Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bookanista Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins--AND A GIVEAWAY!!!!

I am so, so SO excited that I finally get to do my Bookanista Review for LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by the amazing, awesome, uber-talented and ultra-kind Stephanie Perkins. 

I read the ARC ages ago, but ... loved it so much, I wasn't willing to share my copy (sorry, my generosity has its limits). And since I like to include a giveaway with my reviews, that meant I had to wait until release. BUT LOLA IS FINALLY IN STORES!!!!!!!!

*tosses confetti*


Here's how the publisher describes LOLA:

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.

For those who don't know, LOLA is the second book by Stephanie Perkins, and is a companion novel (of sorts) for her amazing, AMAZING debut, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. (If you haven't read ANNA, get thee to the bookstore--STAT! You are missing out on an incredible, beautiful, and oh-so-smexy read!) 

So to say that I had high expectations for LOLA is a bit of an understatement. And I'll admit, there were times I wondered if LOLA could ever meet those expectations. I mean, no Paris? No Etienne? A new boy named CRICKET? There was definitely some skepticism swirling around in my head.

BUT I WAS A FOOL FOR WORRYING!!!!

Steph is a MASTER of character development, and I never ever should have doubted that she wouldn't be able to create characters I would instantly fall in love with. Lola is not Anna, and Cricket is not Etienne--but when you meet them you don't want them to be (especially since Anna and Etienne are still hanging around in scenes). They are complicated, flawed, beautiful people and you want to know THEM, know THEIR story, share THEIR journey from the very first page. 

And just like ANNA, the setting of LOLA plays a huge role in the story.  I'm not sure anything can ever replace Paris--for me--but San Francisco is such a rich, diverse, fascinating landscape that you don't miss Paris, and its perfectly suited for Lola's story. Lola and Cricket belong right were they are, in their Victorian style houses right next door to each other. Where readers can fall in love with them while they fall in love with each other.

I know that's a whole lot of comparing ANNA to LOLA, which really isn't fair because they are completely different books, both amazing and perfect and awesome all on their own. But since comparison is inevitable, I figured it made sense to state the obvious: yes, LOLA is not ANNA. But I PROMISE you, once you meet her you won't want her to be. I have equal amounts of love for both. And I hope you guys will feel the same.

Which is why I'm giving away a hardcover copy of LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR to one lucky winner. To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, October 8th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, October 9th. International entries welcome.

For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about:

Elana Johnson interviews Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise
LiLa Roecker discusses S R Johannes' e-book experiment
Christine Fonseca  is wowed by The White Assassin - with giveaway
Beth Revis delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – with giveaway
Shelli Johannes-Wells falls for Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller adores Ashfall – with giveaway
Jessi Kirby marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Shana Silver steps up to Audition
Corrine Jackson is crazy about Cracked
Stasia Ward Kehoe swoons for Swan and To Dance

82 comments:

  1. My daughter and I really enjoyed Ann and the French Kiss, so I'm glad to hear that this one is just as good! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  2. So looking forward to this one! Count me in!:)

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  3. I really want this one bad!Please count me in:)

    I'm a GFC follower-Janhvi Jagtap

    Janhvi
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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  4. I've heard such great things about this book. I'd love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway. I follow.
    britneywyatt[at]gmail[dot]com

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  5. You can never have too much LOLA! Count me in please! I'm a GFC follower.

    angelidgcruz at gmail dot com

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  6. I've been waiting for this book for so long. Love the cover. Wish I had purple hair. LOL

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    claroxide@yahoo.co.in

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  7. Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favorites. Can't wait to read about Lola!

