“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”
Hey, rad readers!
Ash here! It seems as though I have been in a contemporary mood as of late, and the next book I picked up to help ease this craving was the wonderful Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. This is a companion novel to Perkins’ first book Anna and the French Kiss (which you can find my review to here!). This book created many mixed emotions for me, so please join me as I attempt to untangle all of my thoughts and feelings about this story! (P.S. There may be a few spoilery things in here, but since it is a contemporary romance, you kind of already know what to expect from the characters! But don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Do you prefer to hear the good news or bad news first? Bad news it is! (Sorry to those of you that chose good news!) They say that one of the most important parts involved in writing a book is to have likable main character. And don’t get me wrong, Lola was one of the most unique characters I have ever read about! I loved seeing her personality shine through each of her fabulous outfits (or costumes as she would prefer them to be called) and how she didn’t shy away from being labeled as “weird” or “strange” because of them. HOWEVER, she was also incredibly immature throughout most of the book, which frustrated me to no end.
Honestly, what is with Stephanie Perkins and her emotional cheating themes?! While I slightly excused this behavior in Anna and the French Kiss, it was completely unacceptable in this book! Lola spent about a year emotionally cheating on Max! NOT COOL. Now, Max could have handled there break up a little more gentlemanly, but I’m not gonna lie, I was basically cheering him on when he dumped her.
Okay, that’s enough complaining for now… Ready for the good news?!
ANNA AND ST. CLAIR ARE BACK! Their multiple cameos throughout the story were so much fun to read! I loved seeing how their relationship has progressed in college and how they are now seen as an example of a “stable” couple. (Feel free to write more books about their love story Stephanie Perkins, because I am invested!)
I would also like to give a quick shoutout before diving into the main reason that I loved this book. Lindsey (Lola’s best friend) was so under appreciated! I wish I could have heard more about her relationship with Charlie! Plus, her dream is to become a spy, and you know how I feel about spies!
Before reading this book, it was obvious from the title that the star was going to be ‘The Boy Next Door,’ better known as Cricket Bell. While I shamelessly admit to having many book boyfriends, Cricket Bell is definitely the most realistic pairing for me. Seriously, where can I find me a Cricket Bell?? He has such great family values, he has aspirations and goals for his life, and he has a wonderful sense of humor. And while he is fun and charismatic, he also has cute nervous habits (i.e. drawing on the back of his hand) and is always patient and willing to help others. Speaking of patience, I have no idea how he waited so long to be with Lola…how were there not hundreds of girls lining up to date him?! I know I would’ve pushed my way to the front of that line!
Overall, I think I enjoyed reading this book (I really still don’t even know). Looking at the story from an outside perspective, I can see how people would like it. The reason I had a hard time reading it is because I tend to picture myself as the main character in the story. And once I saw that Cricket Bell was an option, I was incredibly frustrated every time I was forced to go back and hang out with Max.
That being said, it is a real struggle to rate this book because if I were to just rate Cricket Bell, he would get all the stars in the world (and we all know how much he loves stars *wink, wink*). Lola’s reckless behavior, however, forces me to subtract stars… Thus, I am left with a very conflicted final rating.
Final Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I hope your day is filled with gorgeous attire and lots of delicious pie!
Ash & (Lo in spirit)