Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Published by Scholastic on April 28, 2015
Goodreads: ★★★ 1/2
Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF – co-starring Bianca and Wesley.
Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go.
Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with – secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.
Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand – a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.
But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually ‘like’ him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?
The DUFF is a New York Times Bestseller and a major motion picture starring Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman and Alison Janney.
I was very hesitant to pick up Lying Out Loud after reading The DUFF this past May, but because I had received a copy for review, I decided to go for it. Lying Out Loud is a companion novel to The DUFF, meaning that it can be read as a stand alone, but takes place at Hamilton High just as The DUFF did. In addition, Lying Out Loud allows readers to catch up with characters from The DUFF, especially Wesley and Bianca. That being said, if you enjoyed The DUFF, I think you’ll really love Lying Out Loud, but if you haven’t read it, I recommend skipping it.
Lying Out Loud follows Wesley’s little sister Amy and her best friend Sonny, who has just moved in with Amy after trouble with her mom. The two friends are inseparable until a new guy named Ryder moves to town. He has a huge crush on Amy, but Sonny soon falls for him. Lying Out Loud follows Sonny as she tries to get Ryder to like her after she catfishes him by taking on Amy’s persona online. Along the way readers learn more about Sonny, and why she has come to use lying as a coping mechanism in her life.
I enjoyed Lying Out Loud much more than The DUFF, primarily because a lot of the issues I had with The DUFF were not present in this book. I can tell Keplinger’s writing has matured a great deal, and I was happy with the limited swearing and sexual content. Lying Out Loud is much better suited to a young adult audience than The DUFF is. Similarly, while I don’t typically enjoy characters who lie in books, I was able to accept Sonny’s behavior because the book’s plot focuses on her lying problem and why she feels compelled to lie. Lying Out Loud has a good message for younger readers, especially those who may be going through difficult times like Sonny.
In the same way, I really liked the characters in Lying Out Loud. I was able to connect with them, and I felt like they were going through real issues that today’s teenagers face. Sonny and Ryder, in particular, face tough challenges and struggle with overcoming them in the book. I also really loved the side characters of Amy’s parents. They were so kind and loving, and unlike many parents in young adult literature.
My main critique of Lying Out Loud is that everything seems to wrap up nicely and easily for everyone. Of course, I won’t get into the details so as to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say Lying Out Loud lives up to the ‘fluffy contemporary’ stereotype despite some of the hard-hitting issues discussed in the book. Because of that, I couldn’t give the book a higher rating despite enjoying the read overall.
Thus, I recommend Lying Out Loud for fans of The DUFF and for young adult contemporary lovers. It is a fun read that would be great for travel or for those who don’t have much time to read. I read this book over the course of three months and I didn’t have any issues remembering what was happening. This might be the perfect pick-up from the library on your next trip!
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