Book Review: Lying Out Loud

Lying Out Loud (Companion to The DUFF)
Published By: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Page Count: 304
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Young Adult - Contemporary

Man, I needed this book. I spent weeks wading through just 100 pages of a dull-as-ditchwater legal thriller, which I eventually had to ditch, and then I picked this up. Lying Out Loud was everything the legal thriller wasn't. Delightfully written, light, fluffy, engaging and funny. It was a literary breath of fresh air into my stuffy reading rut. 

 I simply loved The Duff, which is in some ways the precursor to Lying Out Loud (LOL). I could really identify with Bianca, and I loved her sass. I was delighted to discover that Sonny was just as good a heroine. She is a pathological liar, but charming and funny with it. It's her lying that gets her into trouble though. She lies to avoid harsh truths about her family situation and in the end, the lies (predictably) cause her more pain than she could have imagined. She does end up swearing off lying, and there is a nice moral in that. 

In some ways, this was a fairly predictable read. I wasn't surprised by the characters or the events of the plot, BUT, I loved the journey. I had fun reading the back and forth between characters, and was really engaged while I read. This book drew me back to it and stole my time... always a mark of a great read for me! I liked the depth that was layered into the characters of Sonny, her BFF Amy and the love interest, Ryder. They all grew and made changes for the better. I liked the light touches of romance between them, and it was fun to see Bianca and Wesley, from The Duff, pop back in for a visit. I had the feeling that occasionally there were other characters that I was supposed to know featuring from other Hamilton High books, and I didn't know who they were. I could have done without those scenes but I think that someone who had read those two books would have appreciated that. I liked that it gave me a chance to realise there were a few more books out to read! (They are already waiting to go on my e-reader!) 

 All in all, I think this is a really good series to get teens reading. It is very light on bad language and the romance is appropriate for younger teens. It is engaging, well written and funny with characters that are relatable. I don't think you have to have read The Duff to enjoy this, but that is a good book to start with.

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?