Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Scholastic on April 28th 2015
Also by this author: A Midsummer's Nightmare, The DUFF, Secrets and Lies, Run
Format: Hardcover (304 pages) • Source: Library
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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?
I am definitely a Kody Keplinger fangirl. I’ve now read three of her books, with just one more YA one to go, and they’re all superb. She uses the formula of flawed character + hate-to-love romance like a goddamn pro. I love the way she takes these extremely REAL teenagers and gives them some opportunities to grow and learn. They’re not perfect by the end, but they’ve been changed in some way and learn to be better people.
Lying Out Loud is definitely no exception. Compared to the other two I’ve read, the main character is probably the most flawed of all. Sonny is a liar. She has a terrible “home” life and uses lying as a defense mechanism for just about everything in her life. Her best friend Amy, the younger sister of Wesley from The DUFF, is pretty much a saint. These two are definitely in a codependent relationship, but in the best possible way. (I shipped them even more than the romance, which is saying a lot!) When her and Amy get mixed up in this lie with the new boy in school, Ryder, Sonny risks destroying her relationship with both of them because of her lies.
What I Loved
- The chemistry and banter: As Debby calls it, the banterfluff in this book was perfection. Ryder and Sonny hate each other at the beginning, but then feelings start to grow. (At least, they do for Sonny!) I loved it. Keplinger’s hate-to-love romance is always the best because it’s so believable. Ryder is kind of pretentious because he’s used to living the life of a politician’s son in DC, but he has a lot of family drama that isn’t apparent right away. He was pulled away from the life he knew right before the end of high school.
- The friendship and family: As I said before, the friendship between Amy and Sonny was excellent. Amy’s family takes Sonny in when she needs it (even though they don’t know why she needs it) and truly treats her like one of their own kids. No matter what happens between them and all of the drama Sonny creates, you know they’re likely going to be friends forever. I totally shipped their friendship.
- The cameos: Ah, companion novels. I love you so much. It was EXCELLENT to see so much of Wesley and Bianca in this book, especially because I think it happens a few years later. (AKA, they’re still together and perfect.) There was even a little cameo by Nathan and Whitley from A Midsummer’s Nightmare! All of my babies <3 I also think there may have been a small mention of characters from Shut Out, which I still have to read. Not sure about that though, I just got a weird feeling.
- The real teenager feel: I loved that sexting was included in this book because I don’t feel like it usually is! There are so many things that Keplinger includes that just make teenagers seem real to me. I do like John Green, but his teens are always pretentious and too intellectual. Keplinger’s characters literally remind me of real high school students like I once was.
What Didn’t Work
- The pacing in the first half: I felt like there were a lot of things happening quickly, and it left me wondering what the heck was going to happen in the rest of the book. The flow and pacing was just a bit off. Once I got going into the second half, it definitely improved. It just seemed like there wasn’t a lot of story left to tell at first.
- The extremely flawed MC: I know, I know. I said how much I love the flawed, messed up main characters that Keplinger creates… but Sonny was a BIT too much for me. She lied about literally everything and I didn’t feel like I knew much more about her personality. It was hard to see why Amy wanted to be friends with Sonny, because Sonny kind of ruled them both. At times the lying felt a little extreme, although I did understand where she was coming from a lot of the time. I just couldn’t connect with Sonny as much as I’d usually like.
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