Monday, 24 April 2017

Lola and the Boy Next Door [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Hey there, everyone!


Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books

Published Date: 28th September 2011

Rating: 4 Stars


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Synopsis: 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.

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Review: I was so excited to start reading this book! You can read all about how much I read and loved the first book in the series, Anna and the French Kiss here. After that fabulous book I strongly believed that Stephanie Perkins could do no wrong and that I would love this one just as much as the other. I did enjoy this one almost as much, but I had quite a few issues with the beginning. Let’s cover those before we get onto the wonderful rest of the book.

In the beginning we are gradually introduced to four things that were thrown in my face a lot. The first is that Lola’s parents are both dads who are gay. We learn that her boyfriend is Max who is twenty two while she is seventeen, which isn’t usually supposed to happen for legal reasons. Then there is the fact that they are sleeping together (a sex positive book!). And lastly we meet Lola in more detail and learn about her costumes and very eccentric clothing.

Now I am not saying I agree or disagree with any of those things. But the reason I didn’t like this was because in the first fifty pages we are learning all of this in such a ‘preachy’ way. It wasn’t as if it was part of the novel, but more so the author is saying, “These are my opinions and because I can I am writing them into this book and making them okay. Perhaps it was because there were so many "controversial" topics jumbled together in the beginning, instead of spaced out throughout the novel. That might have made it seem a bit less preachy to me, and more a natural part of the novel. I'm not sure whether my issue is with it sounding preachy or just how it was factored into the novel...


As well as that, in the first fifty pages we also have a build up to something which fell entirely flat for me. Lola keeps going on about the boy next door (Cricket) who she really hopes isn’t moving in. But she seems him. And at that current moment in the novel we don’t know what has happened in the past between them that is such a big deal which gets her to react so strongly in such a negative way. However, within the first fifty pages (I am SO thankful this wasn’t dragged out any longer. I was afraid it would be...) we get to see what happened in their past. It was a great big… nothing. Well, it was a bit of an ordeal but it was nothing as huge as I was imagining from the way Lola was acting and it made it all seem like a mighty exaggeration.

Anyway, now it is time to get onto the good stuff! Because once you get through the beginning this novel turns out to be WONDERFUL.

We have the lovely Cricket who is the boy next door. He is science-y, geeky and definitely a shy and awkward person. He was one of those people who are just filled with so much energy their body is buzzing with it. And he was a good person; as in good-natured, supportive and generally kind. I don’t think he is the kind of person who is harmful to anyone who hasn’t deserved it. I loved him!


When it comes to the romance element in this novel, Stephanie Perkins has it down. There are plenty of cute and adorable moments with romance involved. There are a lot of awkward and funny ones too that had me cracking up out loud. There is only one word for this kind of romance novel: perfection.

Another thing which surprised me quite a bit was how much Anna and St. Clair who were the main characters of the previous novel were featured. I knew that they made cameo appearances from reading other reviews, but I didn’t know they would be so present. I really did love having them around and it was so interesting to see Anna when we weren’t in her point of view, and likewise for St. Clair. Loved their involvement completely ^.^


There are a lot more themes in this novel too. Stephanie Perkins is the master of having a hard running romance and yet touching on other themes along the way, such as finding your own identity, coming of age, family history, drugs and drinking as well. It was an interesting book, a great continuation to the series and I can’t wait to read more. I just hope final book and I get off to a better start!


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Gif Summary:

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Quote: It’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

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Giveaway! A review chain company I run is having a giveaway at the moment... and I thought it might be sneaky cool if I shared it with you too! So enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Giftcard :)


Olivia’s Questions: Have you ever read a preachy novel? How did it affect you?

Olivia-Savannah x

94 comments:

  1. Lol, after your review of Anna.. I ordered all three ;) They're on their way to me now, I hope the weather will pick up soon, so I can read them in the sun!

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    1. Ooh, reading them in the sun will be so nice! I hope you love them all ;)

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  2. Loved all 3 books of the series. Thank you for the giveaway :)

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    Replies
    1. I am glad you could love them all so much <3

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  3. I've only read the first book in the series. The other two are on my TBR list.

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    1. I hope you will get to the next two soon ;)

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  4. Looks like an interesting book! Thank you for the contest!

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    1. Thanks for entering as always, John ^.^

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  5. I only read the first book of the series...Maybe one day I'll read this one.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. I enjoyed this book as well but I think I prefer Anna and the French Kiss. I also believed this story was all over the place and you said, it tried to smash in way too many difficult issues. I didn't bother reading the third one after Lola.

