My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I remember reading Anna and the French Kiss and thinking a lot of things about it. Lola and the Boy Next Door isn’t any different. Stephanie Perkins does something funny to me. She makes me love and hate her books at the same time. I love it for the humour, the light fluffiness, and the cute romance. But I hate them for all the little things I usually hate in books! Specially romance books!
What I loved
 Lola. On the whole, Lola is a well rounded character. She develops well throughout the whole book and it was a pleasure to read. At first, she comes out really strong, and then with the arrival of various characters, things go downhill for her, and I liked seeing her downhill trend, the descent of Lola into someone even she can’t recognise. I like the struggles with herself that she goes through when it comes to love, to Max, and to Cricket. The struggles are real, and very genuine. Even if a little stupid. But then, it’s a romance, and therefore, I feel, perfectly valid.
 Cricket. He’s cute. Adorable. Great contemporary romance love interest material. I like how Perkins’ created his character and definitely think he’s better for Lola than Max.
 Lindseeyyyyy! I loved Lindsey, mainly because she reminded me of me. I mean that was almost me in highschool! And also me when with my best friend. My favourite character in the whole book.
 Character development. I liked that each character develops throughout the story. They go from high to low then spring back up. For some. For other characters, it’s the slow unravelling of depth. You learn more and more about other characters as you go on.
 Diversity. This has quite a bit of diversity. Not extensively, but it’s not like a full on white cast with straight lines everywhere. You have Lola’s parents, technically her uncle and his partner, who he has been with since forever, and who took Lola off her mother’s hands and raised her as her two dads. You have Lindsey who is Korean. SO there, there’s a little bit of diversity for ya. And I guess you can count Lola, who is eccentric, diverse in her own right.
 Most of Perkins’ writing is to die for. I mean if it was so engaging, I would have gagged and gagged more than half a dozen times. Perkins definitely knows how to bring the teenage/young adult mind to life. All the worries are there, all the mistakes, all the selfishness in Lola’s thoughts. Perkins gives us writing that submerges you, and makes you want to like her work even if you kinda hate the story.
 I love the cameos of familiar characters! Loved it!!!
What I didn’t like
 I really, really, really, sometimes didn’t like Lola. And I mean all the stupid things that crossed her mind, which mind you are all perfectly valid, and can be reasonably explained, but still I hate that she did all those things! What Lola does in this book, reminds me of the things I really hated about Anna and the French Kiss. In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna pined for a guy who was in a relationship with someone else. In this book, it’s Lola in a relationship, pining for an old love who suddenly appears. So there is that familiarity, that kind of contemporary forbiddenness which can sometimes grate on my nerves. I know when I first started Lola, I really enjoying it, and I really liked how it began (I believe I had the same feeling when I started Anna), but then, enter Cricket, and then the messiness there, and then Lola’s feelings, and well, my enjoyment dwindled a little, before perking back up again. Although I understand all of Lola’s actions and choices in the book, sometimes I just wanted to scream at her and tell her, the answer is staring you right in the face! (Luckily, she got there pretty soon!)
 The obsession with the beauty and physicalness. Then again, in reality, relationships begin with attraction physically before it progresses to personality. Sometimes it’s personality first. With Perkins’ stories, it’s attraction as much as it is personality, and I wonder how many times I’ve rolled my eyes at a descriptive passage in the book where Lola is focussed on Cricket’s pants or his hair, or his eyes. Yeah. It got old. But at least Perkins wasn’t going on about how beautiful the male love interest was, not like how Maas did so with her main love interest in Throne of Glass. That was sooooo irritating!
And that is the end of my little discussion. I’d write more but for some reason, I’m feeling very very tired! And can’t be bothered writing more!
If you’re looking for a light fluffy romance read, then this is the one. If you want something that will make you smile, then you got it. While I do feel this one is probably not as ‘wow’ as Anna and the French Kiss, it does have something!