We’ve been really excited about Lola and the Boy Next Door for, oh let’s say, since we first heard about it. We here at Figment are very Team Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, for her eccentric characters, hilarious prose, and ability to keep her narrative youth-y and fun while still respecting how intelligent her readers are. And now we have an exciting new Anna companion novel! Lola and the Boy Next Door may sound like a romance built around childhood love (because, you know, it is) there are more than enough fresh spins on the obvious girl- /boy-next-door archetypes.
With all that praise laid out on the table for you Figlets to chow down on, here’s why we think you should all hang with Lola and the Boy Next Door:
+ 147 for multicolored wigs and outlandish costumes. Not Lady Gaga-outlandish, but sensible-outlandish. The novel is set in San Francisco, where the people are a lot less judgmental and way more accepting of Lola’s colorful ‘dos and quirky style. (Note: Lady Gaga’s uncooked meat dress is, and always will be, unacceptable anywhere, including the Bay Area and everywhere else in the solar system.)
+ 50 / – 50 for use of the name Cricket Bell as Lola’s love interest. We here at Figment Headquarters have been divided over where we stand on this name. Some of us love it. Others hate it. None of us will now speak to each other because of it–we’ll all be eating lunch alone today. Decide for yourself, Figs, and just try not to lose friends arguing over it as we foolishly (or wisely, as some might argue) did today.
+ 800 points for gay parents! Yes, it’s a little cliche that they live in San Francisco, but we’ll take it. We’ll even throw in an extra 200 points for the fact that they survived the Tragic Axing of Parents in Young Adult Lit! Hooray for living, breathing, caring parental figures!
+ 24 for cameo appearances! Anna from Anna and the French Kiss pops in every now and again to remind Lola that she was really cool to let Lola have her own novel, but that if Anna really wanted a sequel, she could’ve had one, because she’s Anna, and Lola is just a secondary character getting her 15 minutes of fame, and . . . Okay, maybe it doesn’t go quite like that, but if you missed Anna and her French boo St. Claire, they’re back!
+ 12 for setting. We’ve gone from the City of Love’s Eiffel Tower in Anna and The French Kiss to the City of Light’s Golden Gate Bridge! San Francisco couldn’t be a more perfect venue for Lola’s wild life.
Lola and the Boy Next Door racked up an impressive total of 1,183 points! On September 29th, go hail the nearest trolley and ride it to your local bookstore to add this book to your shelves. Then let us know what you think! More important, break the tie on where you stand on the name Cricket–YOUR voice might help reunite the Figment Headquarters!