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    1. I also preferred the first one. I am glad there is someone who agrees with me in this holding too much in it! I liked the third one a lot though. It was a nice summary :3

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  7. This is a series that I still need to read. I am glad that you are enjoying it as much as you are. It does sound like there is a whole lot going on at the beginning of this book and I am glad things settled into the story. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I hope you'll be able to read it soon. It really did settle and get better as it progressed :)

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  8. I love to learn new things from books. But, I'm not sure if I would like a preachy tone. Thank you for the (sneaky) giveaway. :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's always nice to learn, as long as it is done in a suitable manner. You're always welcome :D

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  9. This seems like a lovely novel. I heard of Stephanie, but I haven't read anything by her.

    I do get why the preachy part got on your nerves, but it is great to know that once the story develops, it becomes a lot more enjoyable.

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  10. Seems like this book is almost as good as the first one (which is very hard to find with a lot of books I think). I don't think I've read a preachy novel before but I would understand why a novel being too preachy would be quite annoying.
    Your reviews of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door have convinced me to put the book on my tbr pile! I hope to read it some time this year :)

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    1. It wasn't too bad, but when I was enjoying so much about the novel it was a little dip in the story for me. Yay! I hope you love them when you read them too :D

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  11. This books sounds really good and relevant.

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  12. This sounds like a really good romance.

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  13. This looks like a great book!

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  14. I have not read it, it sounds great, thanks for the chance

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  15. I haven't read any of these books but I LOVE to read and will give most books a chance. :)
    thanks!

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    Replies
    1. It's great that you're so open minded with books :D

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  16. Thanks for the chance to win
    Marlene V

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  17. Haven't read any of these but they sound good.

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  18. I haven't read a preachy novel but I don't think I would enjoy it. I would be annoyed with it. I don't have that much patience for that...

    Dinh @ Arlene's Book Club

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    1. If you wouldn't have much patience for it, then I am sure this is not something you would enjoy...

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  19. Books sounds interesting and I truly would be very happy if I
    was the lucky winner.

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  20. I really like the cover design :) Thanks for sharing such a nice review and giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. It had a cover change at some point, and I think it is more fitting now ;)

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  21. I have not read the books, but they sound great.

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  22. I just went to get the first book in this series! I'm a huge reader and it sounds amazing. Thanks :)

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    1. I am glad you went to get the book. I hope you love it when you read it ^.^

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  23. I haven't read them, but they sound interesting.

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  24. I haven't read any of these but they sound great and I love the cover

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  25. I loved Anna and the French Kiss, but couldn't get into this second one. I may need to give it a try again. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. A shame you couldn't enjoy this one :( But I do agree, it is a lot harder to get into originally than Anna and the French Kiss is...

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  26. I love that this book has romance and would make me laugh at times :)

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    1. Yes, it has a nice touch of humor to the romance as well ^^

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  27. I haven't wanted to read the rest of the books because I didn't like Anna and the French Kiss. Maybe I'm just too old for this series. LOL!

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    1. Ahahaa yes, this series isn't for you :P

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  28. I love love loved this series!!

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  29. These sound like great books.

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  30. I'm in love with all of these books! If it wasn't for other bloggers, I might not have read Anna!

    -Lauren

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    1. The blogsphere definitely brought them to my attention as well! So happy you love them <3

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  31. The best thing about reading blogs about books is learning about some that would not otherwise come to my attention--of course the contests are nice too (especially if I win!).

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    1. Yes, I love discovering new books through other blogs as well!

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  32. Thank you for the chance to win! I am an avid reader and always have one I'm into.

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  33. aWesome, i love your blog and thanks for the chance to win

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    1. Thanks for always entering my giveaways <3

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  34. I hope your week is going great

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  35. sounds interesting

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  36. This books looks like a great read for the summer!

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    Replies
    1. It's perfect for the warmer weather!

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  37. Another book to add to my TBR list.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get to reading it ;)

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  38. Thanks for the giveaway
    Julie Hawkins

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  39. I love these blogs & thanks for a chance to win some good reading

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    Replies
    1. Glad to meet a fellow blog lover ^.^

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  40. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

    slehan at juno dot com

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  41. I would love to read your book.

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  42. This sounds like a great book..Thanks so much for the chance :)

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  43. Havent read any of the books yet but after seeing your review and the comments i think im going to have to check it out

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  44. thanks for the opportunity!

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  45. Thanks for the giveaway! I am such a bookworm!

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    Replies
    1. So happy you're a fellow bookworm <3

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  46. I would like to give thanks for all your really great writings,including Lola and the Boy Next Door. I wish the best in keeping up the good work in the future.

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