The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis [Reviews]: Perfect F/F Contemporary Novellas!

My Thoughts:

The Melody of You and Me is a short, sweet, and sexy f/f romance novella. It’s a novella about girls loving girls, with issues such as coming out and “finding yourself”, that were handled really well.

What I liked:

  • First of all, our main character, Chris, is pansexual. It’s a sexuality that’s not really that represented in books, so I really loved that it was explicitly stated here. The word “pansexual” is uttered in text and the characters accept this with no problems whatsoever.
  • Chris is struggling with her life because she doesn’t know what she wants to do with it. She’s “stuck” in a rut, and is trying to figure out what she’s good at and what she loves. This struggle is so relatable to me and I’m sure to a lot of teens and “new” adults; and it was nice to see because it’s comforting to know we’re not alone.
“Why do they never let young people stop to think? Why is it unacceptable to take a little time to figure out what she wants to do with her life?”
  • Chris and Josie’s relationship is relatively drama-free. We don’t waste precious time on angst or misunderstandings, because from the beginning we know  that Chris and Josie are into each other. The only issues they have is when Chris is tip-toeing around Josie because she doesn’t know if Josie is into girls or not, which was actually pretty cute. The dilemma of wondering whether or not a girl is flirting with you is SO real and amusing (you know, when it’s not happening to you…) .
“This isn’t flirting, right? She’s just being funny… and friendly.”
  • The book tackles some great issues! It has a scene where Josie is coming out as a lesbian and it talks about heteronormativity and it felt so organic!
“Some people never date boys or people from other genders but are still attracted to them. There are lesbians who date boys before understanding the roles that heteronormativity tires to force them into.”
  • The romance. They have cute pizza and movie dates! I seriously loved this more than I should, but it was cute! I loved these little moments where we could see them falling for each other.
  • It’s sex positive. There are a couple of explicit sex scenes, and some masturbation scenes as well.
  • Diversity! We already know Chris is pansexual, and Josie is a lesbian, however Chris’ roommate Mayte is bisexual, and her Lily, her co-worker is queer. Josie is also dark-skinned filipino, and Mayte is afro-cuban (Mayte is featured more in book 2).

What I didn’t like:

  • The writing. This is a “me” problem, more than the author’s problem. I don’t click very well with third-person narrative, so it took me a while to get used to it.
  • The pacing. Since it’s a novella, there’s not much time to develop things, so I found the ending a bit rushed, because I wanted the book to be longer!

Overall, I really enjoyed this novella. It’s an easy read, and the f/f aspect is too good. A perfect fluff romance.


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My Thoughts:

Honestly, if you liked The Melody of You and Me, you’ll love The Paths We Choose!

“Lily had been single all her life; nothing needs to change in her opinion. Why open herself to love’s disappointments and expectations when you can just live wild and free?”

This book had so many things great things going for it, and it hit all the marks.

First of all, we have Lily, our pink-haired protagonist who has been hurt by her family before and thus enjoys having complete control over her life. I loved many things about her, like the fact that Lily is headstrong and independent, but also that she’s confident and unapologetically herself. Lily knows what she deserves and isn’t afraid to ask for it.

Another thing that makes this book great is that there’s an amazing group dynamic here. Lily has roommates, and we got to see how all of them interacted with each other, which was so heartwarming. Sometimes we don’t see many good and positive female friendships, but this book had a group of girls being best friends with each other! This book reinforces the idea that family is who you choose, and I loved that Lily’s roommates were so important in this story. ❤

The romance was so good! It has the “no strings attached” trope, which made seeing Lily and Mayte fall for each other all the more entertaining! I will say that I wished I could’ve seen more scenes with them falling for each other. I was left wanting more cute scenes or dates between them.

I LOVED the sex scenes in this book. The characters go through different discussions about what they like and don’t like, and there’s consent and general communication that’s sometimes lacking in NA. I LOVEEEEED this and I hope it starts being a constant in the future.

There’s a great discussion about labels and sexuality, which was handled really well in text. Not to mention, there was also a discussion about being Latinx which resonated with me as well. I love how the author always integrates different issues into her books so seamlessly.

There’s a lot of diversity in this one, even more than in the first book! Lily is Brazilian and queer, Mayte is afro-cuban and bisexual, one of Lily’s roomates is Brazilian as well, there’s black rep, more queer rep… I swear, I think the whole cast is PoC and queer. This is also #ownvoices for the latinx and sapphic rep!

Lillac Town feels to me like a utopian setting where girls can fall in love with each other and be happy. With The Paths We Choose, M. Hollis created a place where I wish I could live; a place where I could find true friendships and happiness. While there’s not much of a plot other than Lily’s character development and the romance, I really enjoyed this installment in the Lillac Town series. I can’t wait for the next novella.

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