Friday 5 September 2014

Lola and the boy next door: Stephanie Perkins

Lola is a teen with ambitions of becoming a clothes designer. Every street is her catwalk and every outfit is as extravagant as the last. She is happy with boyfriend Max who her parents ardently disapprove of due to a slightly inappropriate age gap. Everything is going well for her until the Bell twins move back in next door. There is Cricket, the boy she had harboured a crush on for years and Calliope his resentful twin sister. How will Lola cope with their reappearance in her life?

What Stephanie has done is turn a typical teen romance into a not so typical teen romance. Lola and the boy next door. It sounds like it should fall into every stereotype, right? I expected Lola to be a typical all American girl, blonde hair, cheer leader, sights set on an Ivy League college. I expected Cricket to be some tall, broad, handsome jock. But they didn't fall into any of the stereotypes. Instead Lola was quirky and enigmatic, I loved her adventurous outfits which despite no visual aids, were as clear in my mind as any picture. I liked that her parents were a gay couple but they weren't camp, they were just normal guys- I felt Stephanie wrote them well and once again avoided stereotypes. I also thought Cricket was written well, this awkward, expressive boy with too long limbs and a ready smile. Maybe not the sort of guy you find girls swooning over but he was perfect to Lola and I felt that in the writing. 

I was happy to see Anna and St Clair reappear and I was glad to see they were as in love as ever. It was a brilliant follow up to Anna and the French Kiss and if a good teen romance is your kind of book then I urge you to go out and buy it! 


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