Small Town Hearts Blog Tour: Review!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale is a book that's been on my radar for a few months and is actually one of my most anticipated queer releases of 2019. Set in Oar's Rest in Maine over the summer it sounded like a complete dream of a book so when Lili from Utopia State of Mind contacted me to see if I wanted to be involved in the blog tour for it I replied with a giant YES. Well, technically I shrieked at the email, danced around my room for a couple minutes and then said yes, but the point of the story is the same and it resulted in a shiny attachment landing in my inbox; cue more happy dancing!

Before I jump into the review I want to give you all a little warning because I went into this book very unprepared. The food in Small Town Hearts is unbelievably wonderful. Lillie's descriptions are gorgeous and I was hungry for the entire time reading this, so when you pick it up please make sure you have some form of snack (ideally something baked but anything will do), because the alternative is having to put the book down to go all the way to the shop just to buy something. And you won't want to put this book down.

Right, now that the warning is out of the way I'll get on with it! Small Town Hearts is what would happen if the aesthetic of Gilmore Girls, the beach scenes in Mamma Mia and food descriptions so vivid I wanted to eat the page collided and I loved it. From the very first page I was completely hooked and this story didn't let me go until the final page; to be honest it's still nestled in my heart.

It's a gloriously warm summer read, despite being freezing cold and hailing outside I still found myself completely transported to Babe's world. Oar's Rest was described so beautifully, every page dripped in detail and all I had to do was close my eyes and instantly I could see Babe and Levi cycling through the colourful streets. Lillie perfectly captures the feeling of summer, of being free and having the days stretch on forever but at the same time being incredibly aware of autumn waiting just around the corner.

Babe starts her summer off with amazing intentions: she's going to spend all her time with her two best friends, working in the best cafe in the world, and making memories to last a life time. Then reality hits. As her friendships begin disintegrating right in front of her and her ex-girlfriend shows up in town Babe finds her rule of never getting involved with a summer boy being tested and pushed to it's limit. Can she shake off the fears her past relationship left in her or will the oncoming end of summer really mean the end of everything? The twists and layers in this book are so intricate and freaking beautiful. The faltering friendship between Penny and Babe broke my heart so many times but it was weirdly refreshing. So often you see platonic relationships slip down to second priority behind romantic ones but that didn't happen here. Instead we have childhood best friends beginning to slip away from each other, and preexisting friendships getting stronger with each strand given just as much focus as the blossoming feelings between Babe and Levi.

Babe is a heartwarming, realistic, badass babe of a character and I want to give her the biggest hug in the world (and also become friends because That Food. I need her baking in my life.) It's probably very unhelpful to say "I literally don't have words for how much I loved this book" in a review but it's true. Small Town Hearts had me nearly crying one moment but then I'd turn the page and my heart would melt into a happy puddle of goo at the cuteness. Beautifully written with stunningly realistic characters, a romance arc that made me want to shake my laptop and cry "Just KISS HIM" more than once and manages to pull on every single emotion you own as Babe struggles with finding her own feet and learning to be her own person after a lifetime of being a trio. I cried, I laughed and I can't wait for my physical preorder to land on my doorstep so can highlight the frick out of all the amazing quotes. It's funny, it's nerdy and it's absolutely gorgeous. Also Babe literally lives in a lighthouse. New life goal right there.

If you're a fan of contemporary YA romance with stunning prose, amazing characters and a setting that feels so real you can almost step through the page Mary Poppins style then you can (and should) preorder Small Town Hearts from Amazon, Book Depository and others. You can also follow Lillie Vale here!

Rating: Five Stars!

Disclaimer: I received the ARC through the blog tour but my opinion is completely my own and totally honest.

Huge thankyou to Mana for designing the beautiful banner seen above for the blog tour. You can check our her portfolio here!

Lillie Vale
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 is the author of Small Town Hearts.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour this week - there are reviews, creative pieces and so much more:

March 11
Lily (Sprinkles of Dreams) - guest post
Marie (Drizzle & Hurricane Books) - interview
Eloise (Eloise Writes) - review + aesthetic
Elin (Annotated Paperbacks) - creative

March 12
Nandini (Unputdownable Books) - Creative
Carolina (Santana Reads) - review + character aesthetics
Danielle (Bookish in Texas) - interview
Laura (Green Tea & Paperbacks) - creative

March 13
Sofia (Bookish Wandress) - review + a playlist
Ashley (Bubbly Booknerd) - creative
Lauren (Bookmark Lit) - review + creative
Victoria (The Contented Reader) - interview + review
Camillea (Camillea Reads) - review

March 14
Morgan (The Bookish Beagle) - review + creative
Fanna (Fannatality) review + creative
Syndney (Sydneys.books) - creative bookstagram
Fadwa (Word Wonders) - review 
Mishma (Chasing Faerytales) - review + creative
Lili (Utopia State of Mind) - guest post

March 15
Tiffany (Read by Tiffany) - creative
Haley (Fangirl Fury) - review + creative
Romie (Romie We Deserve Love) - creative 
Simant (Flipping Through the Pages) - review + creative

Have you read Small Town Hearts yet? Do you plan on doing so?! Let me know in a comment below, and if you have read it then let's talk FOOD. What's your favourite item Babe makes in the book? Mine is definitely the blueberry struesel...

eloise x

1 comment

  1. I LOVE THIS! Badass babe Babe should be her nickname, B3. Thanks for being on the tour! I am so glad that we connected <3 (This is Lili btw lol)