Lola and the Boy Next Door: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

I don’t read much contemporary YA. I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t usually appeal to me. And then there’s Stephanie Perkins’s contemporary YA–it falls into its own category of awesome…and trust me, Lola and the Boy Next Door is definitely AWESOME.

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.

Um, let’s just get this straight: Cricket is wonderful. I am so in love with him, it’s not even funny. What is funny is how much Cricket reminds me of my Frenchman (that also probably explains why I’m in love with Cricket and the Frenchman).

If I’m totally honest, I’ll say that I found the beginning a wee bit slow–I was kind of overwhelmed by all the backstories in those first few chapters… AND THEN CRICKET ARRIVED. Suddenly, Lola could have given me a treatise on her entire childhood, and I wouldn’t have cared. The tension between she and Cricket is so thick and so amazing, I couldn’t put the book down.

In fact, despite being drugged on extreme pain medicine for my whooping cough, I FORCED my eyes to stay open so I could finish this story–it was just THAT good. Ms. Perkins really knows how to craft a romance. Every time Lola and Cricket were on the same page, I found myself grinning like a total idiot.

So, if you’re looking for a romance packed full of sexual tension–a sweet, adorable, pure sexual tension–or you’re just looking for a unique heroine and even more unique love interest, then be sure to pick up Lola and the Boy Next Door.

You tell me: Have you read this book? What did you think? And do you have any similar titles to recommend–I need MORE!