Title: The Paths We Choose (Lilac Town #2)
Author: M. Hollis
Release Date and Publisher: April 2017, Self-Published
Date Finished: April 10, 2017
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.
Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.
[I received an ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review]
[Review of this book is also found in my Goodreads]
I could easily remember how M. Hollis was still in the process of writing the Lilac Town novellas, and had given me the first drafts of The Melody of You and Me. If you’re a fan of cheesy and F-F romances, you definitely need to read this. It’s in the New Adult category, so do expect some steamy and naughty scenes mixed with the very cute moments. All the stories are short, but it’s the characters and their personalities that leave you wanting for more.
So for The Paths We Choose, I loved it more than the first book! The main reason I loved it so much was that it focused on the friendship and building of this friendship into something more between Lily and Mayte. Most romance novels typically ends with the main leads already in the serious phase of their relationship, but this one doesn’t. Lily and Mayte are still exploring themselves together and getting to know each other in the process, especially since it’s Lily’s first relationship. How the characters developed was really so cute that you just want them to be together in the end.
Also, the problem that Lily experienced with her family hit me the hardest. I have never read a book before that tackled on what happens to LGTBQ+ people who come out of their closet, but only to be shamed and hated by their family. I only seen in once in an episode of the TV show, Underemployed. So I was really emotionally attached to Lily and her well-being. But I liked how her little brother reached out to her, and how both of them were starting to mend things together. Kudos to Lily who remained strong and brave for what she did, despite her parents disapproval to her sexual orientation.
Another thing I love about these novels is the diversity among the characters. It’s a mix of skin color, culture, sexual identity, and so so much more! If you’re looking for books with a wide range of diversity, then this one is for you! The author did her research so well on each character’s identity that you might think that she’s everyone at the same time. I may not have been able to relate to the cultural side of Lily and Mayte, but her other character Josie (who was in The Melody of You and Me) I can relate to her so well because she’s Filipina like me! It was also lovely to see other side characters be given some spotlight, and that they too are POC and queer! I give this series an infinity star rating for diversity.
Over-all, this book was so much better than the first one! Still cheesy, yes, but it’s the good kind of cheesy. It’s a huge improvement in plot and character development, compared to the first book.
I can’t wait for the next one to come out soon! I’m really interested to see how Karen’s story goes!