Release Date: 2nd July 2015
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Revisit Hamilton High in this must read for fans of The DUFF – co-starring Bianca and Wesley.
Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies her dad about 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 realises 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 realise 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?
I’m a huge fan of Kody Keplinger’s novels so it was no surprise to me that I thoroughly enjoyed Lying Out Loud.
Friendship at the centre of a YA is something that is, thankfully, becoming more and more prevalent in YA, and Kody does it perfectly in her fourth offering. Sonny is in a bit of a pickle with her mum and without her best friend Amy, she’d be sleeping in her car (Gert, a very unreliable old girl). They’re the kind of friends that people would be confused to see separately. The kind of friends who will do anything to make the other happy, even if they’re not convinced it’s a great idea. And so ensues some trouble for Sonny and Amy.
The best thing about Amy and Sonny’s friendship is how imperfect it is. They hurt each other unintentionally, they had secrets and didn’t always tell each other the truth, but underneath everything, they’re unfailingly loyal and love each other wholeheartedly. As Sonny says, they’re unromantic soulmates and I know exactly what she means as I have one too. This is a genuine friendship, a lasting friendship and I loved reading about how it developed and changed as Sonny fell for Ryder and trapped herself in her own lies.
There’s quite a lot of drama, some tense arguments, an 80s movie-style grand gesture and some sage advice from Wesley and Bianca from The DUFF (who are still a couple and at university in New York together *squee*) for them to get on track to work it out. As Sonny’s lies come out and the truth of her situation and her feelings for Ryder, Amy, the Rushes and her parents are heard, everyone begins to learn that there’s a lot more to the people in their lives than what they say or do in each other’s present. Everyone is complex, contradictory and so much more than they seem and what an important thing to learn, especially as a teenager.
Kody Keplinger hit the jackpot again with lovable, complex characters, an intriguing story and writing that’s effortless to read. So how long do I have to wait for her next one?
Thanks to Hodder for the review copy!