Book Name: Lola and the boy next door
Author: Stephanie Perkings
Genre: YA fiction
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Format: Hard cover checked out from the local library
Goodreads’ words: 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.
My Words: This book is such a huge disappointment. I’d like to begin by saying that I am a big fan of Anna and the French Kiss. I absolutely loved Stephanie Perkins’ writing and I couldn’t wait to read her next book. But Lola and the boy next door was just a huge let-down.
First off, I have to say that I did not really like Lola’s character. She is supposed to be a seventeen year old in the book but I felt like she was twelve. Her reactions, her constant lies, her attitude, everything bothered me… her obsession with the dress code on top. Alright. So, I understand the concept of wanting to be different, as well as being into fashion. But wearing prom dresses and wigs everyday is just ridiculous and weird and wrong. That does not make her relatable at all. I may not be a teenager any more, but I am sure that this character trait is not relatable by teenagers. And the fact that her parents are cool with this is kindof unsettling. They never wonder why she feels the necessity of hiding herself, of wearing outfits that make her absolutely unrecognizable in the streets. I am guessing that in these situations parents would want to sit their kids down and try to find out what is actually going on. At some point she goes to school wearing a dress made out of a sheet and some Cleopatrian make up…Saying no more!
And the moon-talking?! What teenager does that? That, too, when your window is just inches away from your long-time crush and you KNOW that you can be heard! Just bizarre!
The storyline, too, did not impress me that much. A huge deal was made what happened with the Bells two years ago. By this time, I was supposed to hate the person who hurt Lola. Lola nearly passes out when she learns they’ve come back, breaking plates and all, but when you discover what the whole drama is about, it just felt like a whole lot of ado about nothing. It was nothing but over-reaction.
Also, the love triangle was very badly achieved. From early on, Max is described as tattooed, 22 years old, rock star, pot-addicted, hated by the parents. So you just know from the beginning that he is the wrong guy and the boy next door is supposed to just end up with Lola without any trivia. That leaves nothing to the whole process of untangling from the love triangle. The whole goal of love triangles is that you ache not knowing what is the right choice and going through the whole turmoil along with the character. Here, we’re just left waiting for Lola to come to her senses. The break-up with Max also seemed sudden for Lola and Max. There was no build-up of unrest or things not working out between them. It all just seemed to be in the story to make things easier for Lola.
The rest of the parallel stories were okay. But I liked Anna and Etienne in their own story. I did not appreciate seeing them here. I hope Isla and the happily ever after matches upto Anna…So, I am not saying that I am giving up on Stephanie Perkins. No, I am not. She can definitely write and she does not have to try hard at that. I just feel this is a weak one from her. It’s a 2.5 out of 5 from me.