Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – Book Review

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Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. Everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the 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 pretty late to the Perkins party, but I’m glad I’ve finally arrived. I initially avoided her books because of the somewhat cheesy titles. I thought that the titles reflected that the stories would be cheesy as well, and maybe they are in a way, but dang does Stephanie Perkins ever do YA romance well.

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I’ve always been a huge fan of books that have characters living together (especially boarding schools) or characters living in very close proximity, like in this book where the story revolves around neighbours. The main character, Lola, is extremely unlike myself, but Perkins wrote her in a way that I found myself identifying with her so easily that every heartbreaking moment for her was heartbreaking for me as well. This book was the perfect way to kick off my sunny summer reading vibes. I enjoyed the complex way Lola navigates her old feelings for her neighbour while in a relationship with a different guy. It showed how complex and confusing romantic feelings can be, and that Lola didn’t always make the ‘right’ decisions all the time made it feel even more real. I feel like Lola grew well as a character throughout the book, and it was nice watching her figure out her complicated life, find herself, and then become a stronger person because of it.

Now, can I just talk about Cricket Bell please?!!! He is definitely on my book boyfriend list now. His character is seriously the best, nicest, most generous, most understanding, most interesting, most adorable/dorky boy ever *sigh*. So, did I build him up enough for you yet? Haha. Hopefully my hype doesn’t ruin him for you, but I do really love how genuine his character is.

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I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves extremely adorable and relatable contemporary YA romance. Don’t be deceived by the titles!! I will definitely be picking up other books by Stephanie Perkins now.

I would give this book 4.75/5

For Fans Of: Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen, and David Levithan

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