Summary: 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 (Via Goodreads.)
Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door is easy, fun and quirky but it is not quite Anna and the French Kiss.
I just completely adored Anna so I was very, very excited to find a copy of Lola after searching ever bookshop in my area and far, far away from my area numerous times and coming up empty. And the icing on the cake was that it reduced too! Delightful! So when I finally started reading it I felt a little let down.
There is nothing particularly wrong with Lola, the plot is interesting enough, the pacing is good, the characters are unique and entertaining, I just didn’t feel much of a connection to any of it until the last hundred pages or so.
For me I think there was just too much extenuating factors surrounding Lola. Perkins, in my opinion seems to focus on everything other than Lola, she focuses on Max, on Cricket, on her problematic birth-mother, on her protective parents and most importantly on Lola’s costumes and at times Lola just seemed like a piece needed just to further these aspects along as opposed to the person they centre around. As a result, the actual character of Lola felt a little lost to me. There was almost too much going on in Lola’s life for me to get a real read on her and the book suffered because of that.
The presence of Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss was also a hindrance for me when it came to reading. In that, I was so happy to see them and I was so excited to get a glimpse of their life together post-SOAP that I sometimes forgot that I was supposed to be reading Lola’s story. I was really more interested in the romance between Anna and Etienne than Lola and Cricket and by the time I was over that feeling of wanting and needing to see more of them the book was nearly over.
Now, I did enjoy Lola it just took me a long time to enjoy Lola. By the final hundred pages I was in love with both her and Cricket Bell in equal measure. The real issue I find when reading this book is the comparisons people will make between Lola and Anna because Lola does lose. However, once you get over those comparisons and accept Lola as is, it is a fun, quirky, enjoyable read.