Monthly Archives: April 2015

Lying Out Loud – Kody Keplinger

Lying Out Loud coverLying Out Loud
By: Kody Keplinger
Duff Companion Novel
Available April 2015

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?

This Blonde’s Review:
Sonny is the kind of girl who lies about everything. It is how she gets out of trouble and how she keeps people from looking too closely. She even lies to herself because she can’t accept some of the truths in her life. When she finds herself caught in a lie she didn’t mean to tell things get more complicated, especially since she has other secrets she is trying to find at the same time.

I really enjoyed Sonny, Amy, and Ryder. Amy is the best kind of best friend, kind and caring. She and her family have taken Sonny in as their own, even if Sonny isn’t able to fully trust it. Sonny is a girl with problems and you can’t help but feel for her. So much of what has made her the way she is isn’t her fault. Knowing there is a bigger secret that she doesn’t want to acknowledge makes it clear that her lies are a big defense mechanism. Ryder was a little harder to like at first but we couldn’t help but start to like him as we got to know him better.

Seeing the things that have happened with Sonny’s parents it becomes very clear why she has the defense mechanisms that she does. It also highlights how great Amy, her parents, and her brother Wesley are that they accept her as their own. Sonny has a safe place to be and people who love her no matter what she believes about her home life. It made me love Amy and her family so much more, even while the girls struggled in their friendship.

I enjoyed getting to see a little of Wesley and Bianca. I loved that they were happy together but still bickering. Though since it was a companion novel we don’t hear much about their story since Sonny doesn’t know it. You could easily read this book without having read the Duff. There are hints that there is a story there and it would make you curious to read the other book, but nothing that gives too much away except the part where they are together.

If you enjoyed the Duff you’ll enjoy this one too. There is a similar idea where two people don’t like each other and find themselves able to understand each other and fall for each other. But the stories themselves don’t repeat and you’ll love the glimpses of Wesley and Bianca. If you haven’t read The Duff you’ll still enjoy this if you like the idea of enemies falling for each other, him not knowing who he’s talking to, and her doing the best she can to clean it up without anyone finding out.


Until the Beginning – Amy Plum

Until the Beginning coverUntil the Beginning
By: Amy Plum
After the End – Book 2
Available May 2015

Don’t miss the first book in this series! After the End on Goodreads.

When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles’s cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people – and herself – Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

This Blonde’s Review:
Juneau has had to learn a lot in the time since her village disappeared. She’s learned that the world is not what she was taught and that there were many lies told. She has had to come to terms with many things to make it to where she is, but there is still much to learn to accept.

I really enjoyed Juneau and Miles in the first book so I was happy to see the rest of their story. We could figure that Miles would survive the injury from the last book but we had no way of knowing how Juneau’s attempt to save him would work.

I loved Miles and the way he was willing to accept Juneau’s strengths. He doesn’t recognize his own but through the course of this book we’re able to get to know him better and see him grow into a leader in his own right. Juneau’s strength and ability to trust her instincts is something that I loved about her in the first book and continued to enjoy about her in this one. She wasn’t taught to diminish herself and is able to teach Miles not to be ashamed of his strengths as well. They’re a great couple and a great team.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and I think that the second book did a great job of following up. Our characters learn more about themselves and each other and they continue to grow. They have to make hard choices and trust their instincts.

If you enjoyed the first book in this series you’ll want to find out what happens. If you haven’t read the first one I tried not to give away too many spoilers. If you enjoy reading about strong female leads and the guys who care about them then you’ll enjoy Juneau and Miles.


The Night We Said Yes – Lauren Gibaldi

The Night We Said Yes cover The Night We Said Yes
By: Lauren Gibaldi
Available June 2015

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

This Blonde’s Review:
Ella has had bad luck with guys. Her first real boyfriend cheats on her and offers a high five for friendship when he breaks up with her. Then she meets Matt. She’s instantly drawn to him and he seems to understand her. You might think they were a perfect match, they didn’t fight like her best friends did. But when he leaves town and stops talking to her she knows that what happened with him is worse than anything that happened with anyone else. Months later she still can’t get over him and expects to see him everywhere. Until one night she does.

When Matt shows back up in her life she doesn’t know what to think. She doesn’t want to care. He catches her curiosity by trying to recreate the night they met. A wild night with her best friends, the ones who would become his best friends too, where they say yes to everything. As they go through each part of the night we get to see relive the memories of what happened when they met and the fallout of what had happened to Ella after Matt left. Seeing past and present can be hard for me to fully enjoy but the way this one was written worked for me. I liked that we could see their relationship grow as well as the way the experience reliving the night caused so much internal conflict.

I couldn’t help but love Matt and hope that they were able to make things work. He was such a nice guy that we couldn’t help but want to find a good reason for what happened. But I also loved Ella enough that I didn’t want it to be something she forgave easily. I really enjoyed both of them as characters so much. And seeing their friends and their relationships was great. I think that the other relationships in the book were great foil, one relationship was turbulent while another was sweet and easy. Ella and Matt had something in between, something with potential if they can get past what happened.

I felt that the way Ella handled things was actually kind of great. She didn’t really leap to anything, she thought about it and made a choice about what she really wanted out of her life and for herself. With or without the guy I can’t think of anything I like more. And the things she came to understand about her friends’ relationships was great too, seeing that it isn’t always what we think is best. Sometimes we have to let people do what is right for them and expect the same for ourselves.

This is a book with a girl who has to decide what is best for her, the guy she loved or moving on without him. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy then you should definitely pick this up. I really enjoyed it.