Author: Lillie Vale
Age Range: 13+
Published: By Swoon Reads on March 19th, 2019
Content Warning: Drugs & alcohol consumption and manipulative friendship
Format I Read: E-book
Grade: Exceeds expectations
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?
This book ended up on my 2019 anticipated contemporary reads list thanks to Simant @ Flipping Through the Pages. I signed up for the blog tour to support a desi author’s work. I didn’t have high expectations from it as contemporary romance is mostly unfamiliar to me.
Babe, the protagonist, was a flawed yet relatable character as she was afraid to explore who she was outside her comfort zone, which is a commonplace struggle for all teens. Her friend group was messy but it gave a realistic description of teenage friendships. However, this was my least favourite part of the book and I docked a star just because it didn’t work for me personally. My favourite was the love interest and summer boy, Levi. The chemistry between them was developed really well, both the good and bad parts of the relationship. The secondary characters were also fleshed out well and they felt like real people who you would run into in a small, tourist town.
I can’t really comment on the plot elements as I don’t read from this genre often. The story held my attention throughout and I thought that the scenes flowed naturally with an easy pace. Oar’s rest as a setting worked perfectly with the story. There were so many unique elements such as the sandcastle building competition and the different locations around the town that made it come alive in my mind. The author did a really good job of weaving the setting into the narrative to provided a vivid picture of all the locations. My favourite place was Babe’s lighthouse in which she stayed. I found the writing was pretty good for a debut author and would certainly read more from her. Overall, this is a fresh and adorable summer contemporary romance featuring a bisexual lead and perfect for a day out on the beach.
I recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance looking for bisexual rep. I also think it’s a good book to start with if it’s not a genre you’re into but want to try out. Any curated summer playlist would work very well in the background and some fresh baked goodies would go wonderfully with the book.
Have you read this book? Is it still summer where you live? What is your go-to recommendation for a beach read? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.