The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Kindle E-Book
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Total Pages: 398
I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this impacted my opinion of this book or the review provided below.
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.
What did I just read? This book was not what I expected it to be, at all. I guess I should scold myself for making assumptions about what a book is going to be. I went into this expecting a mystery, a teenager trying to solve the disappearance of a peer. I expected a “who done it” type of a book, and that is NOT what I got. Perhaps I should have taken the “she has a pretty crazy theory” part of the synopsis a little more seriously.
Let’s start with Hawthorne as a character, because she was intriguing, hilarious, and the hook that dragged me into the book. From the first pages, I adored her personality. Sure, she’s a little zany and has a very active imagination, but she’s pure at heart. She makes hilarious comments that make her an easy character to read and relate to. For example, when Hawthorne first hears about Lizzie’s disappearance, she makes the comment: “Probably the most incredible part of the story is that Lizzie Lovett went camping.” Sure, that sounds pretty terrible given the subject of a missing girl, but still, funny. Sorry. Another thing that Hawthorne does when she’s upset with someone is that she makes these wishes for “terrible” things to happen to them, but they’re hysterical. Examples include: someone winning the lottery and losing the ticket, someone only being able to take cold showers, or every glass of lemonade that someone drank for the rest of their life being a little bit too sour. So yeah, Hawthorne as a character, I enjoy her personality. What I don’t enjoy so much about her is her actions, I just didn’t get where her head was most of the time. She was making the most ridiculous decisions and her logic was just so flawed, even for a teenager.
Now we can talk about the story. I wasn’t into it. Why? Because it wasn’t what I was expecting, and therefore what I wanted, from the story. Not that it was necessarily bad, but it wasn’t good either, if that makes sense. It was just a little too strange, a little too convoluted. Even if I knew more about what to expect, I’m not sure that I would have loved it, because I just didn’t feel like there was anything profound that happened. That being said, I do think that there are some important themes that were briefly touched on and buried deep in this strange, strange book around grief and coping, as well as becoming the person that you want to be and stepping out from the shadows of others. Other than that, though, I mainly read the book to see what other funny things Hawthorne would say.
Would I recommend this book to someone? Unfortunately I think I have to say that I probably wouldn’t. There just wasn’t much to get out of this story, no good takeaways other than these few quotes, which I actually love quite a bit:
Cities let you blend in. There are so many people that it doesn’t matter if you’re weird or if no one likes you, because there’s probably someone even worse off. And if you’re really lucky, you might even meet people who are weird in the exact same way you are and feel like you’ve finally found a place where you fit it.
If you want to do something, just do it. You don’t need someone to dare you or give you permission.
Just don’t hold your feelings inside. The longer we let pain hide in our hearts, the more it turns to poison.
I guess that’s just the way it is. Sometimes, there are things that are really hard to do, and it sucks the whole time you’re doing them. But you also know it’s the right thing, and you might be making a huge difference for someone else.
Have you ever had a book be something entirely different than what you anticipated? Did you LIKE that or did you HATE that?