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The Moon & The Stars

*This is a book review of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.

Quick Facts

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 28, 2011
Genre: Teen & young adult romance
Main Characters: Lola Nolan & Cricket Bell
Number of Pages: 338
SJ Rating: 95%

The Synopsis

Just when you think you’ve gotten over the heartbreak from your first love, they come crashing back in your life and turn everything upside down. Such is the case with Lola Nolan and Cricket Bell. Except, Lola is with Max now, and with the surprising appearance of the refined Cricket, Lola’s fight with her feelings begin a journey of reconciliation.

The Good

This is a love story that completely melts your heart and does a beautiful job of showcasing gradual character development with the main characters (Lola & Cricket) and the supporting characters.

This is the first book I read where the main character has two dads, and I immediately knew I was going to like it.

Speaking of parental units, there are also major mommy issues present, which I don’t personally see in enough books. The way Lola felt about her mother’s lack of trying struck a hard cord with me.

There were also quotes from the book that struck the other cords in me/commented on the state of society:

  • “History books are filled with lies. Whoever wins the war tells the story.” -Cricket Bell (FACTS!)
  • “I’m a child playing dress-up, who can’t even recognize herself under her own costume.” -Lola Nolan (ME!)
  • “It’s amazing how clothing affects how people see–or don’t see–you.” -Lola Nolan (OOF!)

It’s kind of a fashion-focused book and Stephanie did an amazing job with intertwining it in the plot. I thoroughly appreciate how her varying outfits have importance and/or unique messages.

I have to take a moment to commend our glorious male lead: Cricket Bell. He has an awe-inspiring amount of self-restraint for not acting on his emotions when it comes to Lola.

Since this is book two to Anna and the French Kiss, I have to mention the appearance of Anna & St. Clair. The introduction of Anna & St. Clair had me astonished (it happened in a way I wasn’t expecting!) and had me smiling ear to ear. After they’re introduced, I realized why my friend encouraged me to read them in order. Perkins did an incredible job of including Anna & St. Clair in a way that Lola’s book can be read without prior knowledge of who they are.

The Bad

This isn’t anything too terribly bad. I’m usually good at having some sort of mental visual for main characters; however, I struggled to envision Cricket Bell. Nevertheless, he has my entire heart.

The Overall

I found myself reading ahead a lot because I was incredibly invested in the love story of two teenagers. Yes, it was that good. I enjoyed following the journey of Lola & Cricket as he tried to give her the moon and the stars and everything beyond.

If St. Clair is overly outgoing and Cricket is overly kind, I wonder what Isla’s boo in the third book will be like.

Next book to be read and reviewed: The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin

“But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

-Cricket Bell

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