Lola is a little different than most high school girls. She dresses like she is always in a play, has two fathers, and an older boyfriend whom her fathers hate. When her new neighbors move in, Lola’s world is turned upside down. The problem is, her new neighbors just happen to be old neighbors: A boy she used to love and a girl she used to hate. Lola knows she can’t ignore the boy who’s window is right across from hers, that broke her heart years ago, and the girl who never wanted her dating her brother. To make things even more interesting, Lola’s two friends are two people who you may be familiar with, Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Clair, from Stephanie Perkins first novel Anna and the French Kiss.
I wasn’t going to continue reading Stephanie Perkin’s books after reading Anna and the French Kiss. Not because I didn’t love the book, I did, but I didn’t want to get sucked into another trilogy. When I thought Lola and the Boy Next Door wasn’t a continuation of Anna and St. Clair’s love affair, I was relieved. Then I read a review that said they were relevat characters in this novel, hence why I read it so soon after completing Anna and the French Kiss.
I’m glad I decided to continue on in this series by reading this novel. I was impressed how Lola and the Boy Next Door is a completely new story, with new characters, but how it also incorporates Anna and St, Clair into Lola’s life. I wish other characters from Anna and the French Kiss were incorporated as well, but we can’t have it all now, can we? I love how they work together and weave their way into other aspects of Lola’s life without having the book be all about them. (I would have rather had the book all about them, though, just saying.)
I didn’t love Lola as much as I love Anna, but she grew on me as the book went on. I thought she was too electric with all her costumes and agreed with her boyfriend when he accused her of being fake all of the time. I did, however, love the boy next door, Cricket. (I find it kind of strange that this is the second series I’ve read with a charter named Cricket [the first one being Nantucket Blue/Red], I honestly didn’t even know it was a “real” name.) It’s interesting how Cricket is related to Alexander Graham Bell and how his life has influenced his own in so many ways. His whole character intrigued me, just as St. Clair intrigued me in Anna and the French Kiss. Stephanie Perkins knows how to create a fictional male character that is so easy to fall in love with and swoon over.
This is the first Young Adult novel that I can remember reading that revolves around a character that has two dads. I’m glad that other types of families are being showcased in YA Literature and not just moms and dads, with two kids, that dwell in a suburban home, and live happily ever after. I never thought about how intimidating two dads would be when it came to dating their daughter. And believe me, Lola has two very protective dads; every hour date check-ins? That is ludicrous!
I was left unsatisfied with the ending. The whole novel led up to this one big event, then it arrived, and then the book was over. Sometimes I hate reading books on the Kindle, because I can’t tell how many pages are left. I guess I have to leave what comes next up to my own imagination. (Fan Fiction here I come.) I hope it somehow wraps back around to them in Isla and the Happily Ever After, the third book in this somewhat nontraditional book series. I haven’t read reviews or a synopsis on it yet, therefore I have no idea what it’s about and which characters reappear.