I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lying Out Loud: A companion novel to The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Published by Hachette UK on July 2nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Family, General
Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF - co-starring Bianca and Wesley.
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?
From the author of The Duff - now a major film starring Bella Thorne, Mae Whitman and Alison Janney, out in DVD in Summer 2015.
Review: I love Kody Keplinger’s YA. I think she’s a brilliant, honest voice in YA and very engaging. It goes without saying Lying Out Loud was definitely a hotly anticipated 2015 read for me.
Sonny is a liar, she almost can’t help it, but in many ways it’s much easier to live a lie than tell the truth, especially about her parents. After Sonny pranks new annoying boy, Ryder, after he asks out her best friend Amy, she accidentally ends up talking to him all night and connecting. Only, she’s still signed in as Amy. Now Sonny’s getting into lies and deceptions that might finally be her undoing and cost her friendship with Amy, as well as ruining her chances with Ryder, who she might actually liked.
Wes’ sister from The Duff, Amy, is a key character in this book and it was interesting to see more of his family and a different take on Wes and Bianca. Their cameos were nice to see as a fan, however the book would have survived without them, it was kind of like a good ‘easter egg’ and I do like all the references to her other characters and the wider sense of that fictional town. I found Sonny a really interesting character and her elaborate schemes, self-sabotage and difficulty with being herself and honest were really compelling.
I didn’t love this novel quite as much as other Keplinger books like the Duff and a Midsummer’s Nightmare, however this was still a great contemporary YA and I read it in one sitting, despite having work the next day, because I needed to know what would happen!
Contemporary YA fans and existing Kody Keplinger fans should find a lot to enjoy in her latest novel.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Published by Doubleday Children's on June 9th 2015
Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .
Review: It’s been a while since I read Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, but when I heard she was writing YA I was intrigued and if I’m honest a little uncertain, however it sounded like an interesting premise and mental health in YA is still a little taboo as a topic.
Told through Audrey’s point of view, with the odd transcript and video script, Audrey’s characterisation is realistic and engaging. Her struggles with anxiety are well told and I thought it worked that Kinsella never explicitly tells us the incident at her school triggered her anxiety, though we do get some hints and clues. However, this novel isn’t about what happens to her, but what happens afterwards. Sometimes, books look at issues like bullying as they happen and the immediate impact don’t always look at the aftermath, so it was interesting to see a novel about that aftermath without going into the details of what triggered the aftermath.
Audrey’s family is very vivid and vibrant, the novel does open with the mother throwing Audrey’s brother’s computer out of the window. This should tell you that humour and comedy is a key component of the book.
Overall, I thought Finding Audrey was an enjoyable read. It dealt with anxiety and panic attacks with tact, though at times I wasn’t sure if the juxtaposition of comedy and anxiety worked for me. Finding Audrey made me laugh out loud several times and I did become invested in the developing relationship with Linus which was lovely and very sweet.
Contemporary YA fans should find a lot to enjoy in Kinsella’s YA debut and I would definitely read more YA by Kinsella in the future.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
Published by Random House on June 5th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, General, Law & Crime, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Historical, School & Education
When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t.)
Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She assumes it was a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove one happened in the first place.
Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
Review: I feel terrible that it’s taken me so long to review this book, but it is a brilliant MG novel that deserves all the acclaim it’s received from the blogging world. Think Agatha Christie meets an Enid Blyton boarding school (though not so problematic)
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have set up a secret detective agency at their school and are struggling to find good mysteries to solve, until Hazel stumbles upon her the Science mistress, Miss Bell, dead in the gym, in what must be a tragic accident. Only when she returns a few minutes later with Daisy, Miss Bell, is nowhere to be seen. Now Daisy and Hazel have a real case to solve!
Stevens writes brilliantly and Hazel has such a vivid and strong voice on the page. Murder Most Unladylike is such an engaging, fun read. The friendship between Daisy and Hazel is engaging, though I dislike the inequitableness between Daisy and Hazel, with Daisy as the leader, however that is how friendships can go and Hazel does have her time to shine.
I’ve read the second novel in this series, which I’ll be reviewing soon and the third book is out at the end of July so this is a perfect time to start the series if you haven’t yet!