Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Title: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Release Date: January 2017

Source: Goodreads Giveaway

Rating: 3.5/5

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What’s the story?

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.

Review

This book arrived on my doorstep on the worst day of my cold — you know the one where you’re so sick of being sick and going stir crazy because you’ve been in bed for 3 days — and it brought light to my life.

I had been eyeing this book on Goodreads since January, and intrigued by the fairly vague synopsis, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and kept an open mind.  I was caught off guard and thrown for a loop quite a few times, some were good and some were not-so-good, and by the end, I felt a little cheated.

Overall, I enjoyed Sedoti’s writing.  Her diction and language was strong, and the dialogue felt natural and unique for each and every character.  For the most part, I felt that the characters themselves were realistic and well thought out.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the novel’s main character, Hawthorn Creely.

I found Hawthorn to be frustratingly annoying and couldn’t bring myself to like her much until the very end.  She seemed forced and sometimes unauthentic, as though, despite all of her interesting quirks, she chose to cast herself as society’s misfit teenager and whined about it the whole time.  I also just didn’t understand her obsession with Lizzie Lovett.

Of course, I understand that the entire premise of the novel was for Hawthorn to uncover Lizzie Lovett’s mysterious disappearance, however, I sometimes felt that this was the only thing happening in the novel.  Especially since I just didn’t understand Lizzie’s appeal.

Hawthorn becomes so infatuated with Lizzie Lovett, a girl she hardly knew or cared for prior to her disappearance, that it consumes her completely.  She takes her boring waitress job, dates her strange boyfriend, and becomes completely immersed in the hundred plausible explanations for her disappearance, most of which are supernatural and involve werewolf lore.

But of course, with Sedoti’s strong writing and talent for suspense, I just couldn’t put the book down.  Hawthorn’s obsession became my obsession — I needed to know what happened to Lizzie — and as the story went on, I began to feel for Hawthorn and understand her character just a little bit more.  She is a misfit and Lizzie, being the stereotypical popular and perfect girl that she had been in high school, is exactly who Hawthorn wishes she could be — beautiful, friends with everyone, crushed on by all the boys, and most importantly, included — so she adopts what she can from the life Lizzie left behind.

In my opinion, there was no perfect ending, and although I did feel a little cheated by it, I do think Sedoti did well to tie up loose ends and bring Lizzie and Hawthorn’s stories to a close.  Things ended relatively well, and I honestly have to say that the part I liked the absolute least throughout this entire novel, was Hawthorn’s extremely cringe-worthy relationship with Lorenzo Calvetti, Lizzie’s boyfriend, so take it as you will.

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