Book Review: Live Out Loud by Heather Wardell


Amy's a hobbyist songwriter with big dreams, but not the usual 'making it as a musician' kind. No, Amy wants to honor her late best friend by finally starting the support center for teenage girls they'd dreamed of when they were just girls themselves. She doesn't know where to start, but when one of her songs becomes an overnight internet sensation she sees a quick path to the money she'll need to make the center a reality.

As white-hot pop sensation Misty Will, Amy finds a whole new world opening to her and realizes she loves being on stage holding an audience spellbound. She also loves how her young fans look up to her and draw strength from her songs, but of course they don't know the awful thing she did after her friend died and how badly she could have used a support center herself. She knows, though, and also knows that she simply has to leave her new pop princess identity behind and become Amy the center director as she's dreamed of for eight years.

Release Date:  August 31, 2011
Age Group:  Adult--Women's Fiction
Source: Review copy from author

I love Heather Wardell's writing so I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel.  I was expecting a character-driven story about a woman trying to balance her dreams, a career, and love and I was not disappointed.

Amy has been writing songs for years, and sets a goal for herself to create a CD of her music.  She is discovered singing in a local bar in Toronto, and a music career as a 'bubble gum pop princess' soon develops.  Amy has trouble finding the balance between writing songs that mean something and writing pop music.  She also receives a surprising amount of push-back from her boyfriend Jason.  She and Jason start to grow apart as a result of his jealousy over her sudden fame.  Amy has to decide what's really important to her: her glamorous life as Misty Will, or starting the support center she and her late friend Giselle always dreamed of.

Like Wardell's other books, the process of reconciling dreams and the real world is the bulk of the book.  I just love that about Wardell's writing.  I always feel like I can really identify with her characters, and Amy was no exception. 

Something kept me from really loving this book as much as I've loved Wardell's other books.  I think it was that there wasn't quite as much chemistry between the two main characters.  By chemistry, I mean a slow build from friends to more than friends.  I like reading about a slow-developing relationship---which was the case here; however, something felt missing as far as the attraction went.  I love that Wardell's women's fiction is not laden with a bunch of bedroom scenes like so many other adult fiction novels.  That gets old for me and it cheapens the story (in my opinion).  I'd rather read about love in action than read bedroom scenes.

Overall, I really enjoyed Live Out Loud and would recommend it to fans of women's fiction.  Go check out Heather Wardell's website here for a free download of her first book: Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tatoo

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kelli, for yet another insightful review! I love that you don't just pat me on the head and say everything's great. :)



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