Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review | Lola and the Boy Next Door - with Audiobook Notes

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Published by Dutton
Publish Date: September 29, 2011
338 Pages
Source: Print - Bought, Audiobook - Library


Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And 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. (from Goodreads) 



Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

My Thoughts: I did an audiobook + print read of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins early this year after struggling through Anna and the French Kiss three times. After the third time, I finally felt good enough about Anna to move on with the series. (See what I'm talking about here.) Instead of reviewing this book, I just want to put down a short list of my thoughts. 



1. Honestly, part of the reason it took me so long to read Lola is because of the old cover. But this orange cover is LOVELY. All of the new covers are lovely, in fact. 

2. Although I don't often have so much trouble with characters, I had some trouble with Anna and St. Clair with regard to their lack of communication in the first book. BUT: I feel great about the progress they've made in their relationship after reading Lola and the Boy Next Door! I did not realize that they were so heavily featured in Lola, and had I known -- I might not have tried so *painfully* hard to understand where these two were coming from in the first book. Now I want to hug Anna and St. Clair, although I'm not entirely sure why--I just feel so much better about them now, kind of like they've released me from being locked up in a great non-understanding of their relationship. That makes total sense to me, but maybe not so much to you guys. Just trust me. They've matured and I've moved on. 

3. I loved that Lola has all of these wonderfully warm and awkward feelings about Cricket (the name Cricket, yall, WHY). However, I again found myself in this place of frustration with the main characters: LOLA, PLEASE TALK TO MAX. AND ALSO TALK TO YOUR FRIEND CRICKET. YOU GUYS HAVE ISSUES TO WORK OUT. What I see is a little bit of a lack of communication between the guys and girls in this series. (I really don't want this to happen again in the Isla-book. Sigh, sigh, sigh.) 

4. I L-O-V-E friends-to-romance stories. High-fives, forever. I love them. 

BUT -- 

5. I felt a bit sorry for Max in this story. He's the one that Lola's parents don't like so much. Heck, even Lola ends up not liking him. It's obvious that he isn't the best choice for Lola, and I agree that I also liked Cricket best for her. But I felt like Max got dealt a bad hand in the way that everything was handled or written or whatever. 

However -

6. Cricket is all kinds of adorable. I love so much about him, especially the way that he isn't squeaky perfect, like Etienne St. Clair. (His deal with the rubber bands? GAH, I love that especially.) I completely understand why Lola falls for this guy. 



I realize that so many people felt so many swoony moments during this book, and while there was a moment or two where I felt my heart swell over some wonderfully-written lines. I still feel like I'm the odd-man-out, sitting by myself in the corner because I am not head-over-heels in love with the romance in these books. I WILL SAY that I loved this book in comparison to the first book and I WILL SAY that I really liked Cricket. I do plan to read Isla and the Happily Ever After, but I do not own it yet so I'm waiting for my library to have a copy for me to read. 

I've heard good things about the final part of this series and I'm eager to see how everything ends for everyone, but I'm also nervous about it because I want SO BADLY to love one of these books and now I'm down to the last one. No pressure or anything, Isla! 

ReRead Notes: I did go back and reread this book via audiobook + print after I initially wrote this blog post because I just felt so unsettled about Max. My feelings were only supported and intensified on my reread with regard to how his character was handled. I have no closure on how Max fared as part of the love triangle and I doubt that I can read this again to try and feel better about it like I did with the first book. BUT HEY: at least I gave it a second chance. That has to count for something, right? 

Note: I am not anti-love triangle in books. 

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Lola and the Boy Next Door will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary Romance
Romance: Love Triangle. 

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
is currently available for purchase.

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Audiobook Notes:  The audiobook format of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is published by Listening Library and is 8 hours and 59 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Shannon McManus who was a wonderful Lola! I think that going with a different narrator for this second book in the series was a good choice since Lola and Anna had such different personalities. The narrator captured Lola's quirky personality vividly and I feel like I got to know her a little better by the way she was portrayed in voice. I also love the way that this narrator did such a wonderful job speaking the male parts - they did not seem forced or cheesy at all, and with this book the male speaking parts are so important. I would highly recommend this audiobook for a first read or a reread.  

I really wanted to love Lola and the Boy Next Door
especially after having a so-so time with Anna, 
but I feel like I've also had a so-so time with Lola, albeit slightly better. 

I'm going to finish the series, but I have to 
admit that I feel a little like the ODDBALL in
the reading world because everyone else loves these. 


1 comment:

  1. It's been a while since I read this one (I actually listened to the audio) so I'm a little fuzzy on my thoughts, but I don't remember loving this one as much as I loved Anna. Although I did love Cricket, although his name? Kinda ghastly. I think this series is very good, but not a run and tell all your friends about it. It's just lovely fluffy goodness. I read Isla a while back and didn't get nearly any feels from it; it was good, don't get me wrong, but I felt like there was something missing in it for me.

    Sorry these haven't been the greatest reads for you, but glad that you soldiered on and gave them a chance!

    ReplyDelete

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