Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale: Atmospheric, Lyrical, and Romantic | Book Review

Title: Small Town Hearts

Author: Lillie Vale

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Published: March 19, 2019

Format: ARC

Rating: 5/5 stars

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?

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A Case for Changing Ratings Long After Reading | Book Discussion

Accurately rating books can be tricky.

Recently, I published a post listing some books I gave five stars to that, in hindsight, weren’t five star reads. I then proceeded to decrease their star ratings on my Goodreads to what I now feel better represents my thoughts on the books.

As I went to publish that post, I wondered if it was something I should even be writing. Whether or not it was fair to go back and change a rating on a book that I read a year, or more, ago.

Obviously, I decided to upload my ramblings anyway. Still, the question stayed with me. Is it fair to change the rating of a book a while after you read it?

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Books I’m Stripping of Their Five-Star Status

It happens to the best of us.

We can be blinded by a fantastic ending, or a swoony character, and rate a book just a smidge higher than it deserves. At times… much higher.

I’ve run into this problem many times myself. I find Younger Jordyn did this a lot because she was just so excited to be reading YA that every book seemed worthy of five stars! Alas! Such is not the case.

One of my reading resolutions in 2019 was to be more critical in my reviews and ratings (look out for a discussion post on this soon!), and I figured a good way to do that would be to look at my ratings in the past few years and see how many of them I would really change.

These are some titles that, well, seemed like five star reads at the time, but in hindsight… yikes. Perhaps they weren’t as good as I previously thought.

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February 2019 | Wrap-Up

Month number 2 is in the books.

And I am decidedly not in the books. As in, not reading the books. (Great segue, I know). The past few weeks have been absolutely manic, and I know it’s not going to slow down for at least a couple months.

Even though it’s been a stressful month, I would still classify it as a good month, because even I was busy doing things, they were things that I enjoyed doing.

So, I read some good books, had some fun times, and I’m here today to tell you about them!

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Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell: Fun, Unpredictable, Surprisingly Deep | Book Review

Title: Just for Clicks

Author: Kara McDowell

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Amberjack

Published: February 19, 2019

Format: ARC

Rating: 4/5 stars

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.
Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much.
Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

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Will These Crossover Ships Sink or Swim?

Romance is a pretty big deal in YA.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that almost all YA books have some sort of romantic subplot. So what happens when those couples get shaken up a little bit?

Yeah, sure, Valentine’s Day could be used to celebrate all the great couples that we already have… or the ones that we could have if we only thought outside of the box (or rather, the book.)

I was inspired by this Epic Reads post where you could vote on which character ships from different universes you think would work and which ones wouldn’t.

But since this isn’t a democracy in any way, shape, or form (lucky you), I wanted to list some crossover couples of my own that would swim and others that would sink to the bottom of the ocean, Titanic-style.

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Appreciating Public Libraries | Book Discussion

Libraries are an important part of every community.

But before I tell you why, I just wanted to mention that this will be a two-part post (because I know that you love reading my voice) in honor of International Book Giving Day, which incidentally, falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day.

I’ll talk a little bit more about that in the second part but I will be talking even more about it on my twitter as the day gets nearer.

Whether you read 100 books a year or 10, you should recognize the importance of the public library. It is so important that libraries across the country, and around the world, stay open. American libraries provide so many services, but to name just a few:

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January 2019 | Wrap-Up

Another month gone.

I’ve seen some people claim that January went on forever, but honestly? It flew by for me! I can’t believe we are entering month two of 2019!

This month did go by fast, but I still managed to read some great books, write some (hopefully) great content, and find some great posts.

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Why I’ve Been Avoiding Anthologies | Book Discussion

I’ve hardly picked up any YA anthologies.

When I first started to enjoy reading, it wasn’t because of short stories. It was because of full-length chapter books like Holes or Nancy Drew. I only really began to understand the concept, structure, and amazingness of short stories when I began to take creative writing classes at school.

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How Much Value Should We Put in the Book Awards? | Book Discussion

In my opinion, not too much. Here’s why.

As January nears its end, most of the 2018 Book Awards have wrapped up and released their results. Some I read with joy, others with disdain, and others with total frustration – because the same books and authors were winning most of the awards. Again. And again. And again.

Which can be great when your faves happen to be among those books. But watching authors whose books didn’t even get that much buzz win simply because they’re big names in publishing didn’t sit well with me.

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