.  The dialogue shared among all the characters pulled me in and made it oh so difficult to put down.  There are even two notable characters who make a few appearances in this novel, that you may remember from Anna and the French Kiss.  The setting was another aspect of the story that grabbed my attention as well.  It's set in San Francisco, where Lola spends a lot of her time walking the streets of various parts of town.  I loved the culture represented through out and thoroughly enjoyed the visual backdrops it created for this masterpiece of literature.

Reading this story was like devouring a delicious cupcake.  It's sweet and creamy, filled with just the right amount of goodness to satisfy your taste, but never quite enough -- leaving you wanting just one more bite.  It's a story about a girl accepting herself for who she is and not being afraid of showing that to the world.  It's also a love story, the kind that take your breath away and sigh a heavy sigh of, "I hope this sort of stuff really does exist out there."  I will be pushing this book on to every one I know.  Stephanie Perkins has out done herself.  If you didn't think that was possible after Anna and the French Kiss, give this one a try and I promise you'll be satisfied -- sweet cupcake and all!





Check out these awesome peeps who are currently hosting a GIVEAWAY for Lola:
+ April @ Good Books and Good Wine
+ Christin @ Portrait of a Book
+ Savannah @ Books With Bite 
+ Tahereh Mafi, author of Shatter Me


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26 comments:

  1. LOVELY analogy with the cupcake. thanks for sharing where we can win a copy of this book! 

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  2. I loved Anna and am not so patiently waiting for this book to be released. So far I haven't seen a negative review (why would there be one?) I am so glad that you liked it. Lola and Cricket sound amazing.

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  3. Oh my gosh. I have got to stop reading reviews for this book. They're driving me insane because I WANT IT NOW, DAMNIT!! Your review already has me sighing in the way only Anna and the French Kiss made me sigh, so I can only imagine what I'll be like when I have the book. I am so, so, SO glad this loves up to the epicness of Anna. Love your review!

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  4. Aww, I think you've outdone yourself for excellent review writing! I grinned the entire time I read it. The last part about the cupcakes was amazing. You. Are. Awesome!

    Can't wait to read this book :)

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  5. OMG I hate you right now (not really, I'm just really jealous and ridiculously excited to read this and you've made me even more desperate). Awesome review! x

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  6. I don't have this book yet, so now I MUST go find a cupcake......

    Great thoughts -- just makes me want this one even more.

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  7. Most excellent. Can't wait for it's release.

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  8. LOLA was absolutely phenomenal!! I need more Stephanie Perkins in my life ASAP.

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  9. I am so so excited for this one and am so happy that you loved it! I already call it just Lola! :) I am the same way with Anna too! Great review!

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  10. Nice review! I want to read this one so much. I don't think it could top Anna, but sounds like it's even better. :)

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  11. This book is everywhere! lol, I need to read the first one first though ;)

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  12. Savy @Books With BiteFebruary 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    OMG! Late night window chats! I'm so in love already!!! I want my pre-ordered copy now! Loved your review Ginger :) And thanks for posting up my giveaway!

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  13. Your SO lucky to have read this early SO lucky! I am dying for it, glad to know that you loved it!

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  14. Oh good. I'm glad you loved it. I'm really looking forward to meeting Lola and Cricket in print.

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  15. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on this book especially after reading Anna & the French Kiss. Great review and you've made me even more stoked for its release!

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  16. This makes it so much harder to wait for!
    Fantastic review. I loved the cupcake comparison.

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  17. Great review. This makes me want to read it even more, if that's even possible. I look forward to the release of Lola - and more of your reviews :)

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  18. This review literally made me smile. I love that you loved it! I want to just give you and LOLA a big hug right now. And Cricket *fans self* WHY ISN'T HE REAL?! :(

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  19. Awesome review Ginger!! And SO true! I loved Lola! Such a great book! :) Anna was awesome, but Lola just rocked my socks! :P 

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  20. YES!! LOVE this review! :) I fell head over heels for this book! I just want to pick it up again and reread it! lol I just posted my review today and I'm giving away a copy, too!

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  21. SOOOO glad to hear this one was just as good, if not better, than ANNA! I am so excited to read it now. Fantastic review!

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  22. I agree that Perkins' writing is like a delicious cupcake and like real life cupcakes I ALWAYS WANT MORE!

    And yes yes yes to the part about Lola having the courage to show the world who she is, with her awesome outfits. I think that's such a great message for teenage girls.

    AND OMFG CRICKETT <3 <3 <3

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  23. Once I finally get this book I'm pretty sure I'll devour it whole. Can't wait!

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  24. Was this the book you couldn't put down even when pumping gas? I remember that particular morning on twitter. (No. I'm not stalking you. I just happen to be on around the same time. I promise! LOL)

    I keep saying it but I really mean it. I NEED this book. It's like oxygen to me. Anna and the French Kiss was so amazing and after hearing all the bloggers reviews It's making me want to dance with impatience.

    GREAT review. Seriously. One of the best :)

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