My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’ve been putting off writing this review simply because I don’t have the energy to write it. I have the energy required to write, even another review for Mockingjay to maybe try to rescind my 4/5 and change it to a meager 3/5, and so I think what I lack is the will to write the review for this book. It’s just that, I didn’t feel strongly for the book and I find it hard to review books that I deem so-so or only interesting enough to make me finish it. So that was how I felt with Lola and the Boy Next Door, a lonely 3 in the middle of what could have been five stars. (Not that I ever thought it could actually be a five. It never crossed my mind.)
I couldn’t relate to Lola. Though her feelings might be universal, I just couldn’t feel a slight bit of me in her. I guess what makes reading a book a subjective experience is that we have different backgrounds prior to reading a certain book and so its appeal to us will be greatly varied and diverse. Some people might be like Lola or some might have gone through what she has experienced or is experiencing but I guess it’s not just me. So there’s that. It’s hard to like a book when you don’t have a certain connection to the characters. Sigh.
I like Cricket Bell, I really do. But he’s more of a cardboard cutout character than a real person to me. He’s “too campy”, as said by a friend. I like the characterization but he just didn’t feel real to me. And so, I never ended up loving his character to bits.
Max, on the other hand, seemed like the perfect caring bad boy at the start. I knew Lola wouldn’t end up with Max and that Max would turn out to be such a jerk but how can a person as nice as Max be the biggest jerk so fast? It’s like the author wanted the reader to hate Max so that the reader will want Cricket and so the author made him suddenly unlikable. His transformation to a dickhead was so inorganic and out of character. Oh well.
Moreover, I didn’t really like the cover. Maybe it’s me and my general dislike for covers with faces but meh, not my drift.
So to summarize, it was a fun read but it had its flaws. Now, people are raving about this book and Anna and the French Kiss. Some people told me that Anna and the French Kiss is infinitely better but then, I find it hard to trust in an author who already disappointed me. Maybe it’s my fault for expecting or reading Lola before Anna first. I didn’t know that Anna was the first book. Not that you have to read Anna before Lola but Anna and Etienne St. Clair were characters in Lola. So just read it if you’re in a mood for a general cute romance story. Enjoy!
*Originally posted last June 18, 2012