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?
Lemme put this out there: I loved The Duff. The book was amazing and even the film, whilst not completely faithful to the book, is a fave for me. I loved it.
I also enjoyed Lying Out Loud. Did I enjoy it as much as The Duff? Not at all. Where The Duff was sassy and funny and cute, Lying Out Loud felt strained and pushed, like Keplinger was trying to channel the same style as The Duff but couldn't find it in her. I struggled to connect with Sonny or Ryder and I totally felt sorry for Amy.
I think because Sonny is a compulsive liar, I really didn't connect with her. I felt like I couldn't trust her, and despite the fact that she is nice and funny, I couldn't blame Amy or Ryder for reacting to her the was they did - Sonny wasn't an honest, good person.
But then I also blame Amy, for being the doormat that she was and letting Sonny get away with the things she did... and Ryder didn't really have a personality for me - he just served a purpose and that was all, so there was no connection there.
I felt that the story was predictable and despite the fact that Keplinger is clearly a brilliant writer, it didn't completely shine in Lying Out Loud.
That being said, this was the type of book that I could read in an afternoon and not have to be massively invested into. It's a cold autumn night book, and that was what I needed when I read this. Had I picked this book up expecting something deep and super meaningful I would have been disappointed, but I didn't so I guess I can say that despite it's flaws, I did enjoy this book.
Overall Rating: C
Book released 28th April 2015 by Scholastic
Book received for review for the author/publisher