Synopsis taken from Goodreads
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.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was mysterious and intriguing. I really enjoyed reading this novel and I flew through it in just a few days. I suppose the ending was obvious from the start, but like Hawthorn, I wanted to know if there was more to the story of Lizzie Lovett. I also really liked that the story was about Hawthorn instead of the character who’s name is on the cover. Of course, the novel is about Hawthorn digging into Lizzie’s life and figuring out what happened to her in the woods, it’s more of a story about Hawthorn’s growth at such a crucial state in life. Hawthorn is a high school senior who doesn’t know what to do with her life after school ends, she’s also relentlessly bullied by the “popular” girls because Hawthorn has some quirky habits and characteristics. She believes in the impossible because it’s better than knowing the truth. She hopes to find out where Lizzie is so she can prove that her crazy theories are more than just crazy theories. But in the end she has to accept that the things that happen in life can’t always be explained in simple terms or by absurd theories. I thought Hawthorn’s character growth throughout the novel was great and this novel gave a nice lesson about life in the end. Overall, I totally recommend this book! It’s a unique twist on a YA murder case novel so definitely take a look at it next time you’re at the book store. (Side note: when I got to the end of my E-ARC I saw that the author is from my home town so woo go Vegas XD)
My rating: 4 stars
My biggest criticism is that I really disliked the use of the phrase “maybe, probably” throughout the novel. Maybe, probably, this phrase didn’t have to be on every page in order for us to understand the Hawthorn is a confused teenager who doesn’t want to accept the truths of life yet. I get that it’s there to give some specific thing that could be only Hawthorne’s, but it really bugged me that it happened so often (sometimes more than once in the same paragraph).
Aside from that one negative tidbit, I found that his novel was very well thought out and I constantly wanted to know what Hawthorn was going to find out next. I figured Lizzie was dead the whole time, but I always assumed it would be a hostile act not a suicide in the end. I loved that the idea behind the whole book was that people may seem happy and perfect on the outside, like they have everything they could ever want in life, but they’re depressed and completely unhappy in their seemingly perfect life. This something I have seen around me in life, someone I didn’t know very well but thought was a happy girl with lots of friends just overdosed on pills by herself one night and no one had any idea she was having any thoughts of the sort. So this type of idea hit me quite a while back, and with my mom being a therapist, I understand that there is so much more to people than just what they let people see.
I was so interested in the way grief was portrayed throughout the novel, first with Rush being deeply affected when he learned that Lizzie was missing, and Hawthorn being depressed for weeks when she found out the girl she had tried to understand and find for 3 months had killed herself in the woods and had been dead the whole time. It frustrated me a little that Hawthorn had been so judgmental about her brother when she did the same thing a few months later. But in the end, the character development made me so happy because she and Rush were getting along and understanding each other a bit more. I like good sibling relationships because I like to think my siblings and I get along pretty well. Sure we get annoyed by each other all the time but we never really fight as badly as Rush and Hawthorn do. The hippies probably helped Hawthorn grow up a little too because she discovered that she needs to stop hiding her thoughts and feelings from everyone. She found a wise friend in Sundog and that really helped her to grow and discover what she needed to do.
Emily was an interesting character. I can’t really relate to that kind of friendship since it’s not a situation I have really been through. I wasn’t bullied in high school, I have the fact that I went to a performing arts magnet school to thank for that (everyone was perfectly weird in their own way). I liked that even after fighting and breaking apart a bit, Emily was still there for her best friend and Hawthorn had figured out that she should reciprocate that support more. I thought Enzo’s character was strange in a good way because every part of me was screaming that he was wrong for Hawthorn, but I also knew that she had to experience what she did with Enzo to really mature.
Overall, I enjoyed diving into this story and I hope you did too. Let me know what you thought of this novel in the comments so we can chat about it!