Monday, November 18, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: September 29th 2011
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.

I read Anna and the French Kiss last year and it was quite a decent read. It didn’t work for me that well then, but now, a year and a little more later, I realize that it was actually a very good book. I just didn’t know how to appreciate it back then and I guess my feelings and values on reading books have changed a little over time. When I pulled a paper slip of Lola and the Boy Next Door out of my paper slip jar, I was over the moon about it and boyyyy was I not disappointed.

“I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

I don’t even want to start discussing the eccentric, lively girl that is Lola, because I think everyone should discover her by themselves ;) As for other characters, I loved Cricket. I mean, come on?! I’ve never had a boy next door. I’ve always had girls (that way I met one of my best friends) and old ladies or just friendly neighbors, but no boys. I wish I had someone like Cricket living next to me. He’s just.. made of all things wonderful! The way he is described is very nerdy and sweet. I was a huge bad boy fangirl once and in ways I still am, but I’ve become to appreciate sweet guys more and more. Cricket Bell was a brilliant character and I believe that any girl would be lucky to have him as a brother, friend, lover – whichever it would be.

I really enjoyed the parental issues in this one and the little that was talked about gay couples since Lola has two dads who did a way better job with raising her than her mom ever could have. Speaking of, her mom was present in the book as well, but at first she rubbed Lola completely the wrong way and caused more trouble than any good. After some time, they grew closer, but it was a tough journey for our girl. Also, when I read the final part of the thank you note by Stephanie Perkins, I had a HUGE smile on my face because it was perfect! I love how she combined these sweet and precious moments of her life into this novel and it shows how a great author can combine the happenings of one’s life into a novel and make them one’s own yet again. This was the perfect example of being inspired by real life experiences and combining them into the author's work. Take notes, people!

I am so glad I picked this out of those random paper slips I made for all my unread paperbacks/hardcovers and I can’t wait to see what I’ll pick next! I hope it’s that good. When I finished Lola the next morning after I started reading it, I felt so good and had this feeling that I could accomplish anything. It’s just one of those books that makes you feel and think and.. just makes you happy in general. Makes you inspired! It was perfect! One more thing, do you think it’s too early to do a re-read? ;)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Meet the author

Website | Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway

Now, on to the giveaway. I've thought about it a lot and here's what I'm going to do from now on. If I enjoy a book that much to give it full 5 stars, I'm going to give it away to one of my readers. Sharing is caring after all ;) It's open to everyone and the only condition is that The Book Depository must ship to you. I wish you lovelies the best of luck!

34 comments:

  1. Girl I'm so happy you decided to read this one!! I started it once it came out but gave up after few pages and then few months later I read it and loved it. I mean who cannot love Lola. She is really unique and interesting girl, not to mention Cricked (I do have a boy next door though :D ). LOL it's not to early to do a reread ;) Maybe you should reread it before the Isla is out. Amazing review, Siiri :) Also thanks for the giveaway :)

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    1. I had the best luck with this pretty. I think a lot depends on my mood, but it was exactly what I needed and wasn't it the cutest thing ever? ;) Oh, you have a boy next door? Gah, I'm so jealous Tanja :) You lucky duck! I'll definitely re-read it before I start Isla, but I'm going to wait for the paperback since both Anna and Lola are paperbacks on my shelf so.. it'll be a looooong wait. Thanks, hon!

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    2. I do. I don't know his name though xD He is here only during exams. xD But it's something. Thanks :D

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  2. Woo hoo!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Siiri! And I'm even more glad that taking a second look at Anna and the French Kiss made you appreciate it all the more. I just loved that book. I quite enjoyed Lola as well, and I'm totally with you on the boy next door thing. I've been sadly boy-less my whole life as well. Where's my Cricket I ask you? WHERE?! *sigh* I guess we'll just have to live vicariously through Lola, huh? These books always leave me on cloud 9 as well, I'm so happy they're the same for you!

