Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!
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?
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Enjoyable but frustrating
Lying Out Loud is not a prequel or a sequel, it is a self-contained story, which should not need to be read in a particular order with Keplinger's other titles... However there are a number of throw-away scenes in this book which refer to characters and relationships from her earlier titles. The scenes contribute nothing at all to the story, but rather slow the pace as well as giving away summaries of the entire plots of her other novels.It felt thoughtless and self-congratulatory of the author to include these, and I wish an editor had pulled them out of the finished book.
I lost patience with Sonny quite rapidly.At first her constant lying is mildly entertaining and a symptom of her home life / family situation. But her treatment of her best friend, the ingratitude she shows towards her, as well as the way she places her in an intolerable situation and then goes back on a promise she made to her for purely self-interested reasons, all made me very angry.Towards the end of the book, when it was completely obvious that her lies would be found out, it felt unrealistic that any person could be stupid or selfish enough to act the way Sonny does, at which point I hoped both the love interest and her best friend would simply wash their hands of her forever.
I enjoyed the scene where Amy's parents find out the real reason Sonny has been staying at their house. It was emotional and helped to regain some of sympathy and compassion for Sonny that was desperately needed by this point when I was starting to hate her.
Yes, overall I did enjoy it, but there were moments I wanted to fast-forward to avoid spoilers of other novels - and because those scenes contributed nothing to the story. It would have benefitted from tighter editing, as the whole 'when will the truth come out' part began to drag.
The narrator was great, I thought she got the voices of Sonny and Amy just right.