Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola came in the mail two days ago, and I am not the same now that I’ve finished it. Yet another Stephanie Perkins book that kept me up well into the night because I refused to go to sleep until I had read to the end.

This book is the semi-sequel to Anna and the French Kiss in that it takes place after Anna, but it revolves around a different budding romance. Don’t worry though, you can still keep tabs on Anna while you’re reading – Lola and Anna work together. Unlike Anna, this book takes place in the city of San Fransisco, which undoubtedly has left its print on Lola’s life since the day she was born. Because of the setting, this book was rather pop-culture-heavy, which was fun and added to authenticity of setting.

In addition, the setting (pre-2012 SF) allows for another aspect of the novel to occur – Lola’s parents, Andy and Nathan. Of course, they are not married, this being before gay marriage was legal even in SF, but I could not help the smile from spreading across my face when I realized that Lola has two dads.

Speaking of smiles! Lola had me over-the-moon giddy and smiling dreamily in ways that Anna did not. I giggled, I squealed, I turned into a 17 year old, basically. Lola is truly a character you root for. You want her to realize the right thing to do, and when something good or cute happens, you’re ecstatic. Conversely, you’re embarrassed when she’s embarrassed, and sad when she’s sad. Oh boy though, the last few chapters had me grinning like an idiot and doing happy dances all over the place. This book made me so happy. Kudos to Stephanie Perkins for a sequel that’s just as good as the original, if not better.

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