Title: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Page Count: 398
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars!
Source: eARC via Netgalley!
Links: Goodreads IndieBound Amazon Barnes & Noble
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.
(Personally think the book holds SO much more than this synopsis shows.)
Consensus: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is a poignant, passionate, story that is both heartbreaking and hilarious, often at the same time. The story shows Hawthorn's thirst for adventure and her quest to solve her own loneliness. There are so many layers to this book and I really cannot stress how important this book is. Please read it.
I have so many things to say about The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, and many of them are completely incoherent but I am going to try my best... (I'm starting this review with my thoughts the second time through and then delving back into the incoherent thoughts of my initial read through.)
Me while reading this book:
I was sneaking pages everywhere my first time reading this!
And I was HOOKED. Completely. I hadn't intended on reading it when I picked it up in May... but a very compelling voice pulled me in and didn't let me go. It'll do the same for you.
"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 in."
The second read through The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, I really paid attention to quotes, and the little things rather than the overarching story as I did the first time through... And I loved this book just as much the second time through.
Hawthorn, our main character, has such a unique and snarky voice. She is full of self-loathing and self-pity, and it can be overbearing at times. She is annoying as hell, and super selfish... throughout most of the book. But that's what makes her so great. She is real. So fucking real. I have met so many people like her... and usually the "I'm nothing special. I'm misunderstood. Nobody likes me" kind of trope is something I would make fun of... Yet for some reason, the way Hawthorn described it... I believed her. I believed in her. I believed her faults, I loved her faults, I loved the way she wished for these little inconveniences:
"I wished Mychelle and her stupid jock buddy would win the lottery and lose the ticket.
I wished they would only ever be able to take cold showers.
I wished every glass of lemonade they drank for the rest of their lives would be just a little too sour"
Hawthorn is petty af, and I adore it. I relate to this on a spiritual level. Honestly, my note while reading this part was "Petty af and I love it"
She would go from saying something super real that broke my heart like:
"What's wrong with you?" my brother asked.
"Nothing," I said, trying to calm myself with a deep breath. "Or maybe everything. It could go either way."
ME TOO HAWTHORN. ME TOO. That's why I connected so much with this book. It's not the story itself that's inherently emotional. (I mean, it is..) But it's the themes that Sedoti drives home through Hawthorn's unique narrative.
but she would go into crazy theories about werewolves, and lycanthropy and everything that really suspends this disbelief. I loved it for entirely different reasons.
There are some gem of quotes in here too:
"Confusion is like curiosity- it reminds us we're alive. To not feel confused means we no longer care. Not caring is death."
Sundog reminds me of my senior year English teacher... and I love the zen inspirational quality about his words. (Sundog is a hippie, basically)
I loved Hawthorn's character development and how she grows throughout the book. She does a lot of back and forth but still manages (in the long run) to move forward. She definitely knows who she is and I admire that.
The relationships in this book are super interesting to explore... From Emily and Hawthorn's friendship, to Hawthorn and Sundog's mentorship, to the familial dynamics of the rest of Hawthorn's family and her. They were real. The parents were present and my god do I appreciate that.
Seriously. Hawthorn was a terrible friend to Emily and I really enjoy how Sedoti explored their friendship and the ups and downs because it felt so, so real. I have personally had a friendship like that... and witnessed many others. It's real, and I think Sedoti did an excellent job portraying it on the page.
I really like this quote and think it is the point of the story:
"You only know the part of the story people want you to see."
It's powerful! Way to go Sedoti! Your debut blew me away! I know this book is something that some readers will click with and others won't... but it totally clicked for me. Very happy to have read this... and I really hope I convinced you to read it as well :)
FIRST READ THROUGH THOUGHTS:
Hawthorn Creely is our narrator, our protagonist, our voice for this journey. The journey being the mysterious disappearance of Lizzie Lovett, glorified cheerleader, highly-praised, happy-go-luck-get-everything-she-wants-girl... and Hawthorn is borderline obsessed with her. She's obsessed with her disappearance, obsessed with things that happened before she disappeared, obsessed that she is not as good as her... It's quite annoying... yet it's all entirely understandable... if you have ever felt like Hawthorn, you understand her thought process, you understand her motivations for everything.
Hawthorn is very lonely and misunderstood, and beautiful. The loneliness really drives her. It's her motivation for just about every decision she makes. She is flawed and unreliable and she really isn't the best friend most of the time, but that's also due to the fact she doesn't always understand social cues because she has spent so much time thinking, feeling like every person is out to persecute her. Nothing is going her way. Nobody really likes her. She is having troubles with her best friend. Her family is slightly crazy.
Hawthorn puts up a façade but doesn't really do it very well. She thinks she does at time... and then quickly reverts back to complaining, and being upset. Most of the time this is justified.
And then Hawthorn starts investigating Lizzie's disappearance with none other than Lizzie's boyfriend himself. She comes up with crazy theories, and they are quite hilarious to be honest. And also really interesting. I loved them. I loved learning about her thoughts, her world. It was also great to see how Lorenzo saw her.
I disliked their friendship, but that would be my only complaint. But that was the point. I wasn't supposed to like it.
I'm trying to be vague, but I am gonna need to go to the spoilery section now
WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS STARTING NOW.
I laughed so hard at all of the crazy things that happened. The werewolf thing was insane and the fact that Enzo actually encouraged Hawthorn was insane.
I also cried my eyes out a few times. I teared up a bit when Enzo took Hawthorn's virginity. I thought it was a very fucked up thing to do. It pissed me off. I was angry. I wanted to kill him. It was just not good. It made me uncomfortable. But it was also a PHENOMENALLY written scene.
When everything is finally played out... I bawled for a good twenty minutes. I understood Hawthorn's pain. The one thing Lizzie said in the locker room Hawthorn's freshman year impacted her in the most meaningful way. I loved it. I loved how Hawthorn's pain was palpable. It killed me inside. My heart broke reading those pages.
It really put into perspective how different people cope with different things. Hawthorn talks about them hoping someone will notice. Lizzie, she... left her life behind. And my goodness did that kill me.
Hawthorn questions how somebody could possibly feel so much pain when their life is so perfect and boy did that resonate with me. I feel like my pain is unimportant sometimes, and not something that should be felt because my pain isn't enough/ as bad as somebody elses. It really feels horrible, but everyone's pain is important.
END OF SPOILERS. MORE THOUGHTS.
I also loved the familial dynamics in the book. Rush was honestly such a realistic brother. Also, the parents felt really real to me and I truly appreciate that.
I also loved Emily and her friendship with Hawthorn. IT was all super realistic and showed the true meaning of friendship.
AND MY FAVORITE.
I loved Connor so so so much. His cute pet name for Hawthorn was Thorny and it was adorable and I really just wanted them to get together every single page they were on together. Some of my favorite scenes were with Connor and Hawthorn!
READ THIS BOOK!