Swoon Reads is a publisher that almost always publishes books that I love. Small Town Hearts sounded like it would be the book for me. A contemporary in a small town and a character trying to find her way after high school, sounded really good. Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the publisher, I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour. Today I’m sharing my thoughts after reading this book!
Small Town Hearts
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 19th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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?
After reading Small Town Hearts, I need to go and move to Oar’s Rest. It has all your typical small town feelings. I love how it was described and all the little places I would love to see. Babe even lives in a lighthouse! That seems like such a great place to settle in. I could even picture myself sitting at the café she works at with a treat and a book. The author did a great job making me feel like I was there.
Small Town Hearts is about Babe. She just graduated high school and is finding her way in the world. Babe won’t be going to college, but she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out. She loves baking and would be happy to take over the café she works at when her boss retires (she’s already saving). It’s clear at the beginning of this book, she really hasn’t realized that graduating may change her friendships.
Babe, Penny and Chad have been friends for as long as she can remember. Penny and Chad were an item, but even that has changed. I had a hard time with this friendship. It wasn’t really fair to Babe and I felt for her, because she was so afraid of losing her friends. All Babe wanted was a great summer together and it feels like that’s slipping away. Even though I thought it was amazing Babe was loyal, I wished so many times she would stand up for herself when Penny wanted her to do something. Lucy made this so much better for me though. I loved her character and she was there for Babe while she was figuring everything out. I even thought what Lucy said about a lot of people thinking they don’t need more friends after a certain amount. It kind of makes me wonder how many people have that.
Babe is bisexual and I love how comfortable she is with her sexuality. Small Town Hearts also shows us that coming out can take time and isn’t always easy, but I loved that it showed us that it doesn’t matter who you love. The author did a great job with that aspect of this book.
Just like most contemporary books that I love, we have romance in this book. Levi is a summer boy and Babe’s rule is not to fall for them, because they leave when the season is over. There’s something about Levi though that she just can’t resist. My favorite thing of this romance was that this wasn’t a case of insta-love! There was an attraction/interest, but feelings slowly developed. Levi was so sweet and down to earth. Exactly what Babe needs! Their story really kept making me smile!
If you’re looking for a book that brings you to the summer during the darker winter days, makes you feel like you’re in this small town building sandcastles, has amazing characters and a cute love story, definitely pick up Small Town Hearts!
Lillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen. She can be reached on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine. Small Town Hearts is her debut novel.
Of course, we’re not the only blog participating in the blog tour. Click here to see the full list of amazing blogs that are participating! The links are updated each day with the tour links!
For US/CAN readers there is tour-wide giveaway. There is a chance to win a print copy of Small Town Hearts! The giveaway ends on March 28th.
Small Town Hearts was such an adorable book! What are your favorite small town stories? Let me know in the comments!