I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I had just started to receive requests in my inbox after a stagnant period, and I was a bit unsure whether or not to accept this or not in the beginning. After reading over the descriptions a few times, I decided it was about time I read another YA novel. I felt from the description that I may be able to relate to the main character of the story, so I accepted the novel.
Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
‘Outspoken’ by Lora Richardson
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?
Outspoken is a YA novel set in America which follows the story of Penny, who travels across the states to try and start a new life whilst looking after her Grandpa who has fast developing dementia. She wants to try and become a more headstrong woman who can learn how to say no, and not agreed to everything. When Penny starts to meet new people, she stumbles across Archer, who later becomes the love interest of the book with a sticky past. Although having a slightly more interesting concept, this book followed the typical YA descriptors, with the protagonist on a journey to find herself and having her path cut by a love interest, so it was quite predictable, although some aspects were less so, leaving me hanging on to find out more about the character’s pasts. The ending wasn’t very climactic, because of the predictability of the plot line, but it was still a fast paced book which kept me interested enough. All in all, it was a cute little love story.
I found Archer to be the most developed character in terms of having a fuller background and more comprehensive past compared to Penny, but I felt like, as a person, I could connect more to Penny than I could to any of the other characters. Out of all of the character’s in the book, because of the development behind him, Archer probably felt the most real to me, especially when put next to characters like Marissa, Gwen and Mike, who all seemed like they could have had slightly more characterisation.
My favourite part of the book was when Penny talked to her parents towards the end of the book, about her plans and aspirations for the future, because her parents were so understanding, even though they knew they would miss her very much. I think I enjoyed this part the most because of being away from my family at university at the moment, it hit me quite close to home.
That scene in particular was written particularly well, but the rest of the writing seemed to be quite average, still good enough to read, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about it.
Overall, I would recommend this book, but maybe to teens slightly younger than myself (as I am now approaching 20 next year!), so maybe about 14-15 year olds. It’s difficult, because Penny is roughly around my age, yet I felt that the writing and story line didn’t reflect that as well as it could have done.
My Rating: 3.5 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)