I’m back! This weekend I submitted a crazy important paper in to my university, and now I’m just waiting to see if, basically, they think I’m ready to graduate. Based on that one paper. So you can see why I haven’t been around lately.

BUT in the midst of all that paper writing, I had to read several books for my internship (at PENGUIN!!!), including this gem of a novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door. LOVED it, and so will you.

 Speed Read:

Lola lives with her awesome adoptive dads in San Francisco. For her, every day is an opportunity for a fabulous, colorful outfit. Life seems peachy as she hangs out with her best friend, her older boyfriend, and her friends at her move theater job, until her old next door neighbors move back in. Instead of coasting through life with the perfect social circle, Lola is forced to deal with her feelings for the boy next door.

The Deal:

I LOVE LOLA! She is exactly who I want teenagers reading about. She isn’t afraid to be who she is (wigs and all), she loves her friends and family dearly, lives passionately, and feels emotions honestly. The best part? She isn’t perfect. Far from it. She gets teased because of her outfit choices and she may not have made the best choice of current boyfriends, but Lola keeps working through all the troubling parts of her life until she finds the right path. When was the last time you saw a purple-haired girl on the front of a teen novel? Or the last time a kinda nerdy boy was the heart-throb (and oh is he yummy)?

Stephanie Perkins’ last novel, Anna and the French Kiss is a companion novel to this one, meaning Anna and Etienne show up, a lot! Perkins isn’t afraid to write a lovely fairy tale, unabashedly writing swoony boys and picture perfect situations. Bedroom windows facing each other, anyone? You would think it would end up like that Taylor Swift video (ie: cheesalicious), but instead this novel is absolutely perfect. Kind of a like a caramel apple. Totally sweet on the outside, but with a good crunch and healthy bite on the inside. Read it. And start counting down the days until Stephanie Perkins’ third book comes out next fall!

How Far Should You Go:

For Stephanie Perkins’ last novel, I said not to compromise your integrity in order to get your hands on that book. For this one, go ahead and do it. Steal from children, cut off old people on the side walk, run red lights. You want to read it. It’s lovely and light and amazing and fun. Trust me.

The 13/16 Test:

Sixteen isn’t actually sixteen anymore, but whatever. The purpose still stands.

Oh yeah, they’re both good. Another thing I love about Stephanie Perkins. She manages to convey all those teenagery emotions and feelings without having to say every single thing on the page. A sixteen-year-old may have a different experience with this book than a thirteen-year-old, and that is a wonderful achievement.

The Low Down:

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Published: September 29th, 2011
Classified as: Young Adult