Living Out Loud by Staci Hart

Hello, lovely readers and writers!

This week I read the newest release by Staci Hart. The story is based on Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen which threw me for a trip a few times in the story. Usually, comedy is her thing when it comes to romance novels, but she was able to capture a dramatic storyline beautifully. This is probably the sixth or seventh novel I’ve read by her, Wasted Words being my first about a year or so ago.

“Even when we can’t go on, we go on. Because the world keeps turning and the clock keeps ticking and our hearts keep beating even if we sometimes wish they would just stop. And so what else can we do with that inevitable time but honor the ones we lost by finding joy again? I’ve come to find that it’s the only way I’ve been able to stitch what’s left of me back together.”

 Living Out Loud by Staci Hart


Annie has a list of firsts. Since she’s had a heart condition from a young age, she’s decided now that she’s moved to New York that she should start living out loud, and this list is supposed to help her accomplish that. Meeting Greg was the best thing to ever happen to her because she gained a friend who would be there to help with each item on her list, going above and beyond. Too bad he’s so much older and could never ever like her because then he really would be too perfect.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Sometimes the language, obviously inspired by Jane Austen, would take me out of the story, especially at the beginning of the novel. I realized halfway through how important it was for her to use that tactic, but at first, it had me feeling as if the story wasn’t very realistic.
  • Annie made me angry at certain parts. I know she’s naive, but she really should have known better and to speak up for herself more than she did. Around the middle of the story, she had me very frustrated.
  • There wasn’t much family development for Greg. I kept wanting more scenes of him at home with his family or for them to have to go through something of their own, but it never happened. No resolution to their problems.

What I Liked:

  • The wonderment of the story. Annie was so adorably innocent and naive that it had me smiling, especially seeing her through Greg’s eyes throughout the novel. I wanted to watch her dreams come true.
  • Greg was very sweet and such a different kind of hero. The fact that he longboarded to work every day had me interested in his character. Him having a car would have been easy, but the longboard was a commitment to his character. He definitely would have had enough money to travel a different way, but he decided to keep it casual and cheap. Very interesting.
  • The ending! I was crying during the huge climax of the story and absolutely loved the resolution. I didn’t want it to end, but I was reading it so quickly to find out what was going to happen.


I loved it! I had a rocky start with the language, but that’s only because most people in modern times don’t speak as if they’re in a Jane Austin novel anymore. I thought it worked for the story, especially later on, but at first, it felt out of place in contemporary times.

Besides that, once I got into it, I got into it and couldn’t put it down. I woke up early to finish the novel before going back to sleep until I was actually ready to get up for the day.

P.S. I really hope there’s going to be another novel in this world, targetting Annie’s older sister Elle’s relationship. They left things with her open-ended and I want to find out what happens!

Thank you for reading!

Ever read a novel by Staci Hart before? Did you read this one? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to talk about it!

Interested in learning more about Staci Hart? Check out her website (she runs a blog here), follow her on Amazon, or use the Facebook link I have at the top of the post! She’s such an amazing indie-author and she’s worthy of following if you have any interest in self-publishing or the indie scene.

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