Reviews for Lola and the Boy Next Door

Booklist Reviews 2011 September #2
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 ├╝bernice 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.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Seventeen-year-old Lola, an aspiring costume designer living with her two dads in San Francisco, struggles to define who she is under all her glittery get-ups. She also wants parental approval of her twenty-two-year-old rocker boyfriend--until former boy-next-door Cricket moves back to the neighborhood, laying claim to her heart. Well-developed characters and lively dialogue characterize this sassy romance.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 August #2

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.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 July #4

Like its predecessor, Perkins's companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss has snappy dialogue and sexy love interests, though high-school junior Lola is a much more unconventional heroine. With an array of wigs and costumes at her disposal (her outfits include an Egyptian-inspired gown made from a sheet and a cheetah-print number adorned with red ribbons and brooches to protest game-hunting), she has no interest in blending in. As Lola begins her junior year, her goals are to get her fathers to approve of her 22-year-old boyfriend, Max, and to create a masterpiece Marie Antoinette costume for the winter dance. But complications arrive when Cricket Bell moves back next door. Two years ago he broke her heart, and seeing him again shakes her faith in her relationship with Max. What's a girl to do when two guys are into her? Lola indulges her inner angst plenty, but her self-deprecating sense of humor and Perkins's skill at capturing Lola's seesawing emotions make for a lively romance about a girl trying to understand who she is under all the gowns and glitter. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 October

Gr 9-11--Seventeen-year-old Lola lives with her two fathers in San Francisco. An aspiring costume designer, she has an extreme style and a penchant for outlandish outfits, sequins, and wigs and no longer cares what anyone else thinks about her exotic outfits. She also dreams of a future with her boyfriend, Max, as he pursues his rock-and-roll career. But life rarely follows a plan, and Lola's seems to be falling apart. Her parents don't like Max, who is 22, and seem to go out of their way to express their displeasure (not that the restrictions have stopped Max and Lola's more amorous activities). Then Cricket Bell, the guy who broke Lola's heart two years earlier, and his twin sister move back into the house next door, and Lola's unstable birth mother moves in until she can find a new place to live. As everything begins to come apart at the seams, she learns that, like fabric, life's pieces can be sewn back together to create something better than what was originally designed. Perkins's novel goes a bit deeper than standard chick-lit fare, and Lola is a sympathetic protagonist even when readers disagree with her decisions. Her shaken certainties and the obstacles that are thrown in her path give her maturity and depth and, ultimately, settle her more firmly into her dreams with a greater confidence. Secondary characters are well developed and lend believability to the novel. Step back--it's going to fly off the shelves.--Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

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