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Jenuine Cupcakes

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Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins Lololololo-la! Sorry, can't help but hear the Kinks song in my head, each time I hear the name, see the title...you get the picture. I thoroughly enjoyed "Anna and The French Kiss" and was really looking forward to "Lola" and I was not disappointed! I'm a sucker for a good cover and I LOVE this cover! The more I read, the more I flipped back to look at it and swooned over the tiniest details that were included. (I heart stars!)Once again author, Stephanie Perkins has created unique characters full of heart, passion and who are just plain fun to read! If you could take a rainbow, a few rays of sunshine, some shooting stars (for their sparkle factor), and maybe even a snowflake or two, mixed them all together and shook them out, Lola is what would you get. She's bright, colorful, full of life and has a sparkle that's all her own. "Lola" has all the love and heart pounding romance that "Anna" did but with a couple of interesting twists thrown in. There's also a few unexpected guests who had me squealing with delight and I DO NOT squeal. (Really, I don't) Plus, "Lola" has not one, not two, but three cute boys... T-H-R-E-E! Let's take a peak at them shall we?Max is our resident rocker bad-boy. What makes him bad? Weeelll, for starters, he's just a "few" years older than Lola but just a few. Her two Dads aren't too thrilled with the idea of him but then again they're dads. He's cute, he sings and writes music, has multiple tattoos and engages in less desirable behavior (according to dear old "Dads) which of course, makes him a total chick magnet.Cricket is Lola's neighbor and childhood friend. He's not only cute, nice and super intelligent (he invents cool stuff like Barbie elevators) but he's tall - really, really tall. He's also the twin brother of Calliope Bell (aka figure skater extraordinaire/mean girl). Lola's parents like Cricket and there's a bit of history between he and Lola which isn't all happy, happy sunshine but no biggie, because he's the very definition of "Tall drink of water". Thirsty much? Yes.I.Am!Whose the third cute guy? Well, now, that would just spoil the fun so you'll have to read it for yourself. *wink* *wink* Lola struggles with making the right choices sometimes as a way to protect herself or those around her from getting hurt. This is familiar territory for her considering she's had her fair share of pain either from her mother's behavior or for being ostracised for her appearance. What she learns is that in order to be true to yourself, you have to "be" yourself, regardless of what others think...you have to live fully and without fear. (You wanna wear a pink wig, a sparkly tutu and combat boots? You go girl!) She also discovers that some things are worth the risk if you're willing to give it a chance, even if it's a second, or a third chance and she finds that when it comes to love, sometimes you have to go back to the start in order to cross the finish line.**Personal side note** I have hot pink stripes in my hair and when my 7yr old son saw the "Lola" cover he said, "Hey Mommy, that girl has purple in her hair kinda like you have pink in yours. Cool!" I smiled. So, a BIG "Thank you!" to Stephanie Perkins for making striped hair cool, especially for those of us over the age of, well, 17. :D