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?
From the author of The Duff.
I was so excited for this novel because I was such a huge fan of the The Duff. The characters in The Duff were interesting and sassy and they worked well together. But unfortunately, the characters in Lying Out Loud didn’t quite measure up.
The main character, Sonny, is a pathological liar, and has a very troubled home life. Let’s put her family life aside for just one second so I can be honest about her character without feeling guilty. I did not really like her that much. I found her annoying and irresponsible, and before anyone says “well yeah, but that’s because her mum kicked her out and she is forced to lie about everything etc etc”, I need to point out that she didn’t really seem to have enough redeeming personality traits. I didn’t sympathise for her because some of her lies were unnecessary, and I didn’t care for her because she didn’t seem to really care about anyone else. Her character seemed like a cardboard cut out, void of legitimate emotion or feelings that would suck the reader in.
I also didn’t like Ryder, who is a snobby, annoying, up himself boy in her class who she starts to like. He may be nice to her via emails (because he thinks that she’s someone else), but in person he’s a giant asshole. Again, he needs redeeming qualities to make up for how rude and annoying he is.
What Kody Keplinger does well: she captures modern high school well. She understands how teenagers use technology to stay in touch and the kinds of things that bother them or don’t bother them in school. She also understands the kinds of trivial (and major) things that can make or break a friendship and/or relationship in high school. And this did remind me of The Duff.
If you’ve read The Duff and you loved it, don’t pick up this book thinking that it’s on the same level. It’s an interesting YA story that you can read in one sitting, but the characters aren’t as likeable as Bianca and Wesley. I recommend you read this before reading The Duff.
My Score: 4/10