Published: August 18th, 2015
Read from November 14th to 21st, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
This is another one of those books lately where it was okay, but I just didn't get into it very much. I'm starting to wonder if it's entirely me or the books. I don't know. What I can tell you is that at times, it was just really hard for me to get into Outspoken. There were points in the book where I got caught up in how cute Penny and Archer were together, but a couple of pages later I was struggling to stay as into the book.
I liked the concept of Penny wanting to use the summer to actually speak her mind, but it didn't feel like that actually was a large part of the book. It was brought up occasionally, but it never felt to me like Penny was really trying to do that. Of course, we don't get to see her before she makes that decision, but most of what she does didn't feel like an exercise in saying what she wanted. To me, it only felt like that a couple of times throughout the book, and I wish that had been more focused on.
While I did think Penny and Archer were cute together, I almost feel like their relationship took up the book too much, and there was too little focus on Penny's growth as a person. In the end, it felt like it was essentially a romance book and nothing more. There's nothing wrong with that, but I felt like there were beginnings there for a good story about Penny finding herself. And, in the end, it didn't feel like that aspect of the story got that satisfying of a conclusion.
The other big thing that took me out of the story over and over again was the dialogue. So much of the dialogue felt unnatural to me. It was a struggle to believe that people would actually say things like that out loud because the way it was worded didn't flow naturally or like how you would expect words to flow in conversation. That took me out of the story almost every other page it feels like and became very distracting.
In the end though, it was a cute story with a cute romance. People who enjoy cute romances might enjoy this book, and I really liked the romance aspect of this book.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.