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To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story
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To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,828 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Her friends
have a joke about her:
How can you tell if Colette is lying?

Her mouth is open.

Fifteen-year-old Colette is addicted to lying. Her shrink says this is because she’s got a very bad case of Daughter-of-a-famous-movie-star Disorder—so she lies to escape out from under her mother’s massive shadow. But Colette doesn’t see it that way. She says she lies because it’s th
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,828 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A book narrated by a compulsive liar should maybe be a bit more interesting than this. Not that this is bad, just a fairly ordinary story about a girl getting caught up in a summer romance. Colette's lying does add a bit of interest, and her character arc is certainly convincing. There's also a very precocious and actually lisping little brother, who borders on annoying more than once. ...more
Katherine Cowley
This book was perfectly brilliant, but it also made me question my faith in humanity. I'll talk about the perfectly brilliant part for the main portion of the review; the questioning my faith in humanity has to be saved for the spoilers section, because I don't want to ruin the book for you.

To Be Perfectly Honest tells the story of Colette, the daughter of a famous movie star and a self-admitted liar. Colette lies--or tells stories, depending on how you look at it--constantly, because despite h
Sep 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
A compulsive liar is telling you a story...

Should be interesting, I think.
I think wrong.

Because all the great potential I thought would be lived out in the book tumbled to the ground (of my mind) like a card tower. After. The. First. Chapter.

So yeah-- that whole "unreliable narrator" factor doesn't exist, because although Collette lies a ton, it is always obvious to the reader when she is lying. There's no moment during a long, elaborate lie-spiel when you're like, oh my gosh, I can't believe t
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
So this book has been on the backseat of my car since I picked it up from the post office on March 12th. See, it was the last book in a book order I had made and then all schools were closed due to preventive measures and so this week I decided to add it to the weekly reading pile. I am so glad that I did because Sonya Sones has a new fan in me.

Lying's What I Do

I'm sort of known
for it

The kids at school
even have a joke about me:

How can you tell
if Colette is lying?

Her mouth
is open.

Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: march-challenge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars. This definitely kept me entertained. It's written in verse so it was super quick to read. There were a few parts that really made me angry, but overall a solid read. ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Colette's mother is a movie star, and this summer, she's shuffling Colette and her little brother away from their home and the promise summer in Paris to a small town in California where she's filming her next movie. Colette's beyond bummed about this, but when she meets Connor, she starts to sing a little bit of a different tune. Maybe it won't be so bad when there's a cute boy around.

Something to know about Colette: she's a liar. She lies about everything. And it's not that she's an unreliable
Liza Wiemer
To be perfectly honest, I really got into this free verse poetry novel about a girl who has a tendency to lie, lie, lie. Things that I really enjoyed:
1. Colette and her honesty about lying.
2. Her movie star mother - though I thought she was a little lax on letting a 15-year-old girl spend a weekend with a boy?!?!
3. The brother Will and his lisp.
4. The pacing of the story was great, and I was taken in by the characters.
5. The farmer's market was cool.
6. A great ending.
7. Let's be perfectly hones
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was really nostalgic for me. I didn't know she had written another book and I was really excited to read this. ...more
I finished this book a while ago and it was like literally the best love book ever! I love Sonya Sones books but this was my favorite there was like so much adventure and more!!!!!!
Kate Stericker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably would be 5★ except for Collete's super annoying little brother. ...more
Jenni Arndt
Apr 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-own
A couple of months ago I got an email from Simon & Schuster with a list of galleys they had available and was quick to take a fast glance at the synopsis and cover for To Be Perfectly Honest and put my request in. Upon receiving the book I was sure that the swiftness with which I requested it had surely come back to bite me in the butt because I opened it and realized that the book is told in verse. But I requested it so I had to see what it was all about, and I have to say that the way in which ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie G
It's been a long time since I've read a novel in verse, but I have to say that I liked it. This books was a fast read, one that I really enjoyed.

