Review: Broken Outsider by Lora Richardson #NewRelease

by Lora Richardson
Series: Sparrow Sisters #3
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2020
Source: Author

Valerie Sparrow loves boys. She likes looking at them, talking about them, dating them, and most of all, kissing them. The one thing she refuses to do is have relationships with them. She can’t count the number of times she’s come across a girl crying over a boy. She wants the fun parts, not the crying parts, so she doesn’t let her heart get involved. But when a gorgeous new guy moves to town, she begins to think things she doesn’t want to think and feel things she’s afraid to feel.

Wes Callahan wants a fresh start. He left his troubles behind in Chicago, but his heart is still bruised. He’s not sure he can trust anyone again, especially not in this town where he’s an outsider and everyone else has known each other their whole lives. Hoping to get through the year without opening his heart, he meets Valerie, a candid, fascinating girl who makes him rethink this plan.

When Wes’s father gets called into service with the National Guard, the Sparrow family invites him to live with them for two months. The only condition is that Wes is off-limits. That’s no problem for Valerie, because she doesn’t do relationships. Right?

In this third and final book in the Sparrow Sisters series, it felt like the small town of Alden and its residents were welcoming me back with open arms. The familiar faces and places helped make this another heartwarming read from Lora Richardson.

Valerie was the Sparrow sister that was outgoing and carefree and bounced from boy to boy, never interested in more than casual dates and kisses. She’d seen too many heartbroken girls crying over boys to risk her own heart. That started to change when Wes moved to town. Still reeling from his parent’s recent divorce, Wes was feeling guarded and reluctant to trust anyone. But Valerie’s vivacious charm and openness had him willing to take a chance. But how did a boy who didn’t do casual have a future with a girl who didn’t do serious?

Valerie did a lot of changing and growing over the course of the story and I appreciated her willingness to let go of old habits and beliefs and consider new ideas. Seeing her open up to someone who was worth the risk made me want to cheer for her. And Wes was definitely a boy worthy of the chance. Having moved to Alden from Chicago, he was not only experiencing a bit of culture shock, but also feeling pretty raw after his parent’s divorce and being treated badly by those he considered friends. I really liked how even though he was hesitant to trust again, he was still willing to put his heart on the line when it came to Valerie. While there was very little conflict, it was refreshing to just let the story flow without any drama and angst.

Valerie’s sisters and parents played a significant role and it was great to see the focus on such strong family connections. Add to that a slow-burn romance (very much on the sweet side), a coming-of-age theme, and a small-town setting, and you have a heartfelt story that felt like a Hallmark movie for the young adult set.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.


  1. I love Hallmark movies, so I would be all in on this one.

    1. This was such a sweet series and the small town setting definitely gave it that Hallmark feel. :)

  2. Sometimes it's nice to read a story that doesn't have too much drama!

  3. I love when you get to see a character grow and change throughout a book. I'm reading one that does the same right now and it makes me respect them even more.

  4. I like low drama books, especially at the moment. I'm all for Hallmark-esq feels too!
    The guy on the cover of this book reminds me of the guy who plays Roy Harper in Arrow.

    1. So many of the books I read are angsty and dramatic so sometimes I just crave lighter reads like this one.