Monday, December 5, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

“I don’t believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be the same person every day.”

Seventeen-year-old Lola Nolan has three simple wishes in life. She wants to dress as Marie Antoinette for her winter formal, complete with the extra wide dress and elaborate wig. Beneath the dress will be platform combat boots “so everyone can see underneath the frills,” she is punk-rock tough. Lola wishes her parents would approve of her boyfriend. Twenty-two-year-old Max is in a band and has no aspirations of college. Lastly, she never wants to see her former neighbors, The Bell twins, ever again.

For Lola, life is good. She has a part-time job at a movie theater and she knows her boyfriend Max is the one. Life could be better. Her parents could accept Max instead of continuing their weekly Sunday brunch plans that involve an interrogation session. But things go quickly from good to bad when Lola’s birth mother comes back into her life. Just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, they do. The Bells move back into their house and the twins, Calliope and Cricket come with them. Calliope, a hopeful Olympic ice skater returns to her old coach and Cricket starts college at Berkeley. Lola still carries a grudge about the time Cricket, whom she had a huge crush on, rejects her and then moves away.

Running into the Bell twins is inevitable, especially since Lola’s bedroom window looks out at Cricket’s. Still hurt from his rejection two years earlier, Lola is shocked when Cricket asks her out for a date every night for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t help when Max overhears and becomes jealous. Lola soon finds her heart and mind pulled in two different directions; the boy she thinks is the one and the boy who was her first love. Join Lola on her heart wrenching journey of self-discovery as she learns just what it truly means to be in love.

Lola is a companion book to Anna and the French Kiss. Anna and Etienne make several appearances as Lola and Anna are coworkers at the movie theater and Etienne and Cricket live in the same dorm at Berkeley. Etienne imparts some of his relationship wisdom to a struggling Lola. Perkins gives a little insight into Anna and Etienne’s relationship for those readers who fell in love with these two characters as I did.

Isla and the Happily Ever After will be published in the Fall of 2012.

Visit Stephanie Perkins' website.

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