Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door  - Stephanie Perkins first of all, let me say that i'm writing this review through quite a bit of bias: i absolutely adore [a:Stephanie Perkins|3095893|Stephanie Perkins|] and as far as i'm concerned, very nearly everything she's ever touched has turned to gold. but this is about [b:Lola and the Boy Next Door|9961796|Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)|Stephanie Perkins||7149084], not my precious stephanie, so let's move on.

this book is an absolutely flawless follow up to my very favorite chicklit (or romance or possibly even contemporary) book, [b:Anna and the French Kiss|6936382|Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)|Stephanie Perkins||7168450]. it lives up to the legacy, and it even has some (very important) guest appearances by my beloved anna and ├ętienne, who manage to stay flawlessly in character and fall perfectly into the background of lola's story without either stealing it away from her or making themselves feel unnecessary. it's rare that an author is able to string together books that are unrelated save for a couple of common characters and settings but boy howdy, stephanie perkins can do anything.

i wound up talking about anna and stephanie again, didn't i? well, it's just that it's so hard not to.

back on track! in this book, we meet lola and her douche bag of a boyfriend whose name i'm not quite sure i remember. i didn't care very much for max from the second i learned about their age difference, but i gave him the benefit of the doubt until cricket rolled back into town. cricket is a strange, strange dude but i'm into that. he's a little nerdy, kind of unconventionally attractive and unkempt, which is something that stephanie seems to be a master of: realistic boys who are dreamy because they're just good, whole characters that don't coast by on good looks or being cheesy/"swoon-worthy" in the opinion of the masses.

lola and cricket have a history together, and we learn it in little bits and pieces along the way. it's worth the read, and it's worth the wait. i love lola, and i love cricket, and i love how realistically/slowly the two of them come together in a way that's actually really, really genuine and leaves me rooting for them.

so with all of this raving, it seems weird that this book only got a four star rating, doesn't it? but i'm getting to that: the reason is really simple, and it's max. i didn't like him from the very beginning, i won't even try to deny that, but i was not charmed by how utterly mean he wound up being throughout the book. i thought it was a bit excessive, like max had to be a complete and total douche bag to justify lola breaking up with him for cricket, and that's just not true. she could've left him simply because she didn't feel that way about him anymore, and things could've ended in a less messy sort of way. however, that didn't really take away from the story/book very much, because there are actually creepy band dudes who prey on naive teenagers and treat them like shit when they don't obey their every command.

overall, i would definitely suggest this book to anyone who likes chicklit, stephanie perkins, and especially to fans of [b:Anna and the French Kiss|6936382|Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)|Stephanie Perkins||7168450] because i promise it's worth it for the ├ętianna cameos alone.