Skip to main content

To Be Perfectly Honest

Review

To Be Perfectly Honest

Sonya Sones’ latest young adult novel, TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story, serves up an entertaining tale of romance and deception. Sones’ protagonist, 15-year-old Colette, is addicted to lying --- not because she’s starved for the attention that’s always turned toward her movie-star mother, but because she genuinely likes doing it. Her friends have an ongoing joke: “How can you tell when Colette is lying?” “Her mouth is open.”

"Sones has perfected the art of the verse novel...Sones writes with such an intriguing and effortless style that I flew through 50 pages without even realizing it."

When her mother begins working on a new film, Colette and her younger brother, Will, are forced to spend their summer vacation on the California coast instead of in Paris with her three best friends. Although angry and pessimistic at first, Colette soon falls in love with the local bad boy, Connor. As their relationship escalates, Colette --- the queen of lying --- realizes that Connor has been playing a game of deception himself.

Sones has perfected the art of the verse novel. Although I have never been a huge fan of verse novels, Sones writes with such an intriguing and effortless style that I flew through 50 pages without even realizing it. Initially, I was skeptical whether I would enjoy a novel centered on a completely unreliable narrator, but my skepticism was immediately overridden by my fascination with the alternate realities Colette depicted.

Although the plot is decidedly mature for its young adult audience --- probing topics of sex, drugs and alcohol --- the story concludes with a poignant message about self-discovery. At first a superficial character focused entirely on popularity and keeping her boyfriend happy, Colette develops throughout the course of the novel and eventually lands upon the issue of “Who Am I?” that rings true in every teenager’s heart.

Reviewed by Heather Sieve on July 22, 2013

To Be Perfectly Honest
by Sonya Sones

  • Publication Date: August 27, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0689876041
  • ISBN-13: 9780689876042