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?
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger is a companion novel to The DUFF world. It follows main character Sonny and Wesley’s little sister Amy’s trials and tribulations with friendship, love, and high school drama.
As I have already read The DUFF, I am quite familiar with the world and style of writing chosen for these books. I knew ahead of time that this was going to be an easy lighthearted read like its predecessor. I found it entertaining but a little underwhelming. Here is why:
After reading the synopsis I was intrigued that there was more story to tell from the Hamilton High world but not so much with the story itself. This time following a different set of characters with some cameo’s from past favorites as well. The plot line was lacking more excitement, spunk, and more lovable characters. I’ve read a lot of books with similar aspects. The classic love triangle was the biggest downfall for this book for me. Boy likes girl, girl has no interest in boy, girls best friend likes boy. Maybe I was expecting too much from a book that was not living up to it.
As cat fishing is very relevant in this day and age I liked that it was used to drive the story forward. Possibly the only aspect of the story that saved it for me. I thrive on drama and secrets, so pretending to be your friend online to talk to the boy you like was actually entertaining. But unfortunately it went on for way too long. It started lagging when Sonny wouldn’t man up and tell people the truth. (I know that’s a contradiction to the title of the book, but it was getting boring).
The writing stays true to Keplinger’s signature style. There is humor, drama, and frustrating teenage banter. All makes for a quite enjoyable read but ultimately fell through for me in the execution of the characters.
Sonny as the main protagonist was a bit dull. She was a huge contradiction of a character. She makes poor decisions, lies about just about everything, even towards the people she supposedly loved. Why lie to the people who are being kind enough to put a roof over your head? I found her quite frustrating to read and had zero connections to her at all. I know she comes from an extremely horrible family life, so you would think she’d be more appreciative to the people that show her love and compassion. But nope.
Amy…. sorry, I fell asleep thinking about what to say about her. For a character who is Wesley Rush’s sister, she sure was a complete snorefest. Being pretty won’t get you far if you don’t have a personality to back it up!
Then we have Ryder. He was a complete jerk to Sonny for the majority of the book, thinking he was talking to Amy online instead. So when Amy is ignoring his advances, he starts to warm up to Sonny like nothing has happened. He too is having troubles on the home front, but I could not feel sorry for the guy. He was arrogant and rude the majority of the story and did not see the appeal in him whatsoever.
We have arrived in the halls of Hamilton High and the all too familiar home of the Rush’s. Being a teen romance novel, there really is not much to the setting. Most of the drama takes place at school or at home. The world is regular day America and there are no fantastical elements to speak of. (And by fantastical I mean swooning romancey scenes). So for the story that this is, the setting fits perfectly. My favorite setting would have to be the vacant home of Sonny. It really put into perspective the hard life Sonny is living with a runaway mother and a father who is prison.
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger was a bit of a downer for me. I didn’t love, nor did I hate it. It was an average story when I was expecting something more like The DUFF. If you’re a fan of its predecessor I would recommend to read it, but if not move on to your next book on your TBR!
Until next time,