Today I finished my 36th book of the 2015 Reading Challenge: ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ by Stephanie Perkins. Set in San Francisco, California, somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit (CA in general – I’d love to visit San Fran, LA, Santa Barbra etc), it fulfilled #29 A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. Having read the first book, ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ last autumn, and thoroughly enjoying it, I had relatively high expectations of the second novel. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
My Goodreads Review
“The second book in the ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ set of companion novels (they’re not really a trilogy, despite what people say), ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ follows Lola, an eccentrically dressed teenage girl, living with her gay fathers, her dog and her junkie birth mother, and the difficulties she faces with regards to her current boyfriend, Max, and the boy she has been secretly in love with for her entire life, “the Boy Next Door” Cricket. That’s it as far as plot goes.
There is very little in the way of literary merit going for this novel, and it was undoubtedly weaker than ‘Anna’. Cricket is a likeable enough character, but I didn’t really care for Lola, or any of the other characters (except perhaps her dad Andy). It felt like an underdeveloped young teen novel – Lola herself felt at least two years younger than her age, her parents were control freaks, and her boyfriend Max was a genuinely horrible guy.
That being said, there were some redeeming moments, including when Cricket gave Lola the gift he’d been working on for months, and when they were baking together with Andy, but overall it was lacklustre.”
Thankfully my wish to visit the west coast is still in tact. I’m sure one day I’ll read the final book in this set, ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ and that really could swing one of two ways in terms of my reaction (I’m not in any hurry to pick it up though).
#29 A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (5/10)
Twenty-nine down, twenty-one to go. (Thirty-six read)
My journey will also be instagrammed frequently on @charlottebibliophile