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    1. It sure did. I don't know what was it that I didn't enjoy that much, but I definitely appreciate it way more now. Hahaha. EVERY girl should have a Cricket of their own. I know, right?! These books are the epitome of happiness and all things lovely :)

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  3. Siiri, I'm so happy you liked this book. It's one of my all time favorites, but I have to admit that I like Ann just a tiny bit more than Lola.
    I agree with you about Cricket - where was my Cricket when I was 16???:)

    Great review, honey, and thank you for giveaway.

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    1. It's one of my all time favorites too as you can imagine based on this review :) You're welcome, hon!

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  4. I've been hearing great things about both Anna and Lola, but have never given them a try :) I'm glad you enjoy this one! Cricket sounds like an amazing character! Great review. I really want to check this one out. Can you read these as stand alones?

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. You totally can read them as stand-alones :) I hope that you pick them up soon!

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  5. I have so much love for this review, Siiri! You have no idea how excited I was upon seeing your 5 stars review. This is one of my favorite books ever. I loved Lola. I loved Cricket Bell (who wouldn't?!) I loved her gay dads! Gahh! I loved everything about this book. It's going to be one of those books that I can never stop re-reading because it never fails to give me the feels. :)
    Lovely review, hon! The wait for the next book is just so excruciating. They changed the pub date so many times!! But I can tell it's going to be amazing. I'm so glad you loved this one though! <3

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    1. Haha, thanks, pumpkin! I loved this book SOOOOOO much. You have no idea. Cricket is definitely one of my top 5 male leads. Ever!!! Her gay dads were hilarious and I loved how they were portrayed. Ha, yes! All the feels for sure. I know! I can't believe I'll have to wait so long to get my paperback (9-12 months after the HC comes out) *__*

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  6. Damn! My comment was eaten by blogspot *cries*

    Well, I had said that I loved this book a lot, just like I also loved Anna and the French Kiss. I agree with you, it is a 5 star book, and Cricket is amazing, and I loved everything in this book, Lola's parents, and Lola and Cricket! Perkins is surely an amazing writer.

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    1. :( I hate it when that happens! It's the worst are-you-kidding-me moment. Agreed with everything you said though :-)

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  7. I started but couldn't get into this one, but I def plan to read it again when in a different mood.

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    1. Oh, no! I hope that you decide to pick it up again. Mood is definitely a huge factor when it comes to reading.

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  8. Isn't Stephanie Perkins amazing?! I wish that I had had characters like Lola when I was a teen, so I could see that it was okay to be me, and not cookie-cutter type of girl. I'm so glad that you developed a new appreciation for Perkins and I love this review, Sirii. Excellent job!

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    1. SHE IS! Absolutely brilliant. I love h er humor. Agreed! Lola inspires readers to be different and unique. Thanks, sweets!

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  9. Awww this is such a super cute review Siiri! I actually waited a long time until I picked up Lola too. I'm actually quite glad that I did this, as I remember when this book was released, there weren't that many praising reviews for this book from my blogging friends, so I liked that I could start this book with a clean slate and not having those reviews printed on my mind. Also I am totally with you on bad boys, I love my hot tattooed bad boys, but also love my sweet adorable guys! Cricket is definitely one of the best. I'm so glad that you loved this story Siiri and I definitely approve of you re-reading this straight away! :)

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    1. Thanks, cupcake! I always dread picking up books when they're so talked about, because they oomph either positive and high expectations or this.. negative vibe where everyone points out negative aspects that I sometimes wouldn't have noticed otherwise so I'm glad that we both read this when the hype had somewhat died down :) Cricked -- le sigh :) Ha! I already loaned my copy to a friend and when I get it back, I'll re-read ALLLLLL my favorite parts :)

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  10. It's funny how our taste can change :) I really enjoyed book 1 when I read it but it wasn't so long ago. Maybe 1.5 years. I haven't read this one yet though but I do have it collecting dust on my shelves somewhere lol. It sounds like it has the good old charm and lively personalities I remember from Anna. I really have to get to it ASAP!!

