When I was a little kid, I lied all of the time. It’s hard not to cringe in embarrassment when remembering some of the fictitious tales I weaved of my life (like jetting to Rome for a weekend). It was being caught oh-so-mortifyingly in a bad lie that I finally realized how lying can cause some serious consequences. I’ve learned from that lesson and stopped being such an awful fibber. But that was when I was ten.
Lying Out Loud follows Sonny Ardmore, a teen who has fibbed her whole life. A little lie here and there has helped Sonny escape out of some sticky situations, but now in her senior year of high school, all of the lying is catching up with her in a big way. For one, Sonny has been secretly staying over at her best friend Amy’s house. According to Sonny, her mom kicked her out, but we know that’s not true. Something else is going on with Sonny’s home life, and it’s eating her up inside. To make problems worse, Sonny accidentally starts messaging an annoying guy at school as Amy. It first started out as a prank, but when Sonny goes to apologize, she connects with Ryder on an emotional level. But it comes with a major twist: Sonny never logged out of Amy’s account, so Ryder thinks he’s been talking to sweet Amy, not the acerbic Sonny, the whole time.
Oh, Sonny. At first, Sonny is not the easiest character to connect with because it’s hard to reconcile her compulsion to lie. The story begins at the point where everything looks like it’s about to go downhill for her, and it does. I found Sonny a bit frustrating to follow as a main character, and it didn’t help that Amy often felt a little one-dimensional for most of the story. But as things get worse, I found myself connecting more and more to these characters. Kody Keplinger has proven that she’s so good at creating flawed, interesting and nuanced main characters. It’s easy for readers to become emotionally involved in their lives and situations. By the end, I can say this is the case for Lying Out Loud, despite it not being as well-executed as in her previous novels.
Lying Out Loud is part of the Kody Keplinger’s unofficial Hamilton series. It’s set in the same town as her previous YA and MG, and it’s best described as a companion to The DUFF because Sonny’s best friend, Amy, is also Wesley Rush’s little sister. Of course, that means you get to see Bianca and Wesley again (!!!), and Sonny and Amy also briefly bump into characters from Keplinger’s other books.
This may not be my favorite Kody Keplinger book, but I did enjoy reading it, and it’s worth checking out if you want to revisit Hamilton.
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger is now available wherever books are sold.