on March 19, 2019
Genres: Young Adult
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Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.
And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had - to never fall for a summer boy?
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m so excited to get to share Lillie Vale’s debut novel, Small Town Hearts, with you! Be sure to check out all the tour stops and enter the giveaway below.
5/5 stars for an adorable, realistic summer romance! I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. But I was intrigued by the synopsis, being a small-town girl at heart myself, and while I’ve only visited Maine once it was gorgeous and picturesque and I would love to go back.
“The cardinal rule of every beach town is that locals do not get involved with tourists. They always leave.”
Babe is a bisexual baking barista (try saying that five times fast) who is struggling to let go and move on as her life – and her best friends – change around her. Her two bests friends are going on to college, and she’s not. Her choice, but she wants everyone she’s grown up with to stay the same right along with her. But is she really staying the same?
I absolutely loved the way Babe stuck to her guns about NOT going to college and staying in her home town. I think sometimes in all the narratives (and real life experiences) of people leaving home and never looking back, that we forget there are people who love their towns and what to stay there, build a life for themselves in the same place they grew up. On the other hand, I was glad that Babe realized she wasn’t entirely staying the same, she was growing and changing as a person too – even if she stayed in the same physical place.
Levi and Babe were adorable together. Even though their relationship is a little insta-y, it wasn’t insta-LOVE and I appreciated that. After all, insta-LIKE is pretty common and has a large variety of endings, haha. They had chemistry, but the author steered away from things like heavenly boy-sweat and sparks flying from the touches of fingertips. Thank you. I also loved that they both knew, pretty much from the start, that their relationship (whatever it was at the time) might not be permanent, and they were okay with that.
Babe’s issues with Elodie, her ex-girlfriend, were difficult to read about. Elodie is not out, and Babe has been for years, so that really threw a painful wrench into their relationship. After their breakup, Babe eventually – after a lot of tears and pain – moves on. When Elodie comes back to town after a year at college, Babe didn’t crumble. She had realized how much Elodie hurt her and how much she was a selfish person, and wasn’t going to let her do it again.
She was deflecting, trying to unload the responsibility of her decisions on me.
Having let people do this to me more times than I can count, I actually teared up that Babe found the strength within herself to call Elodie out on it. YES. Because it is damn difficult.
Also I desperately wanted some of Babe’s baking confections. OMG. I was EXTREMELY disappointed that there were not recipes for these…I mean, come on! That’s just cruel. Maybe someone will be inspired to come up with some? Because I know I’m not that talented…just page me if it happens. Kthx.
Highly recommend for a breezy summer read that still has some substance. I loved it and am very excited to see what debut author Lillie Vale comes out with next!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: