June 18, 2018

Living Out Loud by Staci Hart ~ #BookReview

June 18, 2018 

Title: Living Out Loud
Series: Austen #3
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: February 1, 2018 
Source: ARC for an honest review 

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

My Rating:  


Bestselling author Staci Hart brings you another installment of the Austen Series, inspired by the works of Jane Austen, with a heartfelt contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility.

When Annie Daschle arrives in New York City, the only thing she can control is her list. 

Not her father’s death or the loss of her home. Not the hole in her heart or the defective valve that’s dictated so much of her life. But she can put pen to paper to make a list of all the ways she can live out loud, just like her dad would have wanted.

See the city from the top of the Empire State Building: Check.
Eat hot dogs on the steps of The Met: Check.
Get a job at Wasted Words: Check.

What wasn’t on her list: Greg Brandon. And just when she thinks she’s figured out where to put him, everything changes. In the span of a few staggering heartbeats, she finds herself her caught in the middle of something she can’t find her way out of, with no clear answers and no rules.

List or no list, she realizes she can’t control anything at all, not even her heart. 

Not the decisions it makes, and not the moment it stops.

Living Out Loud is an emotionally stirring and well written novel. I loved Annie so much! I liked her sisters and the close relationship they have with their mom. They're working through their loss together as a family, and I appreciated that. Also, Annie gets a job at a bookstore, so score! That automatically guarantees I'll read the story.

Greg was amazing!! I couldn't have been happier with his character. He isn't 100% perfect, which makes him authentic, and he just made the book for me. Loved him! 

I wasn't happy 60% into the story with the introduction of Will, which ends up creating a lukewarm love triangle between Greg, Annie and Will. I didn't think his character was needed, and he was an unwelcome addition, hence one of the reasons I took a star away in my rating. The story began to lag. 

Another reason I rated this book four stars rather than five is due to Annie's naivety. I get that New York City would be an overwhelming place for someone her age to navigate and feel at home there, but she seemed to have NO qualms when it came to trusting complete strangers. You still have to have your wits about you to keep yourself safe. While I appreciated her positive outlook, I also thought she needed a small dose of reality. 

I wanted more scenes where Greg and Annie are together. Whenever they were talking or near each other, I wanted more. Greg is truly a great love interest to root for.   

Living Out Loud inspired me to begin to truly live rather than to simply drag myself along to exist. The novel tackles grief, family, love and figuring out how to go on after the death of a loved one. I recommend it!    

Thanks for visiting Donnie Darko Girl! 

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