Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Perkins, Stephanie






Budding costume designer Lola lives an extraordinary life in San Francisco with her two dads and beloved dog, dating a punk rocker, but when the Bell twins return to the house next door Lola recalls both the friendship-ending fight with Calliope, a figure skater, and the childhood crush she had on Cricket.





Stephanie Perkins (www.stephanieperkins.com) lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband.





Lola, 17, is committed to her older musician boyfriend, Max, who is 22. And Max seems committed to Lola, so much so that he even joins her for family brunch on Sundays with her gay dads. Then the boy next door, who had moved away, comes back, and Lola has to figure out who she really wants in her life. The first half of this novel moves along with brio, introducing a slew of interesting characters, including the druggy mother who gave Lola to her brother and his partner to raise, her movie-theater coworkers, Max, and Lola's neighbor and first love, Cricket. Readers will be taken with Lola's strong voice as she tries to fit the übernice Cricket back into her life even as she fights her strong attraction to him. The latter half of the book could have been tightened as it winds slowly to its inevitable yet sweet conclusion. Throughout, Lola wears costumes instead of clothes, in some ways to mask who she really is, and Perkins skillfully shows that learning to let one's authenticity shine through is what true love can make happen. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.





Perkins avoids the second-novel curse with a delectable companion to her debut hit, Anna and the French Kiss (2010).

Seventeen-year-old budding costume designer Lola Nolan (who vows never to wear the same outfit twice) has finally recovered from two years of heartbreak at the hands of amateur inventor Cricket Graham Bell (Yes, "[t]he Bell family is THAT Bell family. As in telephone"), her first love and neighbor who moved away suddenly without a good-bye. Although her two gay dads are always looking for "[e]vidence of debauchery," she's found contentment with her 22-year-old sexy musician boyfriend, Max. She's in for a jolt again, though, when Cricket and his family return to their San Francisco neighborhood so his twin sister, an Olympic skating hopeful, can train with a new coach. Fans of the first novel will be happy to know that Anna and her boyfriend have not only remained together but play a role in helping Lola confront her renewed feelings for the boy next door. Along with the possibility of romance, Lola also reconciles her lineage to a homeless, drug-addict mother, while Cricket deals with the revelation that his notorious ancestor stole his famous idea. Just as Perkins did with Paris, she embeds a tour of San Francisco culture throughout the snappy storyline.

And steamy kisses and tingly touches? There are still plenty of those, too. (Chick lit. 14 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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