Is Chelsea Sedoti a seventeen-year-old girl who is also a great writer? Because it sure reads like she is. In The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, our protagonist, Hawthorn Creely has an incredibly distinctive and realistic voice. To be honest, it’s been a few (!) years since I was a teenager, but this book brought me right back there. Back to that time of wanting desperately to just not stand out in any way; back to the loneliness and isolation of cliques and gossip; back to the feeling of just wanting to be grown up already. Sedoti captures this beautifully in a strange and different story about being an almost-adult with a weird-ish family living in a small town where nothing ever happens and the social hierarchy is unlikely to change.
In this town, however, something huge finally happens. Lizzie Lovett, a girl that Hawthorn worships for all her beautiful seemingly effortless popularity, goes missing one day while camping with her boyfriend. It is a great mystery, something my little Nancy Drew loving heart would have seized on, just as Hawthorn does here in our story. She comes up with a very strange theory to explain the mysterious disappearance, and then tries to involve herself in Lizzie’s life, something she would never have had the courage to do if Lizzie wasn’t missing. She takes Lizzie’s job at a diner, and then gets close to her boyfriend, Enzo. Eventually Hawthorn and Enzo start investigating together and get closer and closer.
The story is strange and lovely, the plot almost secondary to the journey that Hawthorn is going through. The book is full of insights and the characters are so sharply drawn that I could picture them all clearly. If you want to read a YA novel with an interesting story and a realistic beat on how hard it is to be a young girl, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is a good one.
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGally for free, and it is scheduled to be released on January 3, 2017.