Lola is head over heels in love with Max, who is 5 years older than her 17 years, and he plays guitar for a rock band. I can totally sympathize with her parents as they struggled to accept this relationship, but just couldn't, given the circumstances. I've raised two teenagers (thank God that's over!) and this would be a very uncomfortable situation.
When old neighbors move back next door, bringing the handsome, nearly perfect Cricket with them, Lola is devastated. Lola had a huge crush on Cricket and thought a relationship was a possibility, but Cricket blew her off and moved away suddenly. She really doesn't want anything to do with him. But, when your bedroom windows are only a few feet apart and he's so handsome and perfect, how can you help rekindling the friendship -- and maybe more?
I loved the characters. Lola, with her unique style, comes through loud and clear. She's got issues, but she doesn't realize it. Her growth throughout the story is real. And she sews! My favorite hobby (besides reading.) Max is portrayed realistically as a 22-year-old wanting to make it big and taking Lola along for this romantic ride. Cricket is to die for. I thought it interesting that Lola was always so enamored with the way he dresses -- of course! Even Lola's dads -- they each have a unique personality, and it shines through in the way they handle Lola and her biological mother.
It's hard not to compare Lola and the Boy Next Door to Anna and the French Kiss, especially since Anna and St. Clair are characters in this book. I loved this romance just as much, but the San Francisco setting doesn't compare to Paris!
Perkins is great at teen romance. She gets the angst and turmoil just perfectly. I was pretty sure how Lola and the Boy Next Door would conclude, but that didn't make a bit of difference. If you are in the mood for a feel-good romance that will leave you with a big smile on your face, pick up Lola and the Boy Next Door. Of course, I have no problems selling this one to my teen readers. Can't wait for the next one, Isla and the Happily Ever After, to be released in 2013.
Published by Dutton, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
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