On My Bookshelf: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

May 22, 2017

In Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, the reappearance of Lola's childhood crush, Cricket, causes her to question her relationship with her perfect boyfriend, Max. If she can't find a way to make a decision and just be herself, she may just lose them both. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, 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.

Why I liked it: Lola and the Boy Next Doorsimilar to Isla and the Happily Ever After, has an overlap in characters. Anna and Etienne, the main characters in Anna and the French Kiss, work at the same movie theater as Lola. At the end of Isla and the Happily Ever After, Lola and Cricket show up in Paris before going to see Cricket’s twin sister Calliope perform in the Olympics.
In Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, the reappearance of Lola's childhood crush, Cricket, causes her to question her relationship with her perfect boyfriend, Max. If she can't find a way to make a decision and just be herself, she may just lose them both. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

I appreciated that the novel moved away from the stereotype that the boy is always the heart breaker in teenage romances. While I don’t like to see anyone’s heart broken, the reversal of roles was refreshing. Lola’s indecision hurts both Max and Cricket.

Classroom application: As a competitive figure skater, Calliope does not lead a normal teenage life. She and her family move often to be with the best trainers, so Cricket is her closets friend. Students could research the challenges of Olympic athletes or teenagers in competitive sports.

The novel is set in San Francisco , specifically the Castro, the neighborhood I stayed in on my most recent trip to the city so I loved recognizing the names of real places, restaurants, etc. The novel could serve as a mentor text with students researching a place and then using real details about the place in a fictional story.

The twins Cricket and Calliope are related to Alexander Graham Bell, who Cricket describes as a fraud who didn't actually invent the telephone. Students could research the controversy and make a decision for themselves. The topic could lead to an argument essay or a debate.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of  Lola and the Boy Next Door for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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