Outspoken by Lora Richardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Barnes & Noble
Penny Beck is a girl who says yes when she means no. She keeps to herself, follows the rules, and does what she's told. After a disastrous experience with her boyfriend, she's determined to change from the spineless person she's always been into the strong woman she wants to become. All she needs is a little practice. On a cross-country trip to check on her grandpa, she strives to become bolder and more outspoken with the strangers she meets. Penny's plan is to practice saying and doing what she wants without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Then she meets Archer, an introspective loner to whom she finds herself drawn. She realizes she does care what he thinks, very much. Will Penny be able to stick to her plan, or will she revert back to her people-pleasing ways?
I almost fell....
Throughout the entire story, I was on the precipice of a cliff, coming dangerously close to falling in love with this book. Don't get me wrong, just because I didn't fall doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading Outspoken. In fact, it has been far too long since I've engaged in a good ole contemporary YA-romance. I definitely enjoyed the experience.
At first, the book started off a little slow, I felt like too much was being told to me. I wanted to actually be involved in the story, but once the story finally engages the reader, the momentum definitely picks up.
What was expected to be a story about a character's self discovery ended up being more about the relationship between Penny and Archer. However, I was completely and totally okay with this. I loved the slow development of their relationship. You definitely see something there from the start, but you get to experience it's growth.
There were also some great secondary characters; Penny's grandpa, George Baker (whom I lurved so much), Marissa, Mike...the list goes on. However, it was almost too much. With the addition of so many characters, I felt the author tried to tackle too much in one story. I kept wanting the focus back on Penny and Archer. With so much going on, I felt like some scenes were almost cut short. I was left thinking, "That part's over? What happened?" I can't help but feel that the shortened scenes were necessary in order to address all aspects of the story. I guess I just wished there was more focus.
Even in the end, after the last page, I was left with a bit of disappointment. "It's over?.....It can't be over." It just felt cut short. However, the author should feel proud that she created something special between Archer and Penny that had me craving more, I just wish I would have gotten it.
Definitely a unique YA-experience for those who need a fix.
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