Synopsis according to 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.“
Lola and the Boy Next Door is kind of a sequel to Anna and the French Kiss. Kind of, because while Anna plays a small part in it and it’s written by the same author, it has no true continuation of the initial story. It’s adorable, and very typically contemporary YA romance. But I didn’t care for it.
I loved, and related to, Anna. A lot.
Lola, though….I love the costuming, and I totally understand her teen pettiness. I just don’t feel connected to her at all.
She’s co-dependent, lacks any self-respect (seriously, where was her righteous indignation???), is downright rude to her amazing parents, is self-focused every time she’s around the love interest (who is woefully underdeveloped), and is a bad friend. And her version of “being a better person” was to change how she dressed.
The story revolves entirely around a love triangle. And I HATE triangles. Especially when the author clearly makes one of the love interests into a villain, and the other one isn’t flawed at all.
A) people, and life, don’t work like that
B) it’s boring
C) the main character looks even more idiotic because she can’t choose which one, given this easy-choice setup
Anna and the French Kiss has a love triangle, but it was muted, and more realistic (and everyone was flawed, and there was no clear good-choice/bad-choice, just Protagonist and Other.)
So I know Perkins can write this better. And if she phoned it in with this novel, which should I read her third (Isla and the Happily Ever After)? Just to see more quirky characters?
I dunno, if you’ve read Isla, please tell me if it’s worth my time. I was so let down by Lola, given my expectations after Anna, and I don’t want to go through that frustration again.
If, unlike me, you like a contemporary YA romance love triangle that is fairly shallow and has quirky/cute characters, you might enjoy it. But read Anna and the French Kiss, which is (in my opinion) better. If you read Anna, you do not need to read this one. Move along, folks, nothing to see here.