To Be Perfectly Honest, by Sonya Sones (book review) – truth=lies, if Colette is talking

book cover of To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones published by Simon SchusterExaggerations,
Calling them “lies” is so…caustic.

Colette stretches the truth about her movie-star mom, long-absent dad, and winsome little brother – to protect them, of course. Or to keep the world from discovering how unspecial she is. Or none of the above. Definitely an “unreliable narrator” here.

Luckily, Sonya Sones is honest when she writes a “Dear Teen Me” letter to tell her younger self that her experiences would become part of much-loved novels-in-verse someday.

Find Collette’s story today at your local library or independent bookstore, and decide for yourself if Collette can ever be honest, even with herself.


Book info: To Be Perfectly Honest: a Novel Based on an Untrue Story / Sonya Sones.  Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2013.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Colette’s movie-star mom is entirely gorgeous, the 15-year-old isn’t, but invents some crazy tales to make herself more interesting. When it counts, though, Colette may have told too many lies to get ever back to the truth.

Teen guys in L.A. seem interested in only one thing, but Colette refuses to be just another conquest. She might even miss their groping if Mom insists on dragging her and little brother Will along to the small town where her next film is being shot. She will die of boredom, truly.

Thankfully, a gorgeous guy on a motorcycle starts talking to her in the town park. She certainly can’t let him know who her mom really is, so the stories start flowing again.

Connor is so sweet and thoughtful, a great pal to Will, and so handsome. Colette senses that he has a secret sorrow, and it nearly breaks her heart when he finally tells her. Loving the most special girl in the world is on his ‘bucket list’ he says, and Colette is the one.

Should she let Connor be the one for her?
What if the doctors are wrong and his time is ticking away too fast?
Would he still adore her if he knew how many lies she’s told him?

“But there’s no law against
a girl making up stories.
And I sure am lucky
there isn’t.
Or I’d be serving
a life sentence by now.”

Sones gives readers a charmingly unreliable narrator in this compulsively readable novel-in-verse – sometimes it’s smoke and mirrors, sometimes it’s truer than true. (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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