Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti


☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

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.

Expected publication: January 3rd 2017 by Sourcebooks

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When Lizzie Lovett, the “It Girl” in her high school years, disappears, the entire town, is shocked and concerned. The one exception is Hawthorn Creely. Hawthorn, who views herself as the antithesis of Lizzie, is sure it is a prank or Lizzie just taking a breather from reality. Hawthorn’s long-standing obsession with Lizzie Lovett makes her curious enough to try to sleuth out the truth of what happened to Lizzie. The story premise seemed like that of a thriller or cozy mystery, however, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is neither. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is more of an exploration of young adults, society in general, and the microcosm of high school life specifically.

Although Lizzie is the only character mentioned in the title, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is just as much about Hawthorn Creely as it is about Lizzie Lovett. Hawthorn is an interesting character. She epitomizes the stereotypical teenage feelings of self-doubt, being different, and of being an outsider. Whether she brings it on herself, imagines it, or truly experiences it, the overwhelming feeling of being inadequate and at odds with the norms of teenagers defines her life. Her alleged interest in discovering what happened to Lizzie is a thinly veiled attempt to find out what it is like to be Lizzie, to be popular, to be successful, and to be in a relationship.

Hawthorn’s sometimes painful journey leads to self-discovery and acceptance. It also results in finding Lizzie. While Hawthorn doesn’t literally learn of one hundred lies about Lizzie, she does learn that Lizzie’s public persona was radically different than who she was privately. Lizzie hid secrets and hardships behind the glamour of her public profile as the lead cheerleader and homecoming queen. Hawthorn learns that people let you see what they want you to see of themselves, and that even with quiet observation, you might never really know someone unless they want to let you in.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is not a fast-paced, page-turner. It is in fact, rather slowly paced. The story sometimes felt weighted down by Hawthorn’s obsessiveness, and her wild hypotheses about Lizzie’s disappearance left me with the feeling that the story was losing its path. After pondering the story for a couple weeks, I’ve decided that both the pace and the frivolous hypotheses are part of the reader getting to know Hawthorn while she loses some of her naiveté and determines who she wants to be. This was not the story I thought I would get, but after some reflection, I am happy with the story Chelsea Sedoti wrote.



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