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  8. Umm, yeah, I'd love to win Lola! Anna was fan-freakin-tastic and I have a feeling Lola will be just as good :)

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  9. Yay, Lola!! Anna was my favorite book of 2010 :)

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  10. Everywhere I look I am hearing wonderful things about this book. I hope to have a chance to read it soon.

    jasmyn9[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  11. Oh wow, LOLA sounds even better than I imagined! I LOVED Anna so I know I'll love this 2nd book too. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. Stephanie Perkins is an amazing author! I would love to win!

    sarabara081(at)aol(dot)com

    GFC: sarabara081

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  13. There are no words for how excited I am for this book. I've been waiting for it since the moment I finished Anna.

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  14. Anna was amazing and from your review, Lola must be too!

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  15. This looks great, and the cover is totally cute.

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  16. Thank you for the giveaway! I love the cover.
    GFC follower as Diana

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  17. EEK! It looks like such an amazing read! :)

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  18. I can't wait to read this book. I loved Anna and the French Kiss!

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  19. I'd love to play please.

    GFC follower.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. I probably wouldn't be into this one, but yay for purple hair!

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  21. I read the first chapter online and I'm already hooked. I can't wait to see how this one plays out since I adored Anna and Entienne and Paris.

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  22. Thank you so much for the great giveaway! This book this fantastic.
    thebookanalyst[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  23. Please enter me in contest. Sounds like a really great book. Tore923@aol.com

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  24. I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Can't wait for this one!!!

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

    I follow as Angie

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  25. I just bought Anna, I'm hoping to get to it in the next couple weeks. I have been hearing so many wonderful things about Lola, I thought it was high time I got Anna and joined the Stephanie Perkis love parade. Thanks so much for the giveaway, would love to win this one. :)

    aprilchaug@gmail.com

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  26. Looks like a fun book, and I love the name Lola! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  27. I have been waiting for Lola.Hope I win!

    I'm a GFC follower.

    Janhvi
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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  28. LOLAAAAA. I have this on my Kindle but I also love another reason to love this. Literally JUST finished it, and I'm so giddy, it kind of hurts.

    jessicaborash at the gmail

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  29. Awesome giveaway! Heard only good things about this book, would be SOO HAPPY to win this! I like that you're announcing winners on the 9th of October *cough my 19th birthday* cough haha

    sahina@hotmail.co.uk

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  30. Thanks for the giveaway! :D
    GFC: Meli ^^
    rockmeamadeuus @ hotmail.com

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  31. Oh, it's set in San Fran? A city I love! :)

    So confession, still haven't read ANNA even though I keep hearing wonderful things. Must remedy this soon & then read Lola!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  32. OK, I have heard SO much about Anna that I just put it on the top of my list to read.(After I finish the pile that is currenlty on my bookshelf.) And Lola sounds great, who can go wrong with a boy name Cricket?

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  33. Thank you for the giveaway!

    snifflykitty@gmail.com

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  34. Thanks for the great giveaway! I've been waiting for this.
    GFC follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  35. Thanks for the giveaway! I mean, just LOOK at that cover! :)
    -Angel
    http://909reviews.blogspot.com
    909reviews@gmail.com

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  36. i cant wait to get this book!i have been waiting FOREVER!!thanks for the giveaway! dookiepookiebear @ yahoo.com

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  37. I am so worried about this book...loved ANNA and I really hope LOLA can live up to my expectations!

    GFC follower

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  38. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    emilymvoss.blogspot.com

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  39. I can't wait to read this ;_; I am such a fan of Stephanie Perkins.

    wolfinthefable (at) gmail (dot) com

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  40. I totally understand why you would want to keep your copy and wait for it to come out to do a giveaway! Can't wait to read!
    Thanks,
    Amanda

    amandakfurman@gmail.com

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  41. Can you believe I still haven't read this?! Shame on me. :-)

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  42. Thanks for this amazing giveaway! I can't wait to read this one.
    Pokadots1121@yahoo.com

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  43. I read the first chapter and would love to read the rest!

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  44. I am so, so excited for LOLA. ANNA was my favorite read last year. Great review!

