Book review: Lola and the Boy next Door

The first new book review from a book that i actually read in 2015! 

Are you excited? I am excited. 

Not necessary about this specific book -at least not overly so- but about a new post! And i actually did manage to post quite a few posts this week, so double excitement please. :)

Alright back to the actual reason of this post. 

I have read "Anna and the French Kiss" - the first part of this companion series- and while i did not love it, i liked it enough that i wanted to see if the second book of this series, is more fore me then "Anna" was. 


Here are the Book facts: 

Title: Lola and the Boy next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Language: English
Pages: 338  (Paperback)
series: technically yes, but it can be read as a stand alone as far as I understand the whole thing, but there are two other novels that go along with this "series"
Overall rating: 3 out of 5
Summary on the book
"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion ... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit - the more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. And life is pretty close to perfect in Lola's world, especially with her hot, rocker boyfriend. That is, until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood and unearth a past of hurt and anguish that Lola thought was long buried. When talented inventor Cricket 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. "
Worth reading? Sure. It is in no way a must read, and if you read "Anna" and just found it nice, leave this one. it is basically the same Story as "Anna" was just with a different setting and characters, but the overall storyline is the same. If you loved "Anna"? Go read this, you will love it.  



If you read my review of "Anna" you might now that while "Anna" was not the "most fantastic book -ever!" for me as it seemed to have been for many other readers, it was a good enough read that i wanted to see if Perkins was able to write .... more then what "Anna" was or not. 

"Lola" disappointed me a bit. Just like "Anna" this book was quite hyped up and talked about as a fantastic romance novel that gives you more then that.  

But lets be honest here, alright? It doesn't. 

This book even more so than "Anna" is nothing but dramatic and a little overdone romance and has the exact same basic storyline that "Anna" had as well:  Romance between two people that don't necessary want to give into their romantic feelings and a third person that is put in the middle until third person is dropped like hot potato and the "dream team" find their way together. 

I had hoped -and maybe that is why i did not enjoy this book as much as others- that this book would give more then just the drama of a relationship that includes three people in a way. And to be honest if this book would have included a three-some relationship i would guess that i would have liked it better. 

It is not as if i did not know going in that "lola" would have a boyfriend and be interested in the boy next door. That is the whole title and with that theme of the book. I get that, i understand. But what i did not enjoy was that Perkins did not change this story up at all. She really just did the same thing that she did in "Anna" and that is disappointing to me. She could have wrote it differently -and i had hoped that she would- that there are three people in a two people relationship and that one person has to decide who they want to be with. And yes that involves drama and intrigue and maybe a bit of overdone hysterics. That is fine that is expected for a book such as this. 

Still, there is -or at least that has to be- a way to write what Perkins wrote twice now in a different why then she did -have i said that she did the same thing twice? Yes, funny i thought that while i read as well!

Maybe i just don't like that Perkins writes about stringing that third person along that did nothing wrong but was just replaced and treated badly. Who wants that?I just don't enjoy reading about stringing along another person. Period. And then there is the fact that i just don't understand why people would do that or if there are really people that to this. Why? Can someone please explain to me why someone would do this? 

If you like someone, just end it with the other person it will not get better for you or that other person. If you are looking elsewhere -be it back to something or at something new- you are clearly not happy in your current relationship so just end it with the person you with and leave it at that please. Thank you. 

Alright positive points?

Perkins does has a very nice writing style -which is why i gave 3 points. She writes in a way that makes me want to finish that book even if you don't enjoy her story overly much. 

And i also enjoyed to read about an "unconventional" parents. Lola has two dads and an overall interesting family history. I enjoyed that Perkins wrote outside of the norm and away from what all the other books have and sadly that was the only big and really noticeable difference between the two books in this series that i have read up until now. 

I also enjoyed that Perkins did not ride on one dad being a "mom" but rather pointed out that that is not how it works. If you are a same sex couple one person does not take over the role of the other sex that is just not how it works. And for a Young Adult book i liked that Perkins put that in this book and pointed out those folds in most people's thinking. It is important to and for young people to learn that their normal is not necessary the typical normal or that if something is different it is bad or horrible to strange. Perkins wrote those parts really well -as i said before- and i really enjoyed how she wrote it and put those parental situations and explained how it happened and why it was happening as the situations with Lola's family where happening. Perkins wrote a quite believable family history, that could be real and actual life. I appreciated that, since that is happening not enough in books. 

Lola as an overall character, was alright as well. Personally i did not relate to her very much. She was just strange to me in many things and i found her a bit overdone with all the costumes and such -really which 16 year old constantly wears wigs?- but overall Lola is an alright character. She is mostly human and relatable, has flaws and is not always what others need and interesting enough that i can see why Perkins wrote her as the main character. 

And back to the negative shall we?
But to be honest all the other characters to me were just not very good. Sadly. I did not enjoy either of the boy's in this book. and while i understood the differences of the boy's in this book and how they were written, i did not like either of the very much. 

The "musician" was too much "bad boy with a good heart" clique for me, especially since the more you read the more it just doesn't fit -the role as well as the clique. The "inventor" was too much the "nice guy" for me. He was clearly meant to be the opposite of the "Musician" and to me it was just overdone -both of them. Because in many ways neither of the boy's were written that they actually fit the role Perkins wrote them into and it just all did not fit for and to me at all. It just did work for me. 

What i also found unnecessary was the little hind to the first book "Anna" since that was not necessary or needed or even done very well. Perkins could have just wrote that out and it wouldn't have made a difference -and if it is seen that way it didn't make a difference that she wrote it in and it was fine, but i just didn't see the necessity of it in the book. So it is neither negative nor positive, it just is. Just as this book just is. 


I think that my biggest issue with this book overall is that i just don't enjoy that 3/4 of the book the main characters that clearly are meant to be together are not together and just spend time building obstacles in their way and all of a sudden those obstacles don't matter anymore after 3/4 of the book has happened and they "live happily ever after". Perkins did this in "Anna" and she repeated it in "Lola" and to me that just doesn't make sense. Why would the two people that want to be together not just get together? If Lola wants to be together with another boy, leave the boyfriend and get to it already. If you are happy with your boyfriend, what the heck is the problem? 

Maybe i am to rational in those aspects. Maybe i don't understand because i never had a boyfriend and don't understand the "feels" as it is so nicely called. i don't know. But honestly i find it just seems as if the entire thing is just done so that the book is over 300 pages and not just reaching those. Because honestly the story would be a nice and quite romance if Perkins would leave that extra person -this "first" boy/girlfriend the main character or love interest of the main character is with at the beginning and up until 3/4 into the book- out of it. If Perkins would just write the main girl and boy and not give the story the entire "extra girl/boyfriend" spin it would be more interesting for me personally to read. 

But okay... some people enjoy this will she or won't she? situation and i do understand that. I just don't enjoy it and i had hoped that Perkins would not just rewrite the first book with new characters, which by the way she did. 

Overall: 
It is a cute book. It is not worth much to me because as i said it basically is "Anna" re-written since the basic storyline is the same. The setting is a bit different as are the characters, but what the story is about? Identical. That is sad, because i don't understand why in a 3 book companion series two books need to be almost exactly the same identical book, but alright. not every book is as great and fantastic as it is for others. I can live with that. 

I did not regret the time i spend reading this book and overall i can see why people enjoy it. So points for that. I and do enjoy Perkins way with words, she does write quite nicely. Is this book something special? NO. Is it worth the read? Sure if you don't expect to much out of it, go for it. Just don't expect to be blown away or read the overall storyline that you cannot find in at least 300 other romance books as well (one of them "Anna"). 


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