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    1. Right? My taste has somewhat developed over time and especially thanks to blogging. *gasps* Giselle! GO READ IT! :D It has tons of personality in it and is just.. a great book to cuddle with :)

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  11. It's crazy what can happen in a year when you read as many books as us bloggers do. I haven't read any of the Perkins books yet but I do have Anna on my shelf staring at me. I think I will have to pick it up soon because now I can't wait to read Lola! Great review, Siiri!

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    1. I know. I'm glad that my appreciation for Stephanie's books has finally surfaced now that I'm a year older and a little wiser, heh :) I hope that you decide to pick these books up soon because I think *hope* they're the right kind of quirky and hold enough humor in them to appeal to you. Thanks, Jenni!

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  12. I love these books! Loved Lola and her colored hair and fashion crazy ways. I am not so patiently waiting for freaking Isla and the Happily Ever After. I won't believe the book is real until I have it in my hands. Been waiting like 2 years for it. Glad you loved this one!

    Now, a moment of silence for the tragedy that is the new cover...
    (It's okay but I LOVED the old cover)

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    1. Me too! She was a great lead. Haha, lucky me that I "discovered" these a bit later than the rest of you. I still can't wait for Isla. It's going to be sooooo good considering who the main lead is :) Ha! I really like the new covers, especially since they have that velvety feel to them. My Lola paperback does at least. But I wish they'd kept the original design for Isla hardcover to please the old fans...

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  13. I also wished I had a fun boy living next to me. Me and my sister were so excited when we got new neighbors a few years ago, but it was just an old couple, haha. I wasn't such a fan of Anna, but that was more because I didn't like the characters. The writing-style was easy going, so I'm definitely looking forward to this book. Cricket & Lola sound more like my thing - and great that there are gay dads! I haven't read a book with that before and it's great to explore that :D

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  14. I loved this so much! Lola was an awesome character and the romance between her and Cricket was so adorable. Great review :)

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  15. I've definitely had the experience of not clicking with a story and then going back to it and realizing that it was actually really good. I had mixed feelings about ANNA too, but overall really liked it. Love how well you connected with LOLA's story. That girl is pretty lively! I did NOT care for Max ever and just wanted him gone, but I fell hard for Cricket. He's one of my top YA guys. I love that he's not at all a 'bad boy.' He makes me swoon just thinking about him. And Lola's dads were awesome! I really like the family issues in this story too. Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

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  16. I fell in love with Anna's story right away, but I think it was the location and the brilliant characters that did the trick because if I think about the story itself, I didn't like how stretched it was in the end. Anyways, this is about Lola! I know how much you love this book and I'm so ashamed to say that I still haven't picked it up yet. Though I like that Lola has 2 dads, I read another books with the same situation (My Life After Now) and I wished I had gay dads too. They were so fun! And the boy next door thing is very appealing as well! I've never had a boy as a neighbor either. Great review, Siiri! And no, it's never too early or too late to reread :)

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  17. Same here! I may have not really liked a certain book a while ago but later I realise how good it is, especially compared to other novels of the same genre. I have been meaning to read this series- a copy of this one is on my way from a blogger friend, so I will be starting this one ASAP!

    Fab review! <33

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  18. I adored Lola even more than Anna!! Cricket!!!!!! Oh my heart Cricket! I just love stories about second chance romance and this one was so very swoony! Excellent review, Siirii! :)

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  19. Great Review! I have heard so much about Lola and the Boy Next Door AND Anna and the French Kiss but I sadly haven't read any of them. Hopefully I can soon! :)

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  20. I only read the first book from this series :D
    But heard and read wonderful things about this book,I hope I will read very soon :)

    Great review :)

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  21. Great review. I really love this book and I'm happy to find someone who loves this book as much as I do. I also gave this book five stars. B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

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