Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication Date: August 16, 2015
Format/Source: digital copy from the author
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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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?
My favorite part of the novel was definitely the characters. They all had such unique backstories and personalities, and it was really interesting to learn about their quirks. On the other hand, however, their interactions with each other were a bit forced and the flow seemed a bit off. Speaking of which, the chapters sometimes cut off in the middle of a conversation. I understand why a specific line was chosen, as it packed a punch, but at the same time I was waiting for an argument or some sort of conclusion to the conversation and it never came.
I liked the idea of the story, as I could connect to the main character, Penny, in many ways. However, the story seemed a bit rushed and although I could see the changes in Penny, I would have liked to see a bigger character arc and a more gradual change. For a majority of the story, I thought she was pretty outgoing and successful, with only the occasional struggle in her "No Quest".
The romance was okay, but I thought it was a bit abrupt. I think Penny and Archer were good together, but it did seem a bit instalove-y to me. Perhaps I just did not have a good sense of time in the novel though, as months went past when I thought only days had. Maybe that was my own problem for not keeping track, but it was a bit difficult to tell the shift in time throughout.
There were a few things that threw me off guard, like the mention of rape and drugs a few times throughout the story. This did unnerve me, so I'd definitely be wary if those types of things bother you. It is not a huge part of the story, and it is not too graphic, but just be cautious.
All in all, Outspoken was a decent read. It did not blow me away, but I still ended up liking it enough. I would still recommend giving it a try if you like the sound of the story, it just was not quite the book for me.
My Rating: ✪✪