Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Realistic, Romance, YA Fiction
Note: I’ve read ‘Isla’ before this one. It seems like I’m reading this series in backwards order.
Premise: The premise of this story is fashion-loving Lola and her neighbor the extremely tall and genius inventor Cricket. She had a crush on this guy two years ago, but he just left one day and never came back. Until now. Sadly, Lola has a boyfriend, who is twenty-one or twenty-two. And her gay parents don’t approve. And she has weird feelings surfacing for her first crush Cricket Bell. Yes, that Bell.
Plot: I felt like this plot wasn’t bad. The ending just was. The ending was rushed. The book was pretty well spaced. It didn’t feel rushed at times, but there were a few rough spots. The first Lola-Cricket meeting at Berkley? I didn’t like how it was written. There seemed to be something wrong. I just can’t place it. It seemed…so odd. Perhaps, I wanted them to just go all animalistic on each other, but it’s not like that doesn’t happen later. And that doesn’t satisfy anything in me.
Again, this is romance. I’m not a big fan of romance. In any way, shape, or form. Not usually.
And this, again, isn’t a different story. The typical ‘boy next door- thing came into play. Sure, there was the boyfriend twist, but that didn’t make it that amazing.
I feel like Stephanie Perkins is overusing the ‘I was in love with you from the beginning’ and the mixed signals. I do hope ‘Anna’ doesn’t have this. Which doesn’t seem possible since I think Anna and St. Clair don’t know each other from before.
Back to the plot. I felt like the Max part was dragged on too long. I was bored after half of this book was done. I don’t like the Max parts. Sure, it was fun reading about Cricket stiffen around Max, but Lola should have dumped Max earlier.
The romance didn’t seem convincing either. Sure, you feel lust for this guy. What else? Good fashion sense? Good personality? I don’t see it. Why is Cricket drawn to her? We don’t get the guy’s perspective. I don’t know if ‘Isla’ had much of that either really. And I’m disappointed by this.
Lola. Goodness, girl. I admire your audacity, but you’re a bit too daring. I have no fashion sense, and her outfits just drive me nuts. Nuts. I like her boldness, but it seems…wrong. It does work in her favor at times. I feel as if there should have been more of her being a fashion designer than wacky outfits. And she does grow. She’s settling in the beginning. That’s what I feel like, but she ends up with Cricket. Not that Cricket is much better than Max… If you ask me.
Cricket. I don’t like him. No, I don’t. I don’t really like the goody-goody characters. Not that Cricket is really goody-goody. I don’t like how he acts. He seems like he was written wrong. Like there was a template for him and he just…went off on his own way. He is supposed to be this mad scientist type guy, or inventor. And I barely feel that vibe. He seems more ‘oh my god Lola’ than anything else. And I don’t like how he loves Lola since the beginning. Why reject her then? Why do that? You left her to mope and mourn for years before she snapped back into the Lola with Max.
Problems: I felt…unsatisfied. ‘Isla’ was a major letdown, and I expected nothing amazing from this one. And I felt…satisfied in that sense. The book wasn’t amazing. Why?
I feel like Stephanie Perkins is overusing the ‘I loved you since the beginning’. It’s in ‘Isla’ too, and I didn’t like it there. I don’t like it now. It feels wrong. If you loved her, why didn’t you do something? Really?
The romance doesn’t seem real. Between Max and Lola or Lola and Cricket. It falls flat. Lots of kissing and feelings on Lola’s side. Cricket? Max? Nothing. Why did they fall for Lola? Quirky personality? Weird outfits? No clue really.
I wish there was more about the fashion and the inventions of Lola and Cricket respectively. There wasn’t enough of that. There was only bare bones. If they love these things, add them in more. Maybe he makes small gifts for her and never gives them. I don’t know. Just add in their hobbies more. Less romance more interests. Not every reader wants constant romance.
Good points: Like ‘Isla’, there are few good points. The parts where Lola falls into depression were interesting. I felt like there wasn’t much emotion behind it. She was in a rut. I saw that. I do think it’s interesting how it was handled. Sadly, it felt too short. I’m a big supporter of anti-bullying and anti-suicide. That’s who I am. That’s what I look for in realistic fiction. And I sometimes find it in other books too. (‘Bitterblue’ and ‘The Unbound’) I like how it was added in, but I felt as if there could have been more.
Another thing I liked that gave this book so many good points with me? Nathan and Andy. I support LGBT. I can say that with pride. I really can. To me, it was a nice addition unlike how ‘Isla’ handled LGBT. I felt as if there could have been more. Like many, I did a double take when I read of the two fathers, but it’s cute. The ‘Glee’ gay parents cute. I like that part.
And I don’t really like much of anything else with this book. My expectations were low as is.
Remember. I haven’t read ‘Anna’ yet. Someone got to it before I did at my local library. I have to wait for home delivery now. I don’t expect it to come soon.
Recommended: If you like cute romance. If you like the boy-next-door stories.