Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door -Stephanie Perkins

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.

When an author writes a really fantastic debut, it’s only natural to have incredibly high expectations for their sophomore novel. Anna and the French Kiss was one of my absolute favourite books of 2010, though I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Lola, I was slightly nervous about getting to the end and not enjoying it half as much as its predecessor.

I was pleasantly surprised. Lola is not like Anna; they are both awesome, but in very different ways. Anna had the magic of Paris and the conflict of an odd situation working for it; in comparison, Lola has to work to capture our hearts through pure characterization and storytelling.

For the most part, it succeeds. The start is a little slow, and it took me a while to connect with Lola. Once I did connect with her, my respect for her trickled away quickly with her putting up with Max and the way she jerked Cricket around. However, she made it up to me about halfway through, when she shaped up and made some very mature decisions. By the end, I was satisfied that I liked Lola as a character almost as much as I liked Cricket. And that, I can tell you, is a whole lot.

Cricket was almost perfect as a male protagonist can be. Maybe even more perfect than Etienne St. Clair. (Gasp! I know. But I’ve always been more of a geek-chic girl.)  He’s brilliant, awkward, hopelessly sweet and also very real.  The chemistry between Lola and him was absolutely electric; I kept exclaiming ‘Gosh, this book is so sexy!’ much to the dismay of my roommates, who kept giving me odd looks until I explained that it managed to be very sexy without being very sexual at all. Stephanie Perkins does a flawless job of writing so much tension into her scenes that my breath caught with Lola’s every time Cricket so much as brushed her hand, and vice versa.  

It’s not just the romance that makes Lola a must read; I also loved her parents, Nathan and Andy, and how they were so involved in her life. The family drama both Lola and Cricket experience adds a nice source of extra conflict and also keeps the book grounded. Plus, Anna and Etienne resurface with some funny one-liners!

In conclusion, a worthy sophomore novel that keeps Stephanie Perkins crowned the queen of cute. Pick it up now!


1 comment:

  1. İlk kitaba ben de bayılmıştım. Gerek Anna'nın kişiliği, gerek atmosfer, mekanın Paris olması vs. nedenlerden ötürü bir solukta bitti kitap. Bu kitabı okumak için de sabırsızlanıyorum, bir dağ oluşturan okunacaklar listemde en ön sıralarda kendileri.

    Yorumunuz da çok hoş ve faydalı, teşekkürler :)


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