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Publisher's Summary

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, 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 move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - 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.

Also listen to Anna and the French Kiss.
©2011 Stephanie Perkins (P)2011 Listening Library

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    153
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Performance

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    22
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    5
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nereyda
  • SAHUARITA, AZ, United States
  • 05-13-14

I love Lola and Cricket!

Any additional comments?

I still remember being so excited to read Lola when it was first released back in 2011. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and needed to get my hands on more of Stephanie Perkins writing. Although I think I liked Anna a tiny bit more than Lola (the books, not the actual characters), I still really enjoyed this book. Especially Cricket! Sadly, the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After has been pushed back so many times that I won’t believe it’s out until I have an actual copy in my hands. I get that the book wasn’t ready, but from a reader’s perspective it sucks. Especially after they changed the gorgeous covers! In preparation for Isla, I wanted to listen to the audiobook of one of the previous books. Since I hate accents (sorry St. Claire), I went with Lola and the Boy Next Door. I still loved this book as much as I did 3 years ago…

Lola was such a fascinating character for me. Her mom didn’t want her and gave her up to her brother and she’s been raised by two dads. I loved how Lola was always so proud of her parents, even when she was annoyed at them. Lola’s fun and quirky but her fashion side is what really made me connect with her. I could always visually all her outfits and would love to be able to see them in real life. Lola has a pretty cool job, some great friends, awesome parents and a hot, older rocker boyfriend, Max. But when the Bell twins move back into the house next door, Lola’s life changes.

Lola and the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, were close growing up. Lola and Calliope were friends and Lola always had a crush for Cricket. Both those friendships ended on a bad note. But seeing Cricket again brings up all those old feelings of attraction and hurt all over again. Despite this, she ends up rekindling her friendship with Cricket. Even though they both obviously want more. But, Lola has a boyfriend and she’s determined to stay with him. This was always such a frustrating part of the story for me. Lola obviously has strong feelings for Cricket, no matter how much she tries to deny it. Cricket lets her know more than once that he has feelings for Lola, but Lola is so stuck with her boyfriend who is an asshole. I couldn’t see why she wanted to stay with Max and couldn’t help thinking it was only because he was older and a musician. I was so annoyed at Lola, especially towards the end for how she treated Cricket and would string him along. Luckily, there was so damn much to love about Cricket that it made it easier to overlook my annoyance with Lola.

Ah, Cricket Bell. One of the rare and few good guys that make your heart melt. I probably liked his charcater more this time around. He was always so sweet to Lola, even if I sometimes felt she didn’t deserve it. The window conversations between them were the best! It was so nice to see so many appearances from Anna and St. Claire. They are so damn adorable together, their scenes made me want to go back and reread Anna and the French Kiss. I really love Stephanie Perkins writing and her characters. I love how despite their flaws, you can’t help but love them. I’m so excited to FINALLY read Isla and the Happily Ever After!

Audiobook Comments: Being able to revisit your old favorite stories is another reason why I love audiobooks. Lola is a story I’ve been wanting to re-read for a long time but couldn’t find time to fit it in. Listening to the audio was a perfect solution, I got to re-experience the story and it didn’t cut into my actual reading time since I listen to audiobooks mostly while cook or do chores. It had been a while since I read this, (3 years!) but Shannon McManus was such a perfect Lola. She was able to pull off her quirkiness and unique personality. She was great at doing Cricket’s voice, Lola’s parent’s voice, Anna’s voice, even Cricket’s voice! I loved how her Max voice fit his ‘who cares’ attitude. Shannon doesn’t narrate Anna so I’m assuming someone else will also narrate Isla. I would buy another audiobook by this narrator

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun and Quirky

In Lola and the Boy Next Door, Lola “Life’s a costume party” Nolan, is in a relationship with an older musician when her old crush Cricket moves back next door after a few years absence. They departed on awkward terms, and his return brings back some old feelings. Cricket is sweet and nerdy, and with his own quirky sense of style and now that he’s back things are about to get complicated.

This book is fun to revisit in audio format and fall in love with the characters again. The tricky thing with reading the book first, though, is that I already had an idea of what I thought Lola should sound like. My impression of book-Lola is that she’s adventurous, dramatic, and a little kooky. And audio-Lola didn’t quite line up with what I had in mind. McManus’ delivery is more subdued and mature than I expected I guess. It’s almost like the narrator’s for Anna and Lola should switch places, because the Anna narrator was quite bubbly. But overall McManus does a nice job with the different characters and their personalities. Her character differentiation is subtle and not over the top, yet it is easy to tell the characters apart. She handles the voices of different genders and accents pretty well, and I thought she did a great job with Cricket, Max, and the two dads in particular.

