Jo's Reviews > Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
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's review
Jan 09, 12

bookshelves: own, gave-up-on, 2012, ya

In this book good old Anna explains to good old Lola that “It’s fun to write a review if you hate the movie.”
I’m guessing that’s the same for books as well but I’m not going to find out because I’m officially giving up.
I know, I’m sorry.
I tried.
I failed.
I’m a failure.
I’m a failure as a girl.

I know a lot of people love this book and I can appreciate why. Ms Perkins has a flawless way of penning sweet, fluffy romantic books and people who like that kind of thing will adore this book.

But I'm just not one of those people.

Maybe it’s because I can already tell that I’ll end up being on the side of Sir Max of Douchington by the end of this book. He’s the only character that I care for.
Maybe it’s because I just want to give Lola a quick, yet hard, boot in the shins.
Maybe it’s because I don’t understand how wearing “long brunette wigs with emerald tips” (*eye twitch*) can make a girl interesting.
Maybe it’s because I’m twenty two and I practically should be written off from LIFE because I'm so impossibly old.

“So, uh….how old is he?”
“Twenty-two.” For some reason, admitting this to him feels uncomfortable.
A long pause. “Wow.” This word is slow and heavy.”


Or maybe, just maybe, I didn’t like this book because I’ve still not forgiven Ms Perkins for taking a sexy French YA love interest who had so sooo much potential and making him British.
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Reading Progress

01/08/2012 "What on earth is a Bakelite bangle? They've already been mentioned about a gabillion times and I'm none the wiser." 13 comments
01/08/2012 page 26
8.0% "Bonjour Etienne,Ça va? Oh wait, I forgot... you're actually British. Alright, mate, how's it going, Etienne? Oh wait... I forgot, you're actually public school boy British. :-|" 4 comments
01/08/2012 page 55
16.0% ""But he's still far too old for you." Why is everyone getting so giddy over five years?! I mean... come on, it's not as if Max is short or anything." 4 comments
01/08/2012 page 101
30.0% ""saw two fallen branches in the shape of a heart. thought of you"....criminy." 5 comments

Comments (showing 1-23)

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message 23: by Ramziya (new)

Ramziya *crosses fingers* We can hope.

message 22: by Trinity (new) - added it

Trinity Good luck :)

Nomes LOL. it may. Although I feel like I am the lonely one who did not really care for this book :/

message 20: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Haha, don't worry Nomes, from what I've read so far I'm guessing I'll be joining you at the anti-Lola table.

(view spoiler)

Lisa O. Nomes wrote: "LOL. it may. Although I feel like I am the lonely one who did not really care for this book :/"

You were certainly not the only one who didn't particularly like the book.

Laura Haha…this is one of the reasons why I love talking to you, Jo! Life would be damn boring if we all loved the same books! :D

message 17: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Haha, thanks Laura!
It certainly would :)

message 16: by Amy (Turn the Page) (last edited Jan 09, 2012 08:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy (Turn the Page) I love this review :D

I also didn't get why there was such a big deal about the age difference.

message 15: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Thanks Amy :)

Maybe it's because of the difference in the age of consent in the UK?
But still... it's not that bad.
Cricket is a year older than her, isn't he?
They'd better not get up to any monkey business!

Amy (Turn the Page) Yeah I think it might be. Whenever I read books by non-British authors and something like this comes up, I'm like why the hell is it such an issue, then I remember that the age of consent isn't 16 elsewhere.

I also didn't get why everyone in the book was hating on Max, I mean he seemed a pretty good guy, until towards the end of the book and Perkins made him into a bit of a jerk.

message 13: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo I think it's 16 in Australia too.
And the drinking age is 18.

Ha, I know poor Max.
Lola was hardly the perfect girlfriend, was she?

Rachel Piper Ha! The "slow, full-bodied shrug" was something that bothered me when I thought too hard about it. And yeah, the age thing ... in America Max could go to jail for statutory rape.

message 11: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo @Rachel- Obviously I didn't finish this book but does that issue get brought up properly later on?
Because, and this might just be me, but I got the impression it wasn't the issue that it was illegal as such as that he was 5 years older than her. So even if she had been 18 and he'd been 23 and it had been legal, her friends/dads/Cricket would still have had the problem.

I don't know, I'm not explaining it properly! :)

I've never met a boy who could master the "slow, full-bodied shrug".
One day. :-p

Rachel Piper I think it's a combo of the 5-year thing and that she's so young (in American culture, at least). She points out to her dads that they have an age difference, too, but the understanding is that their age difference has always been OK because the younger of the two was 22 when they started dating. For me, being 18/19 and dating someone who's 23/24 is a lot less yucky than being 16/17 (and in high school!) and dating someone who's 22. I think the "high school" thing has a lot to do with it. 16-year-olds are still treated as kids a lot of the time, and Lola definitely still acts like one.

message 9: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo I guess because in the UK when we're 16-18 most of us (although some stay at their high school to do their A-Levels) go to a completely separate sixth form college and there's a lot more freedom and students tend to be treated like adults.
Like we got to choose what subjects we took on to A-Level, we got to wear our own clothes and call the teachers by their first name... things were a lot more relaxed.

It's really interesting though. I never thought of it like that. :)

Rachel Piper It's so interesting to hear the perspective on something that seems so basic to us, and then realize that it's *not* basic at all. :) Now I'm curious: Have you seen the film "An Education"? The age difference is much greater (a 30-something guy) but I think the main girl is probably still 17 or so. The relationship in the film was met with a lot of revulsion over here. Was the reaction the same in the UK?

message 7: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Yes I've seen it but I don't remember there being any controversy surrounding it! I'm sure the Daily Mail had something to say about it though.

It's weird though, that no one really batted an eyelid over that when the man was older than the girl... but there seems to be a lot more bother when older women go out with younger men. There always seems to be some kind of "scandal" in the tabloids about women getting toy boys. Ha.

Rachel Piper Haha! That's something that happens here, as well. I have a lot of girlfriends in relationships or marriages where they're younger by 10 years or even more. No one bats an eye there, but I know of two guys who are dating older women, and there's a lot of eye-raising about their relationships. Curious!

Anyway, thanks for the discussion.

Amy (Turn the Page) I think 5 years is a bit of an issue when it's a 16 year old dating a 21 year old. Mainly because they would be at two very different stages in life, one for example, possibly in the middle of or finishing university, the other just going of to college. But I don't fundamentally see a problem with it, particularly with the relationship Max and Lola seemed to have at the beginning of the book.

Max was quite aware and respectful of her age, spending time with her fathers etc. It seemed to me they did care very much for each other and were going about it the right way. That's why it really stood out that such a big reaction was made by all the characters.

I see why a lot of readers/characters might be against that kind of age difference and saw her as far too young for him if that's the law and social view you've grown up with but it was also strange for me, because while I think people would still have some concerns, they'd also have to accept that legally she is old enough to sleep with whoever she chooses.

It's actually only something I've picked up on recently when reading more and more books by American authors. A big point was being made in some of these books I was reading about 16/17 year olds having sex, and it took me a while to remember that the age of consent is higher over there.

Lisa O. This is the funniest review for this book I've read so far and I want to like it twice. :D

message 3: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Ha, thanks Lisa. :D

message 2: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa I would've pressed "like" a few more times if I could! Great review.

Keren your last paragraph is priceless!

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