Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Love: Lola and the Boy Next Door


For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, 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 move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - 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.

It's no secret to anyone that Stephanie Perkins's debut novel Anna and the French Kiss was one of my very favorite books of 2010, if not my absolute favorite.  I loved everything about it, and I couldn't imagine a book that captured the tingly feelings of first love better. 

Until I read Lola and the Boy Next Door

Is it possible that I actually liked Lola MORE than I liked Anna? I think so! Both of these books were completely awesome, but I think I just related to Lola and what she was going through more than Anna, and Cricket, that boy next door, was so much more my type than the Etienne. (Don't get me wrong, I love me some Etienne. But Cricket is TALL, so that pretty much settles that.)

Lola takes place in San Francisco, and Stephanie Perkins does the same amazing job of making the city an active character in the story as she did with Paris in Anna. You really do feel like you are walking the streets of the California bay area when you read this book, with Lola herself giving you a guided tour. This book made me want to hop on a plane and head up to SF, spending the weekend soaking in everything it had to offer. 

And what Stephanie Perkins does so well with those tingly first love feelings in Anna? Well, she totally nails it here again with this book. She just GETS IT and manages to put everything there on the page for you to experience there with the characters. Her books just make me giddy, and as soon as I finished Lola, I opened it back up and read those parts again. You know those parts, they are the ones I read over again in Anna, too. The ones that just, ugh, that I just HAD to experience again and again. 

I've been thinking about this book since I finished it back in August, and I am so excited that I have my own hardcover that my writing bestie Heather picked up for me at the Decatur Book Festival. I can read and revisit again and again now that it's released. 

I try not to let Stephanie Perkins make me feel like a sham of a writer. It's difficult, but I try. I just hope one day I can capture a shred of the emotion and perfection that she is able to capture in her writing. 

12 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to pick this up this weekend. I waited a long time to read Anna and then kicked myself because it was soo good - not making that mistake with Lola. I love how the city/setting become a character in the book. Stephanie Perkins can insight some serious wanderlust in me - I'm so glad to hear that she does it again!

    Megan @ Read It, See It

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  2. I have to pick this up and read it soon.

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  3. I heart LOLA. When does ISLA pub again? Because already I can't wait.

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  4. I agree with your review. LOLA is so amazing!

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  5. I loved Anna, too. I was afraid Perkins would fall short of what I experienced when reading Anna. Good to know she matches herself again. I'll have to pick it up!

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  6. So excited to finally have my own copy of Lola! I reread it again last night and it's just as awesome as it was the first time!

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  7. Squee! I downloaded this book to my iPad this morning. So looking forward to reading it!

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  8. I loved LOLA so much! Stephanie Perkins is better than a travel guide writer for creating wanderlust...probably because there are cute boys and kissing in cities when she writes about them.

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  9. I have LOLA now! I can't wait to read it! (Finishing up with The Absolutely True Diary... and then I'm diving in!) :)

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  10. I went to two stores last night and neither had Lola. :( I should have known, because this happened when Anna came out, too. I knew I should have just pre-ordered it online! Now I have to wait a few days to get it.

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  11. This is my next read, can't wait! Yeah, there's so many talented writers it sometimes can get a little daunting, but just the small excerpt I read of yours on WriteOnCon hooked me. It stood out, so others are going to see that too. Just keep plugging away. Sarah xx

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