In terms of the story itself, I think it holds up pretty well. I liked all the quirky character traits and the fun Perkins has with setting. There is a good balance of serious family stuff, romance, and friendship. And I liked that Lola has a job and we see her working at the movie theatre. As a fan of Anna it’s great to see Anna and St. Clair appear in this book so we can check in with them. But on the other hand it’s a testament to Perkins that I wished they were in the book a little less so that the focus is more on Lola, a character that holds her own. I liked all the details that make this book fun like costume design, figure skating, live bands, pie making, cute dogs, inventing, and boys next door of course. And Lola’s family is pretty awesome too.

I liked both the book and the audio versions of the book, but if I hadn’t read the book first I might have liked the audio a little more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Book

I have now read her whole series and this one by far is one of my favorite. This book is just phenomenal!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cute story, good narration, very predictable

This is a quick "listen," and fun too. Lots of romance, but a few too many sub plots, particularly at the end that didn't add to the story. Anna and the French Kiss was a much better story, but the narration of this story was perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Unusual and sweet

What made the experience of listening to Lola and the Boy Next Door the most enjoyable?

The characters were very different - a fashionista and a science nerd, and a ice figure prim-ma dona. The dialogue was natural and surprising at times, and you could believe that the heroine's arc of understanding and falling for a truly unique guy.

What about Shannon McManus’s performance did you like?

She is so natural, and her ability to personify the characters with differing voices is uncanny. Female and male alike.

Any additional comments?

The plot had some holes, and logical issues. A few times I was left thinking, "yeah, that is highly unlikely if not impossible." But taken as a romantic fantasy, these were small problems.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptionally exquisite

Beautiful companion novel to Anna! Stephanie Perkins has done it again! Can't wait to start Isla's story. Lola is so fun loving and creative. 5 stars.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bree
  • Florida
  • 07-18-17

Love this series!

Much like this entire series, Lola and the Boy Next Door is an easy, cute read with likable characters and a sweet storyline without any real lulls. It’s the kind of book you can accidentally read in a day and wonder where the heck the time went.

Lola’s pants are on fire for 90% of this book and, at first, I didn’t know what to think about it. While I found myself asking, “WHY ARE YOU LYING???” constantly, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I think it is because I have a soft spot for quirky characters and Lola’s unique style was endearing.

Just like Anna and the French Kiss, I really enjoyed all of the main characters in this novel. I think, if I had to choose favorite characters (aside from Lola, of course) it would be Andy and Nathan, her dads. PS – I love that she has two fathers. They are beautifully flawed, but still manage to be great parents.

Though the love story is a little stereotypical (the ‘boy next door’ part of the title is accurate in many ways), it was still very sweet.

Initially, I was torn about Cricket’s character. It was obvious that he was in love with Lola from the beginning and I kind of was hoping she’d have to work for him a bit more, but it all ended up making sense in the end. Because, though she had his affection from the beginning, she still had to work to deserve it.

The appearance of Etienne and Anna was an extra little nugget of greatness. I’d almost forgotten how much I love Etienne! It almost makes me want to reread Anna and the French Kiss!

I’m excited about next book, Isla and the Happily Ever After. I’ve loved Isla since Anna and the French Kiss!

Audiobook Performance
Each of these books in the series has a different reader, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed this audiobook reader. She wasn’t my favorite, but she wasn’t distracting in any way. She did a great job with Etienne’s accent in the brief moments he was in the book. Accents can usually make or break an audiobook reader (as can doing opposite sex voices).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

review

It's a good book! It shows how we put up with things in relationships that are toxic and make us self doubt. Hate the part when Max said he slept with another women but it happens all the time. I love Cricket! his is personality is amazing and makes you feel beautiful about yourself, glad she ended up with him.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Same story, different tittle!!!!

Would you try another book from Stephanie Perkins and/or Shannon McManus?

Stephanie Perkins, I seriously don't know. Shannon, yes!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This book has the exact same cliche kinda story line as Anna and the french kiss. The same concept of being in a relationship but really deep down inside you want someone else. Nothing surprised me. It was a very predictable story. A waste of time in my opinion.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • Manila, Philippines
  • 03-19-16

okay

No sure I liked Lola as much as I liked Cricket. Not too many feels in this one.