Source: Digital copy via the author
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
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?
For those of you who are considering to read this novel there are major trigger warnings for rape. It is mentioned twice in the book, once at 41% and once near the end, probably around 86%.
I really liked this one. I had a couple issues with some of the dialogue and the tone, but the majority it was a good novel. If you are looking for a book that shows good character growth and has a main character who is learning to really be themselves, this is the one for you.
I will say that at some points it felt a bit like info-dumping of backstories of the characters. We learned a lot about the side characters all at once rather than gradually getting to know them. I found this to be a bit jarring since it seemed as though we were only learning this information to make those characters seem like real people rather than in a natural way or for a real reason.
Penny seemed to have very stiff voice as well. While all the dialogue seemed to be stilted, I found it the worst with Penny and Archer, especially with their conversations to one another. Something that was meant to be funny or sarcastic didn't come across that way unless the author wrote in that it was supposed to be funny or sarcastic. It was hard to get through some of their conversations.
I still recommend giving this one a try, but as I said there are trigger warnings for rape.