Budding designer 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.
This might just be the perfect book.
I loved LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. I finished it in one sitting. I think I might have even loved it a little bit more than it's companion book ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (which I also loved). Here's my review of that from June 2011.
So, what did I love about Lola? Well, I'm a child of the 80's and she reminded me forcibly of Molly Ringwald's character in PRETTY IN PINK. And this time, the character ends up with her best friend, not the wildly inappropriate guy. Which I love! Not that the storyline is at all the same, but the characters share some characteristics. Lola makes her own clothes, and she has a very eclectic style. Cricket (the boy next door) is quirky, nerdy, hot, and brilliant, all at the same time.
I loved her gay dads. They were quirky, and lovable. They were not stereotypes and they weren't pushovers. She respected them, and disobeyed them, and loved them. It wasn't weird or troublesome and the book didn't dwell on any "issue" with Lola's dads. They just were her dads.To me, that's key. They were just her dads. End of story.
If you love contemporary YA (or even if you don't) read this book. It's perfect.
(disclosure--I rehashed some of this review from a previous blog post, as I'd already read this book. But, as I say, it was so good, it was worth another look and I really wanted to pass the recommendation along.)