A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend.
Hawthorn doesn't mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie.
In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie's life. That includes taking her job... and her boyfriend.
It's a huge risk — but it's just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.
Published: January 3rd 2017 by Sourcebooks
Four stars: A coming of age book that quietly grows on you.
It's Monday morning and Hawthorn is dreading going to school. She doesn't want to listen to her classmates chattering about the fun they had at the dance this past weekend. Hawthorn is certain she is one of the only seniors who wasn't invited. Then something happens, Hawthorn learns that Lizzie Lovett, one of her school's former most popular girls, disappeared over the weekend while camping with her boyfriend. As the days wear on with no sign of Lizzie, Hawthorn finds herself obsessed with what happened to her. How could a girl who seemed to have the perfect life go missing? The more she digs, the more Hawthorn learns about life and love and the illusion of high school.
What I Liked:
- The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is a quiet, powerful coming of age story that takes its time to build and build. It was a read that once I finished, I had to sit and think on, and the more I pondered it over, the more I got it and liked it. This is a book about discovery and life's misconceptions. This is one you should try if you want a challenge.
- Hawthorn is an interesting character to follow. She is socially awkward, and she struggles with fitting in. Once Lizzie turns up missing, Hawthorn becomes obsessed with what happened to her. She ends up taking Lizzie's former job at a diner, and befriends her boyfriend, trying to better understand Lizzie. Hawthorn comes up with an outlandish theory for Lizzie's disappearance, and she doggedly tries to prove her theory. Along the way, Hawthorn grows and changes as she learns some harsh truths about the world and herself. She also makes some friends, and she discovers that no one has the perfect life, and even the most popular girl in school who seemed to have it all, has her own struggles. I liked that the author exposed the fallacy about high school being wonderful and the best time in your life because in reality, everyone at that age is fighting their own battles as they try to figure out a place in the world and an identity.
- I was invested in the mystery surrounding Lizzie's disappearance. I never bought into Hawthorn's wild theory, though. I kept wondering what happened to Lizzie, and then when the truth was finally revealed, I was shocked.
- Surprisingly, one of the most interesting characters in the story turned out to be an old hippie, Sun Dog, who camps out in Lizzie's backyard. I thought he was an interesting addition to the story, and I liked the insight he provided to Lizzie.
- I liked the strong focus on friendship in this book. In the beginning, Hawthorn has only one friend, Emily, but then the two have a falling out. Hawthorn soon finds herself making new unexpected friends. I loved seeing her stretch her wings and find new friends, and then I loved how she and Emily worked out their differences. I liked how Hawthorn finds friends in unexpected places.
- There is some romance in the book, and I liked that it was realistic. It wasn't the butterflies in your tummy type romance, instead it is one born when two people come together to work toward a common goal. It is complicated and painful at times. I even liked the way it all turned out, and that there was a promise of something better at the end. For all you who want the swoon and feel good, this one won't do it for you, but I liked that it felt real.
- This is a quiet book that requires you to dig deep and look for the hidden messages in the story. I won't go into the details and spoil it, you have to discover them for yourself. I will say, I enjoyed the author's message and her writing was lovely.
- The ending was just right. I liked that the main mystery was done up, and I liked that things ended on a more hopeful note for Hawthorn.
And The Not So Much:
- I was immediately drawn into the whole mystery surrounding Lizzie Lovett's disappearance. I was disappointed though once the truth was revealed that there wasn't more details on the why. It was a bit unsettling.
- At first, Hawthorn's far fetched theory on what happened to Lizzie was funny, but after awhile, I got tired of it and it became ridiculous.
- There is a secondary subtle romance going on throughout the book that the reader can sense, but Hawthorn doesn't clue into. Then at the end, this romance seems to finally take root. I wished that there was more development with this romance, I thought it was sweet.
- I thought the middle portion of the book dragged a bit, there just wasn't much going on, and I was tired of Hawthorn chasing after her wild theory.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was one of those books that didn't initially overly impress me after completing it, but then the more I thought about it, the more it sunk in, and I got it. This is a quiet, contemplative read that explores a young girl's coming of age journey as she learns some life lessons about friendship, love and the misconceptions of a perfect life. This is a book that you have to take your time with, otherwise you will miss the hidden messages. This isn't a read for everyone, but for those of you who want a challenge, and who are patient, you should give this book a try.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.