Publisher: Dutton Books
Publish Date: September 29, 2011
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) util the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out of his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
Oh. My. Golly.
This book made me want to squee and laugh and jump up and down and hug myself. So I did. Mutiple times. One cannot contain the joy and happiness and emotions that Lola and the Boy Next Door holds.
If I’m not careful this will just be one long, gushy review, so let’s start with a list of things I loved:
1) Lola’s parents and her relationship with them. When I’d seen people saying how much they liked this I figured they would be the “best friend” type of parents, but they weren’t. Her dads are very protective of her, but you can tell how much they love her too. They yell at her and ground her and do normal parenty things which is awesome.
2) Max and Lola’s relationship. Going in, I figured I was going to hate Max since he sounded kind of douchey. I didn’t, though. No matter how much I wanted to hate him I just couldn’t. It was interesting to watch Max and Lola’s relationship deteriorate knowing that theirs wasn’t the most important relationship of the story.
3) Cricket Bell. I mean, really, do I even have to say it? He’s kind, funny, sweet and fantastic, but he’s more like a real boy than almost any other I’ve read. I love that he’s transparent about his feelings which means, yeah, he does yell at Lola (not in an abusive way, promise) once or twice because he’s so dig darn frustrated. In more ways than one. He gets angry and sad and we see it all. Plus, he’s super nice to his sister and little niece. Oh gosh, I’ve got to stop now before this turns into an all out “gush about Cricket” fest.
4) ANNA AND ST. CLAIR! They aren’t just a small part of the story, they’re Lola’s friends! How cool is that?
5) Lola. She’s so colorful and lively and real. She yells at her parents, storms out of the house, cries on her bed, agonizes over guys, makes impulsive decisions, gets gooey-eyed over her neighbor, and makes mistakes. I could go on and on, but what I’m trying to say is that Lola is someone most girls will be able to relate to. She’s always second guessing herself and wondering what she’s supposed to do which basically describes the being a teen.
6) All the clothes talk. You might think that it would get to be too show-and-telly, but it didn’t. It was fun reading about everyone’s clothes from Lola’s costumes to Cricket’s pin-striped pants.
And then the review was getting long and gushy so let’s wrap this up!
The Nutshell: Lola and the Boy Next Door will make you laugh, break your heart a little, and have you swooning all over the place. This is definitely not your typical girl-meets-girl-long-journey-to-love-happily-ever-after story. I mean, there is a happily ever after, but it’s not all about Lola getting the boy next door. In fact, she’s still with Max for over half the story which I thought was really interesting. This is one book you do not want to miss. Even if contemporary isn’t your thing, you should give this one a chance!
Series: Companion to Anna and the French Kiss
Rating: Direct Hit