Out of curiosity, I read Anna and the French Kiss a few months ago and was sorely reminded how old I was. Despite not liking Stephanie Perkin’s first novel, I was not dissuaded to read its companion book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. Maybe because in my heart of hearts I am still a swooning, giddy-feeling, young lady. 😀

Unfortunately, though, despite the raving and keeling over of most of the reviews I have read, Lola and the Boy Next Door did not make me swoon or feel giddy ever. At most, probably the best description I can come up with how I felt while reading this book is that I endured it until the end. Only in rare instances do I drop a book without finishing it, and in Lola and the Boy Next Door, my endurance was severely tested. But I must give it to Miss Perkins, she has come up with very enticing titles for her books.

So what is the story all about? I’m  too lazy not too keen to make my own summary, so here’s one I got from Goodreads:

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 book is just seeping with shallowness, in my opinion. First off, I can’t totally get the big issue there is about Max and Lola’s age gap. Come on, five year age gap? Is that a big deal? And then there is the petty issue of misunderstanding about what happened during Cricket’s birthday party the previous year which was the reason why Lola was enormously mad with Cricket. Right. Big deal. Read the book and see how totally shallow this book is.

And as much as I want to keep an open mind about issues that are dealt with in the book, I cannot just overlook the fact that most of these issues, if not all, are contrary to my beliefs. Lola and the Boy Next Door, despite its cute cover and a seemingly innocent, feel good premise, is a book overflowing with lust — definitely not a book I would recommend to my own young daughter.

One thing I noticed is how Stephanie Perkins seems to have a thing about a boy’s hair. Etienne in Anna and the French Kiss has “lovely, perfect hair” and in this book, Miss Perkins does not seem to run out of adjectives to describe how pretty Cricket’s hair is.

Ugh. Maybe I am really old.

Thanks Tricia for my ebook copy! 🙂

1 star.

34/50 2011 Goodreads Reading Goal.

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