In addition to nail polish, tea, and all the other fun things I regularly feature on Writing Whimsy, there’s something else I really love: books! You can check out my previous reviews by following the “book review” tag or clicking here. I have a weak spot for novels in verse, especially young adult, given that it’s what I write myself. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to review To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones, about a teenage girl who can’t stop lying.
Fifteen-year-old Colette is the daughter of a famous movie star, or maybe she’s the eighteen-year-old daughter of a movie star’s stand in. Depends who you ask, and Colette always has another story ready to tell. She’s addicted to lying, and who can blame her, it’s the most fun she can have while keeping her clothes– especially when her mom drags her away to spend her summer in the middle of nowhere on location. That’s where she meets Connor, gorgeous, older, funny, Connor, and so what if she tells a few lies? If he knew who her mother was, there’s no way he’d be interested in her. But as Colette’s fibs begin to pile up it’s not long before she realizes Connor may be keeping a big secret of his own as well.
It’s probably expected given that the main character is a compulsive liar, but I didn’t actually like Colette very much. I found her judgmental and a tad bit selfish, but given what she’s going through–a 15-year-old with an absent mother falling in love for the first time–I think those traits are probably authentic. It just didn’t make me love her, which made it difficult to have sympathy for her at times. I kinda liked that though, not everyone is totally innocent.
I did feel like Colette’s voice felt so real and the story itself was smoothly told and easy to read. I haven’t read a YA novel by Sones before for some insane reason, at least not that I remember, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to pick up a book by this master of verse. I was so inspired by her skill and storytelling-ability.
I found the relationships between Colette and her family members very genuine. This is a book that plays with extremes at times, but I still think it was honest and realistic as well as entertaining. Some of the lies are pretty funny, but at its heart, To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones has an emotional core with a heartfelt message. That said, as much as I loved the book, I wasn’t 100% blown away by the ending, which I found a bit predictable and easy, even if it was believable. I did love the ambiguity of the very last page though!
For readers hesitant about verse (you shouldn’t be!) here’s a quote just to show the simplicity and impact Sones’ writing can have (quote is from an ARC and subject to change):
“Connor laughs–a deep, throaty laugh.
And the sound of it
vibrates all through me…
like I’m a wind chime
Ultimately, even though To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones wasn’t a flawless novel, it was one I really enjoyed and basically devoured in an afternoon. Sones’ writing is approachable and honest, even if her main character isn’t! If you’re interested in a an easy-to-read story with a surprising amount of heft behind it, I highly recommend this book. I’m so glad I decided to read Sones’ latest novel, and I know I’ll be reaching for her blacklist in the future.
Have you ever read a novel in verse? Would you pick up To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones?
Note: I received an advance copy of this novel for review. However I will always give my honest opinion on a product/book regardless of the source. If you are interested in pre-ordering To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones, releasing August 27th, bookdepository.com offers free international shipping and I would be grateful if you used my affiliate link to purchase.