Lola and the Boy Next Door

I thought Anna and the French Kiss was awesome, and then I read Lola and the Boy Next Door. 

I think it has something to do with the fact that Lola reminds me of my friend Alison, but I also love this book because of how strong and creative and fun Lola is. And Cricket. Any character named Cricket is loved by me. 

Lola has blue hair and black hair and green hair and every color hair. She wears a different costume every day, and she makes me want to continue to be me. I want every girl to read this book, because there are so many of us who feel like we can't be ourselves in front of other people. I used to feel that way. And it doesn't matter if who you really are is someone who doesn't wear makeup or someone who wears a ton of it. If you straighten your hair or you let it be as it is. I think it's important to be who you really are.

I think it's important to do what makes you feel the most like you. 

"Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean that it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough."

Lola loves to create costumes, and she goes through a period that most creative people seem to go through. We wonder if what we are doing is pointless; we wonder if our art is worthless. Hanging a painting on a wall isn't practical, but most of us do it. Sometimes I think studying Thomas Dekker is impractical, but his writing is beautiful and makes me smile. 

“You should show encouragement whenever you can. People try harder when they know that someone cares about them.” 

I always feel like a superhero when people I care about care about my writing. When people I love inquire about the stories I'm creating or take time to read my blog. When my friend Taylor asks me why I haven't posted in a week (because I was too busy reading), and when Alison handwrites an entire page of her favorite quotes from my blog, and when I get an email from John's mom telling me I'm talented, and when I get an email from my mom saying she cried reading one of my posts, and when Caitlin says the best part of her week is reading my posts, and when John asks me if I have any writing I need to do before we watch a movie. 

I think most people do try harder when they know they have an army behind them; when they know they are supported in whatever they do. 

"But I don't want to give you this broken, empty me. I want you to have me when I'm full, when I can give something back to you. I don't have much to give right now.”

I think we have to fix how we see ourselves on our own; we have to fix the way we feel about ourselves on our own. And that's another reason why I love Lola, because she takes so much time figuring out how to become the person she wants to be. She knows that she is broken, and she knows that she is empty, and she knows that she has to figure herself out on her own. She takes the time to heal herself, and this doesn't happen in one chapter. This takes several. 

I love the little sentences that Stephanie Perkins provides readers in her trilogy, and I'm currently enjoying Isla's story. Her stories feel real, and that is so important, because sometimes we need a reminder that real-life really is magic.