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Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of seventeen self-published novels including the free ebook "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" which has had over 385,000 downloads.
She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and has no plans to leave it.
In her spare time, she reads, runs, swims, crochets, takes care of her aquarium and her cat Trinity, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.
on Nov. 16, 2011 :
Amy is a talented songwriter and singer who accidentally falls into stardom when a video of a private performance that she gives is posted on a blog and goes viral. The next thing she knows she's being stuffed into too-tight clothing with matching wigs, she's moved to a more secure apartment, she has her own bodyguards, and she has become the singing sensation Misty Will.
Her willingness to do all it takes to become a music sensation is more than what it seems on the surface, though. Amy loves singing and performing, but what she really needs is the money that her opportunity will provide her with to start the center for troubled young girls that she and her late friend, Giselle, had always dreamed of opening. As Amy becomes more involved in the world of Misty Will, and as the money that she needs to start the center is deposited into her bank account, she starts to reexamine what it is that she truly wants from life and is torn: does she continue being Misty Will or does she start the center and honor her friend's memory? The answer seems clear, but is she making the right decision?
I'm a long time fan of Heather Wardell and there's lots to love about Live Out Loud. My favorite part had to be the underlying message that clearly comes across: live your dreams with no apologies. All too often we feel pressured to do something with our lives that will make others happy, but it's easy to lose sight of what will make us truly happy. Amy struggles with these issues throughout the book as she tries to decide if she should follow her dreams or follow the dreams of her late friend in her memory. I also enjoyed the developing romance present in the book. It felt genuine and realistic to me, and I was happy when Amy was able to find someone able to deal with her instant stardom. The plot was fresh and current. I'm a big fan of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and there have been tons of times when Ellen invites someone on her show who has posted a video of themselves on YouTube and has become almost instantly famous. With all of the technology at our fingertips this kind of thing is happening all of the time and the plot resonated with me.
That being said there was one thing in this book that I had a problem with. Amy, as a character, did not always feel real to me. It had nothing to do with her fame, but with her reactions to certain events in her life. Despite her fame she didn't seem to change a bit, and I didn't find that realistic. She was careful to watch out for others, and she got along with almost everyone that she met, but I think that all of us has an inner bitch that does come out to play once in a while, and that we can't be "on" 24-7. I just wish that she would have shown some kind of selfishness or diva-like behavior along the way. It wouldn't have made me like her any less, I just would have felt that she was more human.
Live Out Loud is well-written, relevant, and interesting, with plenty of things to love about it. I can easily recommend it to my fellow chick lit fans.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 15, 2011 :
Live Out Loud is not your average girl-turned-superstar story. Amy is a songwriter with dreams of opening a center for teenage girls. It is to honor her deceased best friend's memory and to carry out their plan. All she needs is start-up money. Then Amy's friend posts a live performance on her blog and suddenly Amy is an internet sensation. She had gone viral.
Becoming a pop princess was the perfect, quick solution to raising money for the center. It isn't long before Amy comes to love her music career, Misty's crazy colorful costumes and the media attention.
But everything isn't so great off stage. Vague faxes are sent with creepy messages. Her boyfriend seems distant and clearly not supportive of his pop princess girlfriend. And someone from the past exposes her secret through blackmail. Meanwhile, Amy struggles to maintain her true identity, in the midst of "Misty" stardom.
This was my first book read by Heather Wardell, but not the last. I've already downloaded another one of her eBooks titled Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo (currently free for Kindle or NOOKbook). Her writing style is clear, organized and easy to read. The main character's situation seemed unrealistic though. I understand how easy it is to get famous after going viral. But getting signed so quickly, releasing new music every week and touring North America and Europe happened a bit too fast. Putting that aside, I enjoyed reading Live Out Loud.
The eBook can be purchased for only $.99 so download a copy today. I recommend it for light reading, music industry lovers and those who seek a dream. Amy's determination in reaching her ultimate goal and working for her dream is inspiring.
Disclaimer: This book was received from the author for review purposes. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
(reviewed within a month of purchase)