Hamilton High: Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Sonny lies about everything in her life, but when her lies begin to build into something bigger than herself and the webs she weaves become more and more tangled, hurting her best friend Amy along the way, Sonny learns she must do something about it, and stop lying once and for all.
Hamilton High: Lying Out Loud is a companion novel to The Duff, a book I wasn't particularly fond of for many reasons. HH:LOL was slightly better, however, although it did still have the same vibe as The Duff, the characters were slightly less awful. Whilst being a companion novel, it does tie in with The Duff as the characters appear several times throughout the book. Mainly because Sonny's best friend Amy, is Wesley's little sister. In HH:LOL we learn that yes, Wesley and Bianca are still together and stronger than ever, which lovers of The Duff will probably be glad to hear.
Whilst I kind of hated Bianca in The Duff, her appearances in HH:LOL were more toned-down, as we weren't seeing things from her perspective, she didn't really do much. She was just there, a part of the family. As for Wesley, who I - again - wasn't fond of in The Duff, he was a lot better in this book. We saw his relationship with Sonny and how he tried to advise her and help her, seeing her as almost like a second sister. Again, he wasn't in the book that much, but when he was, he was lovely. Now, the new characters. Amy was my favourite character, although she let Sonny walk all over her, she was genuine and a really good friend - something a lot of YA novels lack. I loved how she had her head screwed on, she knew she wanted to go to college and she was humble about her families wealth. Sonny, I liked slightly less, however. I found myself being able to relate to her, as much as I hate to admit it. As a child/early teen, I lied a lot. About everything. And seeing how Sonny used lies to hide who she was and run away from the truth reigned true with me, so I couldn't help but have a soft spot for her. The aspect I didn't like, however, was how she treated Amy, which was something that was brought to light towards the end of the book and was corrected, but reading it was infuriating when I could see how badly she was treating her best friend.
Of course, the book has a big romance theme throughout, in the form of rich hipster Ryder. Ryder has a crush on Amy, but when Sonny speaks to him online thinking she's on her own account, when she's actually on Amy's, it gets very complicated. As Sonny grows to like him, he grows to like Amy - or who he thinks is Amy. Ryder was actually a likable character, despite how he was portrayed at the beginning of the book. I grew to like him more as the book went on and I found myself rooting for Ryder and Sonny as a couple.
Overall, I enjoyed HH:LOL, but it still had some frustrating parts. If you liked The Duff, you'll definitely like this book. If you didn't, you may just be as surprised as I was.