BAYA Librarian's Reviews > Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
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Mar 11, 2012

Read in November, 2011

This follow-up effort to Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss perfectly captures the emotions and confusions of teen love. Seventeen year old Lola was in love with her next door neighbor Cricket Bell for years until he abruptly seemed to break off their close friendship when he moved away with his family to support his twin sister Calliope's bid for greatness in figure skating. The book begins a year and a half after the twins' move, and Lola, an aspiring fashion designer who wears outrageous costumes everywhere just for fun, is dating a twenty-two year old local rocker named Max, much to her two dads' disapproval. When the Bell family moves back to the house next door, Lola is thrown into turmoil about her old feelings for Cricket and her current feelings about dating Max, whom she feels she must constantly defend from her skeptical friends and parents. While this sounds like a typical YA romance love triangle, the book avoids cliché and melodrama by its accurate portrayal of teen emotions and its honest acknowledgement of teen sex and desire. The book is not about Lola deciding if she is on Team Max or Team Cricket, but about deciding if she can be honest with herself. Perkins perfectly captures the deliciously excruciating feeling of being attracted to someone whose feelings towards you are unclear, along with the devastating feelings of losing one's first love. Set in San Francisco and filled with believable characters (including minor appearances of Anna from Perkins' previous book), Lola and the The Boy Next Door is a first-rate teen romance.
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