So, I know everybody and their mother that hasn’t already read it is dying for the upcoming release of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I was definitely no exception – I could not wait to get my hands on it after the brilliant awesomeness that is Anna and the French Kiss. However – while Lola had a lot of amazing things going for it, it didn’t live up to Anna for me.
Stephanie Perkins is so flippin’ fantastic at weaving tons of detail into her writing that it is unreal. Seriously, I was in awe of this in her first book and it is nothing is not stepped up even higher in Lola. The personalities of Lola and Cricket are outstanding…and all the secondary characters are richly fleshed out as well. Seriously, I bow down to the master. Everything from Cricket’s crazy inventions as a kid to the kinds of candy Lola leaves lying around her room add so much depth and realism to the story. I could rave about it forever. I loved Lola’s dads, their dog (with the awesome name Heavens to Betsy), and even the characters we’re meant to dislike are brought to life so well that it is easy to imagine knowing them.
Also, don’t even get me started on the repeated appearances of Anna and St. Clair. Swoon. SWOON.
Unfortunately, it was the plot of the story that didn’t work as well for me as Anna. Don’t get me wrong – I still liked it a lot and plan on adding the book to my shelves when it is released, I just want to caution you to lower your expectations just a tiny bit so you won’t feel the same twinge of disappointment I did. Lola and Cricket had a lot of things keeping them apart in this book just like Anna and St. Clair had in their story – however, in the first book I felt like there were so many circumstances in the way that they simply couldn’t have come together any sooner or in a better way. In this book, I wanted to punch Lola in the face for being so immature. Seriously, Cricket was there. Waiting for her. Loving her. Being there for her. She was stubbornly dating a JERK, bound and determined to prove to everyone that she was right. Holy Toledo was it frustrating.
Anyway, this is obviously all just my personal preference, because I know the vast majority of people who have read it really do love it more than Anna. I just wanted to add my cautionary note to those of you that might feel the same way I do – prepare to enjoy the story, just don’t read it with a constant comparison in mind!