Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: July 19, 2013
Page Count: 338 pages
Rating: 2/5 stars
Do I Recommend it?: No. Stick to Anna and the French Kiss and completely forget about this book.
Summary from Goodreads: "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."
(Review under the cut)
Review: I was so excited to get into this book! I was completely in love with Anna and the French Kiss, and to have a companion novel from the same author?? I was in there like swimwear.
But as soon as I got into the book a good amount, I regretted my decision.
Lets start off with her overly dramatically cliched characters, shall we? First we have Lola, aka Dolores (Okay, how do we got Lola from Dolores? I would have never guessed). Lola, the fashion icon. Makes all of her own clothes and dares to be different! Something we definitely haven't seen before, right? I don't mind authors making their characters different, but Perkins brings things to a whole new level.
Lola dresses as if every day is Halloween, but completely tacky. She once wore a Cleopatra like robe/dress, made out of her bed sheets, to school. Like, really? There are so many more wide and disgustingly eccentric variety, but I'm not going to elaborate on that.
Her clothing style is honestly the only "different" thing about her, and it's not even different. Lola, as cliche as it is, is a rebellious seventeen year old with an older boyfriend. That's right, older (which I have no problem with. Age is nothing but a number). But lets add on that he's the lead singer in a punk rock band with tattoo's all over his arms and bleached hair.
A boyfriend, in fact, that Lola is completely head over heels over. Max, the aforementioned boyfriend, is a complete asshole. He has no regard over her friends. Hell, Max is a complete asshole to her friends, ignoring them, not even giving them a proper greeting and is downright rude to Lola's best friend, Lindsey. But does Lola stand up for Lindsey? Nope. Lola gets upset when he says something mean about her, or even to her (which happens in the book) but doesn't do shit.
Lola was such an annoying character, she just ... annoyed me. I didn't hate her, but no way could I like her.
Lola is completely wrapped around Max's finger and it's gross. Not that she bends to his will or anything, but jesus, I think she's desperate enough for love that she just latches on to him, clinging to the only thing they have in common: Fucked up parents. While Lola has gay parents, her birth mother is a drunk and a druggie, and, if I remember clearly, his father is a drunk and his mother abandoned him? I don't remember.
But seriously, the characters, their "relationship," are so cliche, I just- I couldn't.
Speaking of Anna and the French Kiss, lets speak about our beautiful babies Anna and St. Clair, who has such a huge part in this book, it's astounding - and I hate it. In Lola, they weren't the beautiful Anna and St. Clair I learned to love. They were just two people who just shouldn't have been there. At all.
The only character I cared about was Cricket. Sweet, sweet next door neighbor and science geek Cricket. Cricket is a mechanic engineer and he reminded me so much of David from Shadow and Bone, the cute mechanic who's fingers are always fiddling and twitching, and can make anything from metals and wires. (That doesn't make sense, does it?). Point is, I'm a sucker for characters like Cricket and David.
It was obvious that this book had a love triangle, but honestly, it wasn't even a love triangle. Max was an asshole from the start, so it was more of a wait-until-main-character-opens-her-eyes-and-realizes-that-her-boyfriend-is-a-dick-and-realize-that-the-other-guy-is-the-good-guy kind of book. Seriously, that's exactly what it is.
Can we talk about the huge "drama" she had with the Bell twins (Cricket and his twin sister Callilope)? That one thing that happened that led to Lola's intense heartbreak and a sore topic around her, that you'd have to tread lightly? It was a party, that Callilope threw for her twin brother, a party that Lola wasn't invited to. I mean that was so anticlimactic, it was ridiculous. I totally understand when someone who you think you're close to doesn't invite you to their party. I've been there, it sucks. It's horrible and heart wrenching. But Perkins made the situation seem like Cricket or Callilope raped her or did something gruesome (I mean, that's what I thought. What else would be so bad that would make Lola drop plates and stay still from fear and shock?), when all it was was a petty, jealous revenge. Because Callilope thought Lola was stealing Cricket away from her.
Speaking of that drama, can we just?????? Because I don't get it.
Callilope is a full time professional figure skater, I get it, I've seen Ice Princess with Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere a million times. It's rough, you spend all of your hours dedicated to perfecting your skill; you barely have time for school or friends, especially if you've been doing it since a young age, which Callilope has. She obviously had no time to have any relationships outside her family and her coach. But then how did Callilope throw a huge party for her brother?? The book clearly states that Callilope and Cricket had no friends, because Callilope focused all her time on figure skating, and since Cricket is her brother, wherever she goes, he goes. So where the hell did all these "friends" come from?
I understand Callilope being upset about Cricket, her brother and her only friend, spending all her time with another girl. In her mind, it's like Lola is stealing her away, which we can all understand. But throwing a party and purposely not inviting Lola, and telling your brother that you did but she declined, would work if you didn't make Callilope a character with no friends. Even with the whole "no friends" thing aside, I can't begin to explain how unnecessarily anticlimactic it was. It was tacky.
I couldn't bring myself to finish the last 100 pages because it's super cliche, I know what's going to happen. Plus I can't take anymore of this book, I can't. One day, I will brave the last hundred pages, but for now, I'm going to pretend Lola and the Boy Next Door didn't happen.