Lola and The Boy Next Door and Once Upon a Time

TV Quote (from the Big Bang Theory):
Mary Cooper: You have any idea what's going on with those two? (Asking about Sheldon and Amy)

Leonard: It's kind of like the Loch Ness monster, maybe there's something there, maybe there isn't.  We'll probably never know.

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Year Published: 2011
Rating: *** 1/2
Ages: YA chick-lit for ages 14 and up
Format:  Read this YA novel n eBook form on Nook for Droid

Seventeen-year-old Lola Nolan wishes for three things.  She wants to go to her winter homecoming dance in an awesomely complicated  Marie Antoinette dress–that she plans on designing and making herself– with platform combat boots underneath, she wants her parents to like her boyfriend–even if he is 22-years old and plays in a rock band — and she wants to never see her former neighbors again. When her former neighbors move back next door, Lola finds out that what she thought happened the night her feelings were crushed is very different from what actually  happened. This revelation means Lola has some difficult choices to make. 

Stephanie Perkins is the same author who wrote Anna and the French Kiss.  The two books share the same charming tone and joyful optimism about life.  They also both take place in interesting cities that Perkins uses as almost another character in the book.  This time the story takes place in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. Lola's situation is a bit more difficult than Anna's and Perkins does a good job of showing all the emotions and complications involved in choosing between two loves.  Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss appear in this story as secondary characters.  It's fun to get a peak into how their lives are progressing.

Parent Note:  The character does have sex, but the scenes are brief and few, and are part of Lola's growth process as she sorts out who she wants to date and why. 

There's also a scene where Lola's parents tell her they don't want her to have sex in their house ever, even if she's with married and with her husband.  This attitude seems to view sex as something that sullies women, but not men, and also seems to imply a parent's wish to have their daughter never grow up.  I realize it's common view in the US, but it strikes me as harmfully sexist, kind of creepy, and a viewpoint that gives young women an unfortunate mixed message about being able to be married or in a relationship and still be viewed as a good person by their own family.

Once Upon A Time (*** 1/2) –  On her 28th birthday, Emma Swan, a lonely orphan and a bad-ass bounty hunter, is visited by the 10-year-old son she gave up for adoption.  He wants her to come back to his town, where he insists everyone is really a fairytale character being forced to live her in the modern world because of a curse put on them by the wicked witch.  The story of Emma's true parents and the fairytale world is told in flashback scenes throughout the story.  I didn't quite understand how the curse worked exactly but the concept is intriguing enough that I'll keep watching for now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s