Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: September 2011
Pages: 384
Source: Library

For: Fun
Series: Companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss

Lola thinks she has it all together. She's dating a hot rocker guy and her plans for the future are in order. But when the Bell twins move back in next door, her life is turned upside down. Cricket Bell, the boy who broke her heart, is suddenly in her life again and nothing feels right anymore.

Things I Liked:
I was so happy that I picked this one up!  I was one of the very few not blown away by Anna and the French Kiss.  I did not adore St. Clair or Anna and I didn't think it was the greatest book I'd read (which, you know, it seemed like everyone else did).  But this one, this felt more like what I remember of high school romance.  Lola was so much fun!  I loved her personality and her insecurities and her fashion choices (obviously).  I loved Cricket even more.  He made this book for me.  He was the epitome of what the boy next door means.  Their weird and hesitant and confusing relationship was so well drawn, so real that I began to think of them as real people.  Perhaps I liked it more than Anna, because it felt more like what I experienced in high school.  Just what I like in a nice light romance.  Happy to be a Stephanie Perkins fan now.  Here are some favorite parts:
I don't believe in fashion.  I believe in costume.  Life is too short to be the same person every day.  p 7
I wonder if he's looking at my butt.
WHY DID I JUST THINK THAT?  Now my butt feels COLOSSAL. Maybe he's looking at my legs.  Is that better?  Or worse?  Do I want him looking at me?  I hold on to the bottom of my dress as I climb into the backseat and crawl to the other side.  I'm sure he's looking at my butt.  He has to be.  It's huge, and it's right there, and it's huge. p 128
Things I Didn't Like:
Honestly, it seemed like there was a LOT of other stuff going on.  There were so many issues in Cricket's family and Lola's family that it seemed just a bit too much.  Yes, there is usually family drama going on, but it felt overdone at times.  Still, loved it.  Would recommend it to pretty much everyone.


Of course, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Otherwise, I really have no good read-alike ideas...

s-factor: !@
not too much, actually, but it's there

mrg-factor: XX
I really didn't like her boyfriend

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Any read-alike suggestions for these books?  I'm completely at a loss.
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage
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