Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication: Hachette Children’s Books
Release Date: April 28 2015
Spoilers: Not really 🙂
Special: YABC Staff Review (e-ARC)
First of all, thank you Hachette Children’s Books for this review copy! I’d already enjoyed reading The DUFF a lot, and this book promised to be set in the same world, and might even be better. So thanks again for getting me this book!
Lying Out Loud, shortly called LOL, is set in Hamilton, just like The DUFF did. The DUFF is a great book, but it doesn’t really left an impression on me as much as I hoped it would do. With LOL, this is different. LOL takes place in the future, after The DUFF, and is about Sonya – Sonny. She struggles with telling people the truth, she’s a chronic liar. She’s best friends with Amy. And Amy we know from The DUFF: she’s Wesley Rush’s little sister.
“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?” [Goodreads]
The novel starts off with Sonny sneaking in and out of the Rush’s house, since, according to her, her mother kicked her out and her father is in prison. As a reader, you immediately learn that Sonny isn’t much for telling the truth. She rather covers everything uncomfortable up with a lie. But the seriousness of her telling lies only surfaces later on in the novel.
One night, Amy gets a IM on her laptop from Ryder, the snobby guy from DC the girls can’t stand. Only it’s not Amy who’s reading the messages, it’s Sonny. They send him a rude message, since he’d been crushing on Amy, and now he was asking why Amy had done that and whether Sonny was involved. Slowly, Sonny and Ryder get involved more and more. The only problem: Ryder thinks he’s chatting with Amy, not with Sonny.
The story unfolds in ways The DUFF did, only better. There’s a lot more to the story than one thinks when starting LOL. I didn’t expect it to be this good. The storyline is very dynamic. Since Sonny is lying – A LOT – everything turns out different than one might expect. Yet, in some way, it felt like I knew what was going to happen all along. I was rooting for Sonny, hoping that eventually she would tell the truth to Ryder and wouldn’t push Amy around anymore, but her lies seemed to get the best of her every time.
As for the characters, they have evolved since The DUFF. In my opinion, there were no real flat characters. I was a bit surprised by Amy’s parents, since they didn’t leave the best impression in The DUFF, but Keplinger brushes that off very quickly. For that matter, I think there are some gaps between The DUFF and LOL. But it doesn’t really ruin the story line.
Overall, I’m very positive about LOL. I found myself picking it up at 10 am in the morning and finishing it at 9pm just minutes ago (all the while my family and I drove to our holiday destination and all). So plus points for being addictive!
I would recommend this book to everybody who enjoyed The DUFF, but also for people who like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, If I Stay and any John Green book (but less dramatic). I believe this story will stay with me for a while.