Aly in Wonderland

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins Oofft. Well, that was a handful.

So whilst reading this book, a discussion formed in my head. It went a little something like this:

Me: How can someone be so selfish without getting repeatedly punched in the face? And how can someone call their child Cricket?!

Lola: HEY. I'm not entirely selfish. Just like with my costumes, I express myself in ways other people don't understand.

Me: Express yourself? How is dating a hot-to-trot guy like Max, yet stringing Cricket along at the same time, expressing yourself? Is it a public protest against commitment?

Lola: *huffs* Well, no. But as a teenager, I went through a phase of confusion!

Me: Confusion? Okay. Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, when I was, say, around 7 years old, my dad took me to Hamley's (for those who don't know, Hamley's is a huge six-storey toy store in London) and he said I could have ONE toy. So up and down we went, scouring all the shelves (and floors) for the perfect toy to complete our mini holiday in London. After an hour and a half (it takes you at least that long to look at everything) I became confounded. In one hand, I had the newest Christmas edition Barbie and in the other, the complete set of Polly Pockets. I wanted them both but with prices being what they were, my father could only afford one.

So this is what he said, "If you're in a state of confusion, torn between two things, uncertain about which one you want, don't pick either one."

Lola: Are you comparing my complicated love life to toys?!

Me: Tell me I'm wrong!

Lola: Yo--

Me: Go on! SAY IT! Say, "No, Aly, YOU'RE WRONG."

Lola: I--

Me: Saaaaay it!

Lola: Look--


Lola: *glares daggers and crosses arms* You don't understand. Cricket was my first love! And Max was, well...

Me: Your first love, too? Or just your first? Because unlike ying and yang, one CAN exist without the other.

Lola: Is that your main problem with the book? My love life?

Me: No, I had a few more problems with the book (although I still liked it), here's a list:

NAMES: The names are STUPID. S.T.U.P.I.D. Okay?
Calliope? Cricket? Really? Did Perkins exhaust the baby-name book trying to look for something? WAS IT REALLY TOO HARD TO CALL HIM STEVEN? OR ROGER? OR EVEN JIM?

Lola: Um...


YOUR DRESS SENSE: Perkins tried SO HARD to make you look like the girl who isn't afraid to show her true colours (literally) that I cringed every time you described an outfit. Here are some personal favourites:

1) The picnic blanket dress. Obviously the shops didn't have a chequered dress that fulfilled your needs.

2) The Marie Antoinette dress. FOR PROM. Sure, it's a very innovative and exciting idea, but did you WANT TO GET LAUGHED AT? (Funny, actually, how the book ends there. Right as you guys get to prom. How convenient.)


Lola: You shouldn't judge someone by the way they dress!

Me: No, you're right. I shouldn't. But then you CRIED when Max said, "Honestly, I don't know who you are. Every time I see you, you're someone different. You're a liar, and you're a fake. Despite what you think, despite what your dads have told you, there is nothing special about you. You're just a little girl with a lot of issues."
How can you expect someone to take you seriously if you wear costumes every day of the year? Surely you realise that people won't take you seriously? It's the same thing when girls dress slutty and act confident, and no one takes them seriously, do they?

And my last problem was You're self centred and selfish. Oh no, Cricket dated when you two 'broke up' or whatever you want to call it, how DARE he not pine after your constantly? Oh no, Lindsey likes to spend time OUTSIDE of your world, how DARE she not revolve everything around you! Oh dear Lord, my dads are bitches because they don't like Max therefore won't let you have any privacy! HOW DARE THEY BE WORRIED? Oh no, your birth mother is a bitch, too, and she embarrasses you but NO UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH! HOW DARE THEY HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF LOLA-WORLD!

Lola: But I changed by the end of the book!

Me: Yes, you did, and that's why I'm saying I liked it. Although it's filled with weird names, dresses and weird priorities, I DID like the book. It was funny and uplifting and paced fast enough that I didn't lose interest halfway through. I think Stephanie Perkins could've done it better, because she has such brilliant potential and so many great ideas, that maybe this book wasn't quite up to scratch with my expectations, but I definitely liked it. I would definitely read it again, that's for sure.

Lola: *Simpers*

Me: Hey. Cut it out. I said I liked the BOOK, not YOU.


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