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.
I'm going to be rating this book in the B range, and yet I still feel let down by it because I absolutely adored Anna and the French kiss. I enjoyed Lola and the Boy Next Door, but nothing could match up to Anna and the French Kiss, no siree!
I think the thing that got me wound up about this book was that Lola was just too quirky, I know uniqueness is good in a book character but it seemed to be overdone and kind of pushed a little. It was awesome that she had her own fashion sense, but Lola just reminded me of a little yappy dog following Max around, she was just so stupid and naive, and insecure and indecisive and quite a lot of the time, quite annoying. I really liked Cricket, Perkins seems to have some magic awesome boy machine, which gives her the characteristics of a sweet but likeable boy. I loved how he was so genuine- the exact opposite of Max and so caring, every little thing about him was cute, I really liked the rubber bands and the bookcase bridge and ahhhh... when he first confessed his feelings to Lola I just squee'd, and then my heart broke and I was rooting for him from that point.
I loved Lindsay, Lola's straight lace friend, she is just s fountain of knowledge and advice for Lola and I loved her, I also really like Lola's two Dads, and I love that Perkins added in that unique family dynamic. I really, really disliked Max, I was constantly yelling at Lola to see him for who he truly was. Perkins must have had her heart broken by a rocker in her youth, because in both of her books the bad guy has been a rocker... just putting it out there.
And yes, the appearances of Anna and Etienne were my favorite part of the book. They seemed so much more grown up than Lola, maybe because they're older but they also were much more likeable, even as minor characters. I don't think I'd be rating this book in the Bs if they hadn't shown up.
As always, Perkins' narrative is fantastic, I love how easily she got into Lola's head and how she put a completely different personality in Lola than she did in Anna, showing her versatility.
If I had to find any fault with this book's storyline it's that for the first half of the book this big thing that happened between Cricket and Lola two years prior to the book and when we find out what it is it's not even a big deal. That annoyed me a lot.
Overall, a good book but compared to Anna and the French Kiss it's definitely worse. I loved Cricket and Lindsay but Lola seriously annoyed me. Anna and Etienne were the highlights of this book, but Perkins' writing is also outstanding.
Overall Rating: B-
Book released September 29th 2011 by Dutton Books
Book bought by myself.
Other books by this author:
Anna and the French Kiss