Lying Out Loud By Kody Keplinger

Lying Out Loud (The DUFF) by Kody Keplinger
Published April 2015 by Scholastic.

Links: Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository. Barnes & Noble.

Source: Publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Scholastic for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA contemporary.

My rating:

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?


This is the second novel by Kody Keplinger that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and it’s tied to The DUFF by the fact that the story’s happening at the same high school and Wesley and Bianca make an appearance here, too. And Sonny’s best friend, Amy, is Wesley’s younger sister. This doesn’t make LOL a sequel story-wise, I just thought I’d mention it.

Sonny is a liar. That’s the first – and most important – characteristic we get to know about her. And it’s the reason why I rated the book with a 3.5 instead of 4 hearts; I really dislike lying (and liars). I dislike lying to the point of being painfully honest sometimes. At most, I avoid telling the truth – I very, very rarely tell a lie (it’s just how I’m wired, I guess, it’s not a huge moral issue or anything).

But I do get where Sonny’s coming from, her parents are terrible (her mother’s mysteriously absent and her father’s in prison) and I guess nobody ever taught her to deal with her troubles in a different manner. For this reason, I sometimes felt too old to be reading Lying Out Loud – I couldn’t connect with Sonny in the way that I think I was supposed to. But I do think that her character would have appealed to me more if I was younger.

Other than that, I really have no complaints about the story. It’s intriguing, the characters are well developed, and it made me cry. Perhaps I was just really tired but it’s been a while since I read a story that moved me to tears (not that I purposefully seek out books that make me sob or anything but I do cry when reading, on occasion).

I respect the fact that Keplinger doesn’t go for easy solutions, with her plot or her morals, which is something that she already proved with The DUFF. Sonny’s decisions have consequences, which is something she has to accept and deal with when the time comes for her to finally grow up. And she does, beautifully. I also consider any book featuring such a close friendship as Sonny and Amy have a real winner.

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Keplinger’s future work, be it a high school story or anything else.


Have you read Lying Out Loud? Or any other of her novels? 

ARE YOU A LIAR? (Go on, I won’t tell!) ;)

I’d love to hear from you! 

  • Hmmm, intriguing. I kind of want to read this even though I know that I’m not really interested in this world anymore…I just love how Kody Keplinger makes her teenage characters so real. You know, people who drink and smoke and have sex and generally get in a fair amount of trouble. I can see how Sonny’s lying would be frustrating though, and I dislike it when a character is defined by one trait like that.

    I think at this point I’ve read three of Keplinger’s books – The Duff, Shut Out, and a Midsummer’s Nightmare. Shut Out is really interesting because it’s based on Lysistrata by Aristophanes – and the plot of the whole book makes a lot more sense when you know that, haha. It also involves teens who work at the library, so that obviously appealed to me. ;)

    • I like that she doesn’t sugarcoat the teenagers, too. We were all stupid at some point, right? :) But yes, one overwhelming character trait does tend to ruin a character for me as well – I wished for more layers (like onions – or cake… and now I want to re-watch Shrek…).
      Yeah I saw you read Shut Out (sorry for GR creeping, I was checking out whether her older work was worth a read) and I think I’ll be giving it a try sometime. I like how she deals with serious stuff in a funny way but retains substance.

  • I have’t read any of Keplinger’s books, but I do keep noticing them around. One of the reasons I haven’t tried her yet is because I feel that as an adult, I’m too old to read her stories. Coming from someone who reads YA ALL THE TIME, that’s a little concerning… Anyway, great review, Kaja!
    Beth x

    • Whoops, I completely missed this comment, sorry! :/

      Yeah, I sometimes feel too old for reading YA, too, especially contemporaries that focus on high school life. They’re about a phase of my life that’s over – not that I didn’t have a good time but I’m glad I’m not 17 anymore, you know? :) But Keplinger’s books – the two that I have read, that is – feature problems that don’t necessarily end with high shcool (like slut shaming and lying and coping with life difficulties in ways that aren’t really the best) so I enjoyed them.