Despite the fact that it’s really exciting to see a bi character in a novel, I’m really not feeling Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale for myself. I’m sure that this is a novel others will enjoy, but the truth is that I’m hard pressed to like contemporary romance YA and, ultimately, I’m having a rather difficult time getting past the main character’s name. But, I mean, honestly? Babe Vogel? I just cannot. Babe in itself is just frustratingly annoying as a name and I know I would find myself rolling my eyes literally every single time that the name pops up in the book. And Vogel just reminds me of Volger, which doesn’t really make me picture a coming of age summer romance like this novel is meant to portray. And I know it’s silly to turn down a book entirely based on a character’s name, but this one is just sort of beyond my threshold for what I’d force myself through for a book.
As for the story, it does have some typical YA romance elements. From a kiss situation that breaks up a friend group to an ex—this time an ex-girlfriend—who drudges up old memories, and a new guy from out of town to fall for. It’s not really my style unless it’s an author I feel fairly attached to. At the end of the day, I don’t really see this as a book I’d enjoy spending time with.
Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy.
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?
How do you feel about this book? Is it one you think you’ll pick up? Would you rather pass on Small Town Hearts? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below! And happy reading to you all!