Colette is addicted to lying. Lies come more naturally to her than the truth. This made for an interesting read because a lot of what she says isn't true. As she points out, she is a very unreliable narrator. Of course, she always fesses up to her lies (at least to the reader), so this wasn't a hard book to follow. You didn't have to try to shift throu
Jennifer Clausen-greene
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Addicted to lying is an understantement for Colette, half the time I could not tell when she was lying and telling the truth! I think I need to keep this book away from my daughter, less she gets some ideas. lol. I dont want to give anything away in the book, but I found myself highty upset at Connor at the end and was impressed with the how Colette handled the situation. I have to say there were moments that shocked me with the mom. I mean I cannot imaging handing my 14 year old daughter a box ...more
Jade Walker
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Holy mother of unreliable narrators, this takes compulsive liars to the brink! I was a little bit wary going into this book because I've never read anything in verse before but Sones masters it - the verse is perfect and reads so well, only going into noticable verse at some points which worked really well. I was totally sold on the idea of an unreliable narrator and I was expecting this book to be a bit heavier. This book does deal with some heavy issues but it deals with them so well, I loved ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
Colette, the protagonist, is one of the most annoying little sh*ts it has ever been my displeasure to see through the eyes of. She's even a failure as an unreliable narrator because she tells you when she's lying and when she's not. The whole point about an unreliable narrator (Pale Fire) is that you can't actually tell if they're lying.
There are no characters in this book worth thinking about: Connor the (view spoiler) boyfriend; Self-Absorbed Woman aka mom & her thinly dr
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm about to write my School LIbrary Journal review of this entertaining book that had me laughing and crying --I'm an easy faucet --at turns. What can I say here? There's enough twists and turns to be nearing a roller coaster. Smart writing -- Sones is great with the apt simile, funny lines by Colette, the protagonist ; and her sidekick little lisping brother. As often in Shakespeare, things are not what they seem. I ended up really rooting for Colette. She's a great character who's had a lucky ...more
Crystal Pacific
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story, is a wonderful book. This story is about a girl, a daughter/oldest child to a movie star, who lives on a life of lies. All she does is lie. She and her brother go with their mom on a 'business trip'. When she meets this guy who isn't who he says he is, this girl might've just met her match.
She might find out now than never that lying isn't always the best way through life.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Quick read, I had to stop myself from just turning to the last page to see if the entire book was a lie. I get it that she's an unreliable narrator and that made for an interesting read, but I turned every page waiting to see if she was like "oh, wait, I was just kidding!" I guess that's what made it such a fast read! ...more
Paula Bencomo
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Daughter of movie star, Marissa Shawn, Colette is a lying addict. You never know when she is telling the truth or if she's lying. When her mother needs to go shoot a movie she is forced to move to San Luis Obispo . There she meets handsome, tiger haired man she falls in love with. Something unexpected happens. I recommend this book to people who like sad stories. ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, verse, read-in-2014
3.5 stars. Back and forth on my feelings for this one. I'll try to review it to get my thoughts in order. ...more
Dec 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Lies. Love. All for a boy that has some secrets of his own. In verse so it's a quick read, with a compelling storyline.

Short story short: don't lie. For anyone.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
What can I say that I have-not said for every other book I've read... I love it and wish it was actually longer... ...more
Sierra Hunt
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I really don’t get why authors write in verse. I just don’t. it’s not that I think it’s an inherently inferior way to express thoughts, but I’ve never read a book that’s made me understand it. I have two main problems with verse. First, it lacks so much of the detail and depth of regular prose that I’m never able to connect to the story or any of the characters. The second problem I have is that it usually feels like the author wrote the story as regular prose and then separated the l ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for the little liars in all of us. “How can you tell if Colette is lying? Her mouth is open.” This book is an emotional roller coaster. Every page is plot twist after plot twist, you’d never be able to guess the ending. This is a great read for someone looking for a funny love story. Colette, the daughter of a famous movie star, is notorious for lying. She, her mom, and her brother went on vacation to a tiny town and she meets a boy. Colette, only being fifteen, tells the b ...more
Kate M.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Its plot was very funny and realistic. She definitely understood what it it is like to be a teenager. The main character is a teenage girl who is a compulsive liar. Whenever she could lie her way out of a sticky situation, she did. One day she happens to meet a charming young boy. She lies about her age and he is in love with her. As time goes on though, she realizes that he is trying to take something hers that is not his to have. As she realizes how dangerous a little ...more
Annaliese S
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was... interesting. I picked it up because it had an intriguing plot about her lying about everything. In this book the main character will tell you lies mixed in with the real story. I liked that part because it was different, and it kept you on your toes throughout the book. I also liked the lesson of the book (which I will not say because of spoilers).
However, I wish the book had had the full description that is on this website. I just knew that she lied a lot, and wasn't expecting
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I did not like this book at all. She is 15 years old and he tells her he is 18. And the things that go on in this book make it seem like the author is encouraging kids that sex at this age is alright. I wanted to yell while reading the book about it’s illegal for them to do anything. Yes, this is a young adult book but I was not a fan of it. She complains too much about life which is normal for a teenager, but it’s so dumb. I did like the ending a lot and stick it out until the end. I wish that ...more
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SONYA SONES has written seven young adult novels in verse: Stop Pretending, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, To Be Perfectly Honest, Saving Red, and The Opposite of Innocent.

Her books have received many awards, including a Christopher Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, a L

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