Book Review: Lying Out Loud (LOL) by Kody Keplinger

I had the opportunity to read an early copy of Kody Keplinger’s Lying Out Loud, a companion book to The Duff, which was recently turned into a movie. The book comes out April 28, but here is my spoiler-free review of the book and how it compares to its book-sibling.

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Lying Out Loud (LOL), a companion book to The DUFF, is another delightful read of family problems and confusing romance. Like The DUFF, LOL is about a girl who ends up falling for a boy she swore she hated. Both Sonny and Bianca also end up spending a lot of time at the (very large) Rush house. Both girls also have a complicated home life and a mother that has caused a lot of heartache. But there are many differences in the book, as well.

Everyone hates arrogant DC-loving Ryder, and he seems to hate everyone in return. Everyone, that is, except Amy Rush, professional liar Sonny’s best friend, who she is currently living with. When Ryder writes to Amy, Sonny creates a mean response and accidentally sends it instead of deleting it. Sonny apologizes to Ryder and they end up having a really nice conversation. The only problem is, Sonny hadn’t realized she had been talking to Ryder on Amy’s account. As Sonny’s feelings about Ryder change, she is determined to make him believe Amy is not the right girl for him, but Sonny is. And just when it seems like it may work out, Sonny’s many lies and deceits may ruin not only her romantic life, but her friendship, too.

Unlike The DUFF’s Bianca, Sonny is a character whom you’re not quite sure if you like her or not for much of the book. I wanted to root for her, but her insistence on lying even when the truth was clearly a better option is very frustrating. The romantic lead, Ryder, is also far less lovable than Wesley Rush. But that is not to say the book is not enjoyable—very flawed characters is certainly not a bad thing in a YA book. It was also nice to see more of Amy Rush, who we barely met in The DUFF. Overall, it was a good read, though I did not like it QUITE as much as its predecessor.

For fans of The DUFF, there are quite a few Easter eggs you will love to discover, including spending some time with the DUFF characters, mentions of certain actions in the book, and even some jokes about changes made to the film version (the first was possible to ignore and accept, the second was blatant). There is also a cameo from the characters of A Midsummer’s Nightmare (though I haven’t read that yet, so I didn’t catch it until I looked up the book). This book can certainly stand on its own, but pairing it with the other gives it an extra fun edge.

Can’t wait until April 28? Check out Keplinger’s The DUFF and A Midsummer’s Nightmare while you wait!

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

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