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What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  936 ratings  ·  161 reviews
After a series of missteps in the face of his newly found fame, actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity and a chance to reevaluate his recent break-up with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. But soon after his arrival on the peaceful island, his solitary hike into the jungle takes him into danger he never anticipated.

As Charlie struggles with
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Stephanie Anze
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
After one bad interview, actor Charlie Outlaw manages to alienate the viewers of his hit tv show and to lose his girlfriend in one felt swoop. In an atempt to regain his focus, Charlie takes off to a secluded island, turns off his phone and hopes no one will recognize him. But what was supposed to be a tranquil getaway takes a harsher turn. Now Charlie finds himself in a situation much more precarious. Meanwhile Josie Lamar, Charlie's ex, is trying to reboot her career after being the star of a ...more
Catherine McKenzie
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love everything that Leah Stewart writes and this was no exception. I loved the inside into the actor's world--so fun! A great read.
Susan Johnson
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
The idea of two actors who specialize in playing self sufficient characters caught in a real life crisis sounded like it could be interesting. It wasn't. The story is told in present tense and the thoughts that run through the actor's minds are both boring and repetitive. They need better writers for their real life roles.

Charlie Outlaw is a famous TV actor who wants a break from his fame and takes off for a remote island. There he is kidnapped not because he's famous but because he's American.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our culture is ever so celebrity obsessed. There are those who, deservingly and often not at all so, have become permanent fixtures in our consciousness and these individuals and the disproportionate, merit free amounts of fame bestowed upon them tell a lot about us as a society. I’m not just talking about Kardashians, although they are the most obvious example. It’s a sensationalist ephemeral undeserved sort of fame, but it’s fame nonetheless and thus cloaks its recipients in a sort of magic co ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The only thing I didn't like about this book was how late it kept me up each night reading! Seriously. I've long been a fan of Stewart's work, all the way back to THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME, and this is my favorite of hers hands-down. She tackles the inner-life of two actors with depth, complexity and humanity, while also ramping up the tension in each chapter, as we race to determine the fate not just of Charlie Outlaw but of his relationship with Josie and the love between them as well. There hone ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
The best part of this book was the cover design.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Just didn’t do it for me. Never connected with any of the characters.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc
I thought this was going to be a lot more lighthearted than it was. The cover is so light and fun, I guess I expected the story to be, too. But not so much. This book is not bad, but I just never really felt connected to the characters. I had trouble understanding them and their motivations, so I never felt invested. Just a meh read for me.
Jillian Doherty
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Being a famous actor can't be easy, especially when your also famous girlfriend call it quits.
Charlie Outlaw seeks refuge on a remote island off the grid, but getting away soon turns into an adventure even his acting skills can't get him out of.

This thoroughly enjoyable suspense/thriller kept me guessing as it well illustrated being a beloved actor isn't all it's cracked up to be when you still have real problems.

As I never imagined I'd be able to guess what it's like from their perspective -
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to enjoy this book. In fact, there was a glimmer of hope in what I did read of this book. I got a third of the way in and put it down; intending to pick the book up again. Yet, when I got the time to do so, I felt no rush or need to want to pick it back up.

What I craved the most was humor and character connection. I didn't really experience either of these things from the bit that I read. Also, the story seemed to more slowly and without really rhyme or reason. With some more spit and
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a koooky, unusual pick, but an enjoyable summer break. For me, the draw was to the lives of actors -- a world in which I was once enjoyably entrenched -- so there was a familiar comfort to the characters. The plot was barely believable involving a kidnapping on a mystery island, but I couldnt help but enjoy the ride.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I tried with this book-it sounded like a great premise. I read 30 pages and was literally bored to tears. I already hated the characters because nothing was happening and with so many other books to read, I just could not continue.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a tedious and uneven info-dump.

Josie is a fading former TV star whose heyday was 20 years ago. Her younger boyfriend, Charlie, is a rising star. But Charlie says disparaging things about his star-making TV show (and his girlfriend) in an interview and his fans turn on him and Josie dumps him. So he heads off to an unnamed tropical island and ends up getting kidnapped. Meanwhile, Josie tries to keep a foothold in Hollywood and pines for Charlie (but also contemplates an affair with an old
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Good writing, boring story.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
3 stars, leaning towards 4

My main gripe is with the writing style, which is omniscient present tense, like the narration on Jane the Virgin, giving peeks into the future while focusing on the immediate present. It’s weird, and sometimes off-putting, and maybe a little tell-not-show.

