Author: Stephanie Perkins
From the cover flap:
Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -more sparkly, more fun, more wild- the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded 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.
If I had more time and a chair, I would probably have written my own synopsis, because that doesn't even begin to cover to awesomeness of this book.
I'll be honest with you, I didn't love Perkins' first book, Anna and the French Kiss. I liked it. But I wasn't grinning ear to ear at the end. I was expecting the same reaction from Lola and the Boy Next Door. Boy howdy, I did NOT have the same reaction. (Click the link and scroll to see my mini review of AatFK)
This is without a doubt the best love story I've read in a long, long time. I knew from the very first page what the bottom line ending of the book was going to be. You probably have already guessed it, simply from the title. And you're probably right. So why read the book, if you know the ending and can probably guess the general plot? The journey, and the emotions, and the joy you'll get from both. It's the story, not the bottom line ending that's important here. It's going back in time to your own first love and remembering the heartache and that inexplicable but totally real electric energy flowing between you and that special someone.
It's simple and it's beautiful and I adored it.
I loved the setting (San Fransisco in an old Victorian house on a street of Victorian houses) and the characters and the dialogue. It all just fell together and blended together into a sweet, hopeful story about love. I sympathized with Lola and her journey to find love, I've been there. We all have. And that's the beauty of it. It's not just Lola's story, but us as humans. Who doesn't remember those days as a teen, trying to fit into your own skin, trying to be comfortable and confident with who you are? And of course, trying to muddle through all those steeping emotions and figure out the truth of how you feel.
Let me also just say, at the risk of sounding like a parent, that I loved seeing a story where the teen respects and seeks the approval and trust of her parents. It was nice to see that. Honestly, I think most teens are like this. They just don't show up all that often in fiction.
5 of 5 stars.