Okay, let’s begin with honesty. Lola and the Boy Next Door is book two in Stephanie Perkins trilogy of books. The first one’s Anna and the French Kiss, which for me was like meh. I really expected so much more because of all the hype and buzz on Tumblr and Goodreads. But sadly for me, it didn’t click. I thought it was okayish, not really worth a read.
Now comes the time when my brain keeps me nudging me to buy the next book in the sequel and I am like “No Anvi, you know what happened the last time you got a Stephanie Perkins book. Two hundred and forty two bucks ain’t worth another one.” But I got it anyway, after a few months of fighting it out with reason.
AND THANK GOD I DID!!!!!
Because Lola and the Boy Next Door was ALL that I craved for in the first book of the series, and MORE. SO MUCH MORE.
GODDAMN. I started out super apprehensive because of my previous experience with Anna and the French Kiss, and then I was plunging into it without knowing. Up until yesterday, that is the fourth day of mine with this one, and I suddenly realize that I am in love with it.
It was pulling all my heart strings in all the right ways and I wanted to cry out of joy because I was sure this was yet another one of my five-star reads this year. And now, having just finished this wonder, it damn right is.
Bits I fell for: (Spoiler Alert!!!)
Lola’s passion for clothing. The way she viewed the whole idea of dressing up was how she owned life. Every day, nothing less than a star, a boss, of her own world. I loved the way she spoke about face glitter or the hours she spent researching for instructions on how to build structures for her Marie Antoinette dress. It was honest, magical and sexy.
Andy and Nathan, her gay parents. I loved the familial lines that constantly wove in and out of the story. The way Perkins so beautifully depicted parenthood within the context of the volatile teenage years. I especially fell for Andy and Heavens to Betsy who are totally my favorites now.
And Cricket Bell. Of course, Cricket bell. The nicest guy I have ever met, topping Edward Cullen. (can’t believe I said that)
But my first love is Lola Nolan. The girl who makes the moon smile. The girl who believes in love. The girl who grows a spine when she wants to, for herself, by herself. The girl who’s heart and feelings made mine felt understood. And also, her demons. All of her demons.
Verdict: Take my word. If you’re looking for a love-love story, your search ends here.
‘Hermoine, I don’t know what’s got into you lately!’ said Ron, astounded. ‘First you hit Malfoy, then you walk out on Professor Trelawney -‘
Hermoine looked rather flattered.
Just reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the 3rd time last night and it still makes me cry with joy. I have NO idea what I would do if the Harry Potter series was not written. J.K Rowling, I hope you are listening.
I don’t know where to start. I had thought this was just going to be one of those cranky YA books that kind of make you feel bad about living. But 80 pages into it and I could see how sorely wrong I was.
Margo Rabb speaks about grief as a portal to blessings. She chooses to see endings attached to the opening of the heart and the expansion of love. I don’t know what struck me most: how my soul resonated with the story of Eva and her grief or how I was learning the art of losing, hand in hand with her.
I felt like the Universe had slyly conspired to place this book in my library checkout pile. After that It had been constantly administered the title in my thoughts, like a ghost that wouldn’t go away until I did what it wanted.
There has been so much resonance here, so much connection, that in end, I wept my pain out, in the last 20 pages or so. It feels eerie how a book can feel like a part of your being, as if its weaved in with your breath and the words have settled in your soul, forever becoming a part of it.
Almost 3 years ago, I stumbled upon a Tyler Knott Gregson poem. I remember googling the name to find as many poems of his as I could swallow after that. I remember being in such pristine awe that my heart grew wings and flew out of my throat.
And here I am today, in love with the man itself. There are very few people whose souls reflect only light. You see them and you somehow, just know, that they are light bearers, darkness warders and impossibly beautiful lovers.
From that day onward, I have read his daily poetry on Instagram, fallen in love with his nephew’s cuteness and harnessed a secret spot for him in my heart. *Mush overload*
And I have a wish: I’d like to meet Tyler. And possibly marry him if the Universe thinks our souls are worthy of a forever. Serious. Not kidding. *shush now, don’t roll your eyes.*
But in the meantime, here’s something he wrote today that I joyously embraced.
“Love is a peculiar creature, how it flows out of us and leaks into the cracks and fractures of the life around us. How it can grow. Expand. How it can encompass so many things that fill up our lives, the people and the animals, the moments and the adventures. We are born to love, built for it, and that ability is always there beneath the surface, no matter how buried we think it becomes, no matter how much we forget. We are put here to love, freely, and I have just begun.”
P.S: Tyler, if you are listening. I am sending you a hug across the sky. The Universe celebrates you. And so do I. ❤