Review: Outspoken by Lora Richardson

outspokenPublisher: Createspace (paperback)
Release Date: August 16, 2015
Pages: 252 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance (Young Adult)
Source: e-book (review request)
Rating: ★★★

“Real! She tossed the word around in her mind. She was ready to be real, to feel real.”

YA Contemporary is one of my all-time favorite genres. When I was contacted by Lora Richardson to read Outspoken in exchange for a review, I knew that I wanted to see what a new writer in the genre could do with it. Although my rating is 3 stars (though it’s really more like 3.5), I enjoyed a lot about it and wish I could give it a higher rating.

Penny Beck says yes a lot, no matter how much she wants to say no. Meaning, she kind of just does what everyone else wants her to do and doesn’t speak up. To get away from saying yes all the time, Penny decides to take a cross country trip to visit her grandfather. I absolutely loved that idea. I liked that instead of just sending Penny somewhere completely alone, Richardson sent her somewhere where she could deal with her own personal struggles and also be near someone who she could trust. She’s also there to be there for him, but she doesn’t move into his house and she is completely self-sufficient, getting an apartment and a job. That has to be a big feat for someone used to letting other people run her life. Personally, I think that Penny deserves a round of applause for taking charge so quickly.Read More »

The Friday 56: Outspoken

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple: Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader and post a line (or two)! Just be sure to not spoil the book. I’m currently reading Outspoken by Lora Richardson.

outspokenTitle: Outspoken
Author: Lora Richardson
Status: 72%
Genre: Contemporary, Romance (Young Adult)

At her words, something relaxed inside Penny. She wasn’t good at going all in, or letting go of fear.

I’ve been reading this book recently and I can really relate to Penny and her personality. This quote is a great example of that. I completely understand where Penny is coming from, and I admire her for taking her life in her own hands, despite fears. There’s a lot in this book that I feel can be a great lesson for the reader to do something for themselves, even if it’s not as drastic as going cross country alone.

I’ll post a full review of Outspoken once I’m finished reading it.

What are you reading this Friday?

Mini Review Monday #1


Title: Everybody Rise
Stephanie Clifford
St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: 
August 18, 2015
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit (Adult)
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★

First of all, Happy Birthday to Everybody Rise! It was released today and I’ve seen it on a lot of lists recently, so it looks like it has been anticipated by a lot of people. I mentioned this book last Monday in a WWW Wednesday post, but I wanted to give it some more attention. Like I said in that post, I received it from House Party/Chatterbox in exchange for an honest review. The book is set in 2006 and revolves around a 26-year-old woman named Evelyn. She lives in a community where money and appearance is everything, and she does have a similar upbringing to a lot of the people around her, but she’s not old money. That’s where the problems arise. In order to keep up with the lives that everyone else is living as well as keep her job, she begins to embellish her life and background a bit. The story itself was just fine and I think Stephanie Clifford is a talented writer, so this is something that I would have picked up on my own eventually, but I’m not sure if the world Evelyn, her friends, family, and acquaintances lived in translated well into 2006. At least not for me. There was something about it that was off for me most of the time. I’m well aware that money and status is still extremely important to a lot of people, though, so perhaps I haven’t read enough about high society in the last 10 years. My favorite parts of the book were learning about the etiquette and all of the details that Clifford included to pull you into their world, but I gave this book 3 stars because I felt that the time taken to flesh out characters and the community wasn’t given to the relationships in the book and that made it seem as if some chapters or scenes were missing. And, sadly, I just wasn’t rooting for Evelyn by the end of the book. To be honest, I’m not sure I was supposed to like her.

frenchfashionTitle: A Decade of French Fashion, 1929-1938: From the Depression to the Brink of War
Mary Carolyn Waldrep
Dover Publications
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Pages: 112 pages
Genre: Non-fiction, Fashion, History
Source: Digital ARC from NetGalley
Rating:  ★★★★★

This is different from the types of books I usually feature on here, but I saw this available on NetGalley last week and I had to request it. I love fashion, especially women’s fashion from the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s, and I know very little about the actual details, so this was a great read. It would make a fantastic coffee table book to flick through for character inspiration if you’re a writer or artist, or if you just want to look at pretty clothes that you don’t see people wear anymore. Not only are the pages filled with beautiful clothes, there is a lot of information in the book. I learned about the different kinds of outfits that women in this time period had for everyday life and special events, from afternoon frocks to outfits they wore to day and evening events. There’s also information about the different kinds of fabrics that some of the outfits were made from, including animal skins that I had never heard of people using for clothing. it was also fascinating to see just how the state of a country and the world can change the way people dress. The 1920s usually make people think of flapper style outfits, but the depression changed that. That’s one reason I find fashion to be an important part of history and I’m glad I decided to read this. It’s an extremely quick read, but it’s one I would love to look through again.

Review: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

arrangedPublisher: William Morrow/Harper Weekend
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance (Adult)
Source: e-book from library
Rating: ★★

“Everyone’s path to here is unique, Anne. It’s what you do from here that counts.”

In an age of multiple dating sites and apps, it’s not a stretch to consider a dating service. But what happens when that dating services turns out to be an arranged marriage service? Would you take the plunge or run?

Read More »

The Friday 56: My Life Next Door

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple: Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader and post a line! I’ve never taken part in this, but I’m actually around page 56 of the book I’m currently reading and thought it’d be fun to share a line and include some short thoughts.

mylifenextdoorTitle: My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door #1)
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Status: 60/394 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance (YA)

“But I can swim now. I can swim really good. And she knows how to back dive. She could teach me to back dive.” While wearing the baby and holding George’s hand? I’d need to be Sailor Supergirl.

I haven’t made it very far into this book yet, but it’s great so far. It reminds me a lot of Sarah Dessen’s books  (which is always a wonderful thing), so I can’t wait to continue reading it.  The characters all have their own personalities and I’m loving that.