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  45. Sooo looking forward to this one! Please count me in! & thanks for make it open to internationals yay!! =D

    GFC follower
    jessy.wicked[at]gmail[dot]com

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  46. I'd love to read this! Thanks for the giveaway.
    GFC name: Erinberry

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

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  47. I've been waiting to get my hands on this one since I finished Anna and the French Kiss!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  48. Oh I wanna read Lola and the Boy Next Door! I was phyched to get Anna and the French Kiss on my kindle. Lola is a dream ;)

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

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  49. Thanks so much for the giveaway, I would love to be entered.

    GFC follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

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  50. Shannon, I will be sooo happy if I win this. Fingers crossed. ;)

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  51. Please count me in, I would love to read this! Thank you :)

    GFC follower Tiffany Drew

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

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  52. Awe thanks for the chance!!! Im a follower :-)

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  53. I've heard this book is really good. Thanks for the chance to win!

    hollyjolly89@gmail.com

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  54. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Looks awesome!

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  55. I've heard nothig but great reviews about Anna and the French Kiss and the same goes for this one. I would love to read both!

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  56. Am I the only person on this planet who hasn't read either Anna or Lola? It seems like it, haha! :) Thanks for the giveaway

    Sophia
    mashimaro401[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  57. I loved Anna and can't wait to read Lola! Steph Perkins, fabulous characters AND San Fran...what more could I ask for!? OH yes, winning it! :)

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  58. I've heard amazing things about this book!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  59. Loved Anna...I didn't even realize that Stephanie Perkins had a new book out. Curse these crazy beginning of school days. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  60. Thank you for this giveaway! I have read so many positive reviews for this book.

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  61. Thank you so much for the giveaway :D

    I'm GFC follower

    Mellysa Christina

    mellysa dot ch at gmail dot com

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  62. well why thankyou for the interesting review, glad to hear that 'Lola' may live up to Anna! lovely of you to give it away, take care xxx

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  63. I'm dying to get my hands on a copy of LOLA because I loved ANNA so freaking much. I trust Stephanie Perkins did a great job on this, so I need to read it asap! :)

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  64. I've been curious of this book for a long time! :D
    email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

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  65. I've heard good things about this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  66. I cannot express how badly I want to read this book! Great review and thanks for the giveaway.

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  67. What a great review. I would LOVE to win that book!

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  68. I would love to win this book :D Thank you so much for the chance. <3
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

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  69. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed Lola just as much as Anna. I've been looking forward to reading this forever! Thanks for the chance to win a copy :D

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  70. Thanks for the great giveaway:)

    I've been hearing so much about this book, especially abot Cricket, so I'm really quite eager to read it. Thanks for the chance:)

    I'm a GFC follower: Identity Seeker

    Sarah @ Random Thoughts

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

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  71. Aww! Thanks so much for the giveaway!! I've heard such good things about it & if it's even half as good as Anna, I'll be satisfied!

    teenbookguide@hotmail.com

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  72. SO excited to finally read this! I'm glad I'm not the only one who was worried about "Cricket".
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com
    ('Course I'm a follower. ;D)

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  73. i borrowed my fiend's arc, and LOVED it! what a fabulous book. stephanie perkins is a genius :)

    -xo,
    gina

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  74. Pick me! I want to read this one so much! Thanks!

    wilsondev(at)gmail(dot)com

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  75. I'm planning on nabbing me a copy of this. Free would just be icing on the cake!

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  76. OH! I can't wait to read this one!

    I follow you! :)

    thecozyreader @ gmail.com

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  78. Thanks so much for the review and giveaway.

    miss.smileygirlie at gmail dot com

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  79. Thank you so much for the giveaway!!
    I so need a copy because I loved reading this one so much!!

    khyla_808ATyahooDOTcom

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  80. Oh, so many entries already, but I'll still add my name to the list of people who want to win this!

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  81. I'm dying for a copy of this one!!! Thanks so much for the chance. :D My fingers are crossed.

    sauvadeavelle @ yahoo dot com

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3