Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You Will Fall for the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Every teenage girl is drawn to the bad boy, right? The boy who plays in the band and is covered in tattoos. The boy with spiky bed head and always looks like he just rolled out of bed. But what about the boy next door? What is a girl to do when caught between the rocker guy and the adorable boy next door? Stephanie Perkins answers that very question in Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Lola Nolan was born to a woman who could never get her act together, but raised by her uncle and his husband. Her two fathers are super strict and definitely don't approve of her 22 year old boyfriend who is in a band. Lola loves to wear crazy, kooky, funky outfits and never looks the same twice 9complete with wigs and false eyelashes). Everything in Lola's life is as fine as it could be until the Bell's return to town. The house next door, to be exact. Calliope Bell is Lola's former friend turned figure skating champion and her twin brother Cricket was Lola's first love and first heartbreak.

At first, Lola thinks she is impervious to all that makes Cricket Bell, but pretty soon, she can't stop thinking about him. She looks for him outside her window every night and thinks about him when he is at Berkeley for classes. When Cricket announces his feelings for her right in front of her boyfriend, Max, Lola still can't admit her feelings for Cricket. When Lola's mom returns in all her messed up, sickly thin, drug abusing glory, Lola just can't take it anymore. What she does not only makes her look deeply at her relationship with Max, but also the entire life she chooses to live from crazy beehive wigs down to the Marie Antoinette prom dress. 

Another fun story from Perkins that is just as good as the best Sarah Dessen book. She knows how to create spunky heroines and boys you can't wait to see them with. I loved Lola's kooky outfits and love for fashion, and there was an interesting part where she was called out as being fake and hiding behind her costumes. It was a real eye-opener for her and questioned everything she loved and lived for. I also really loved that Lola had two dads. Lola was part of a happy, healthy family that wasn't glorified or overdone. It was just a normal, happy family. It is nice to see same-sex parenting in young adult novels and treated as it should be- like any other normal, happy family. 

This is a good young adult novel for your typical young adult ages. It is perfect for those girls who love a good romantic comedy and just want a happy ending. If anyone read Anna and the French Kiss, they will be happy to find Anna and Entienne in this story as supporting characters. it is nice to see some friendly faces in the new book, but this is definitely a companion book, not a sequel. Anyone could read this book without having read the first one and understand everything just fine. But don't forgo Anna for very long if you haven't read her yet. Both Anna and Lola are perfect for that warm, fuzzy read we all need in our lives!

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