The good stuff, however, is about actors and acting, and the strange in-between of being yourself but not being yourself, and observing yourself doing that, and then analyzing your observations. Stewart does a good j
Shirley Noffke
May 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Another bore for me, but others have liked.
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This zingy love story manages to make kidnapping and heartbreak seem fun. Charlie Outlaw is a famous actor who retreats to an unnamed island for some peace and solitude after his breakup with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. His tranquil vacation is interrupted by unforeseen danger and his new circumstances give him plenty of time to reevaluate his breakup. Josie, on the other hand, is trying to fill her time and loneliness by auditioning and riding on the coattails of her previous fame. She ...more
Wendy Bunnell
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This wasn't really for me. I abandoned it one-third of the way in. The writing was strong, but the subject matter and characters weren't really up my alley. I guess I don't really care that much about the craft of acting and the secret lives of actors, both currently popular and has-beens trying to make a resurgence 20 years after their heyday.

I have so many other books in my stack, it just didn't hold my interest.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much! I especially loved the moments that explored what it means to be an artist in the world, how giving one's self over to pursuing art requires a particular and constant vulnerability. Twice I got mad at myself for leaving the book at home rather than taking it with me so I could sneak a few extra pages during the day. I read it quickly regardless, because I had to know what happened next.
Karen Parisot
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A disastrous magazine interview causes rising star and Hollywood hunk Charlie Outlaw to lose the love of his life and social media to turn on him. Ouch! So, Charlie decides to get away from it all by running away to a remote tropical island. It turns out it isn’t quite the escape he had planned.
Delves deep into the psyche of the actor, exploring the process by which they approach their craft, their insecurities and the stress of fame. It also looks at what it is to be a victim and how traumatizi
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Free ARC from work. I picked it up because I'd seen some decent reviews and the cover looked so much like Where'd You Go, Bernadette's that I figured it might be worth a try. I really needed a zippy page-turner after reading several heavy and sad things (plus a few frustrating false starts). Perfect for a rainy weekend -- smart, suspenseful, decently witty dialogue.
Carol Custer
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Some aspects of this book were interesting, but overall it seemed rather a mishmash of styles. Was it a mystery? Romantic comedy? What? I didn't especially care for the characters so didn't really care '"what I didn't know about Charlie"'. It was just ok for me
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I expected to enjoy this more than I did, so 3 1/2 stars for a somewhat more than okay novel.

Charlie Outlaw is a successful actor who flies off to a remote island when his actress girlfriend, Josie, dumps him, and the Internet turns on him. Disgruntled locals hatch an ill-conceived kidnapping plan, not even realizing Charlie is someone famous.

The story toggles between Charlie's experience and the ex-girlfriend's life back in L. A. There is a lot of insight into the acting process, the actor's li
Leith Devine
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, it was a great one day read. Charlie Outlaw is a famous actor whose girlfriend Josie broke up with him after he publicly said some very stupid and embarrassing things. He decides the best thing for him to do is retreat to Costa Rica without telling anyone where he's going and lay low for a while. Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, a group of locals protesting a development decides that the best way to gain attention to their cause is to kidnap some tourists, collect the ransom and ge ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Really strange book, and I think I mean that in a good way?

The narrative voice is not a style I usually care for, distant and omniscient, in everyone's heads which also can mean it's in no one's head. I never felt super close to any character but was still curious about their fates.

Honestly the thing I found most compelling was the inside look at actors' working lives in Hollywood. It felt super authentic.

The parallel storylines - one set in Hollywood, the other on a remote island where the char
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrific! Hilarious and full of insights about the acting profession, relationships, definition of the self, tips for kidnappers, and general philosophical stuff ... Well written.
Roger Smitter
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Roger by: A give away from the Naperville Public Library
This is a fun read about celebrity (both sides of it), romance and adventure. And there’s a little bit of bad guys. It’s a fun read about celebrity peppered with advice from Stanislavski, et al. about the art of acting. There’s a terrific chapter that gives the reader an insight into the audition process.
Rebecca Lyman
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Ever wondered what it was like to be an actor? It's not something I ever really thought much about, but still while reading this book I found myself interested in a lot of the thought process that goes behind the acting gig. I'm an accountant myself and have never really been much of an actor (I really am an awful liar and am somewhat terrible at secret-keeping) but after reading this book I can say that I identify
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw brings us a story of two actors, Charlie and Josie at a point of their breakup, a possible harsh downfall of Charlie's career and Josie's struggle to revive her previously booming career. Charlie in an attempt to please everyone ended up hurting his love and his many fans. In a desperate act to distance himself from all of that he flees to an unknown island, which ends up to be a very bad idea. He's kidnapped by a group of locals that want to bring attent ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This took some time to get immersed in the story and the writing style. That being said, I felt like (in spite of their celebrity) it was surprisingly easy to relate to the characters.
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2018.13: What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw 1 21 Mar 29, 2018 12:21PM  
I'm the author of five novels: BODY OF A GIRL, THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME, HUSBAND AND WIFE, THE HISTORY OF US, and THE NEW NEIGHBOR. I teach in the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati.