Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.
That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
First published: 2011
Earlier this year, I read Anna and the French Kiss, and loved it to bits, even though I went in with quite low expectations. A teenage girl going to boarding school in Paris? It sounded like something I would’ve enjoyed when I was sixteen, but would not really captivate me now. Obviously, I was wrong. I still can’t put my finger on why I loved it so much, but I did, and I devoured the book in a day and half when I was actually supposed to be studying for a resit (which I did pass, thankfully).
Interestingly, I read Lola and the Boy Next Door in similar circumstances, during midterms this semester, and, once again, in a day and a half. I think I might have loved it even more than Anna, but I’m not completely sure. I do know that I am still quite unable to really explain why I love these books so much, which makes writing this review quite an interesting task. Right now, I ascribe my love for these books to some kind of magic, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that.
First of all, I adored Lola as a main character. Her one main “thing” is that she designs her own clothes and walks around in what can only be described as costumes. However, she’s much more than that, and that is what I loved. It’s so easy to make a character about one main trait or “quirkiness”, and Perkins managed to avoid that pitfall. Lola is definitely a round character, with her own flaws and insecurities.
The same goes for all of the other characters. Everyone is different and completely their own person. I absolutely loved Lola’s fathers, especially Andy, who runs his own baked goodies delivery service thing. You can imagine why that would appeal to me, I dare say. The character who I loved more than any of the others, however, was Cricket, the boy next door. He was so adorable (and sometimes frustrating), and I loved how he had a passion for inventing things. That’s one of my favourite things about this novel, I think – everyone is so passionate about one thing or another. I love it when people love things!
What made me keep on reading and reading, though, is Perkins’ style. I just flew through the book, reading chapter after chapter because it was so easy and pleasant to read. The style in combination with the romantic tension and the “will they, won’t they” aspect of almost every chapter made me unable to put down this book.
One thing that made me almost clap my hands with excitement is the fact Anna and St Clair feature in Lola as well! I knew they were going to come back in some way, but I did not realise how often they would appear. I absolutely loved to see them again, and to see how they were doing now. This way, Lola is not really a sequel to Anna, but they’re still connected in some way.
Lola was an absolute joy to read and exactly what I needed at that point during my midterms. I’m looking forward to reading Isla and the Happily Ever After when I finally get around to it and I’m curious to see how Anna and Lola will come back in that one. I’d definitely recommend this novel to anyone who’s looking for a wonderful light and fluffy read.