Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 29th 2011
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Stephanie Perkins won my heart with Anna and the French Kiss and taught me that not all contemporary is bad (mind you, I've read my fair share of horrible contemporary, mostly adult rather than YA) and she has once confirmed that lesson with Lola.
Lola is completely different to Anna, her personality, her behaviour and her style is quirky, fun and unique. I think what I love the most about Stephanie Perkins is that her characters don't have the same voice, Anna and Lola are different, Anna and Lola's friends are different, even their boyfriends (or love interests) are different! The characters she creates imitate real life.
Whilst I liked Lola, I didn't love her. I thought she was fun, different and quirky, and I can't quite put my finger on it but I just didn't "connect" with her. One thing I loved were her parents. They were gay. That has got to be the coolest freaking thing I have ever come across in YA. I appreciated how they enforced rules and boundaries for Lola, although I did think they were a bit *too* strict at time and I think their reasons for being so strict was a bit unfair and judgemental. Just because Lola's mum was tapped in the head does not mean she is going to end up like that, especially considering she wasn't even raised by her mum. Her parents were still adorable though :).
Cricket, oh I know he is cute and totally made for Lola but I didn't love him as much as St. Clair... Ahh, St. Clair.......
ANYWAY. I did however love the fact that Cricket accepted that Lola had a boyfriend (who, is not too old in my opinion, 17-22 - not that horrible) and although he wasn't happy about it, he wasn't all "I don't care".
I can't say much about the characters though, because this is contemporary (and NO, I'm still not used to the fact that I managed to find two books I loved of that genre), and that means that the characters are meant to be realistic, the situations are meant to be realistic but Stephanie Perkins has yet again sucked me in with her incredible and funny writing. I don't know how, but she's done it - she has *officially* convinced me to read more contemporary YA.
In the meantime, please excuse these horribly written reviews because quite frankly, I don't know how to write reviews for good contemporary books. But I will be reading more of this and I am DEFINITELY itching to read Isla and the Happily Ever After (also I'm seriously getting hardcopies of all of these)
OOOOHHH, before I forget... Etienne and Anna are featured in Lola and the Boy Next Day - can you say awesome??