Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2015-04-28
Genres: Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!
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?
I read The DUFF for the first time this February so I could see the movie after reading it. The movie looked cute and I really had no idea what the book was about but I ended up reading it in one day and it quickly became one of my favorite books. Then I saw the movie and hated it. But then I found out that there was a companion book coming out in the spring and I had something else to focus on than that horrible adaptation. I was so excited for this book and SO SO SO happy to be given an ARC from a friend. I read it almost as soon as I got it. And I’m so glad I did! I didn’t love it as much as I loved The DUFF, but I did really enjoy it. I really need to read the rest of Keplinger’s books.
When I first heard about this book, I thought it was from Amy’s (Welsey’s sister’s) POV. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that but I did. I was excited to see more of Amy because I loved how her and Wesley’s relationship evolved during The DUFF and I wanted to see how they were doing. So when I started the book, I was a bit confused. But I fell into Sonny’s voice very quickly. She was similar to Bianca in that she had gone (and was going) through difficult times and was more jaded about life than Amy. But she and Amy were still best friends and even though they may not understand each other’s situation entirely, they understand each other. I loved seeing their relationship and seeing how they were there for each other and loved each other. Also, it was great to see some real friend relationship issues. Not some over-the-top arguments or jealousy over boys or anything, when Amy and Sonny fought, it felt real. I could see it from both sides of the argument and imagine myself being a fight like that and was glad to see them both finally letting their feelings out and being honest with each other. And I just really liked that it wasn’t about a boy. I love books about friendships and that deal with issues friends really do deal with.
If you’ve read The DUFF, then you’ll be happy to hear that Wesley and Bianca make quite a few appearances in this book. Somehow, even though the book wasn’t about him at all, Wesley was still one of my favorite characters in the book! I just really love him. He’s not afraid to be who he is, to show Bianca how much he loves her, and to be honest with people. He was sweet and fun and refreshing and I’m so glad we got to see more of his and Bianca’s relationship. They were exactly like I imagined they would be!
The one big problem I had with the book was just how much lying there was in it. I get that it’s right there in the title and Sonny says in the beginning of the book that she survives life by lying. Life hasn’t been easy for her and it’s better for her when she makes up little lies to get through the day, to keep people from getting too close to her and learning her real situation, and to get what she wants. She doesn’t lie about that. And we see all of the lies she tells on a regular day and it’s a lot. But they’re all small things. Until they start piling up. And when she starts lying to the one person who is actually important to her. And the other person she wants to be close to. They all start becoming bigger and deeper and harder to get out of. I really do understand how that can happen and how you can feel like there’s no way out. But at some point you just tell the truth. And I feel like people are mostly understanding. But somewhere in the second half of the book, I felt like things just got more and more ridiculous and harder to believe and it was frustrating because I felt like it was only in there to add drama to the book. I know books thrive on drama and climaxes and big scenes, but I also want to not be rolling my eyes when they finally come around. I want to be able to believe that someone would continue to lie and disregard the wishes of the only person they really loved for that long and I just didn’t, not even from Sonny. The same excuse got old and she seemed smarter to me than to just continue doing the same thing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t connect with it on the same level as I did The DUFF and I don’t think there are as many real life important topics discussed in this, which was slightly disappointing. But I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, learning their stories, seeing them change through the book, and getting to see older characters come back. You could read this one without having read The DUFF (or the other Keplinger books, I think characters from the other ones show up as well), but you wouldn’t get to fully appreciate Wesley and Bianca if you haven’t. Plus, that is one of my favorite books so I will always recommend it! If you like flawed characters, strong friendships, secrets and lies, and enemies turned into romances, you should definitely check this book out.