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. – blurb from GoodReads
I am torn about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it. I like mysteries, and it was the mystery that drew me to this novel. On the other hand… I hated it.
Firstly, I felt like the description of the book was VERY misleading. There at least should have been a trigger warning on it; although this would have spoiled the book, perhaps I would not have had the panic I did at the end of it. So, yeah. Also, it was more supernaturally than I expected; again, this was not covered in the description. I felt like the book I was expecting to read, something akin to Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was far more like The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. So a whole star was taken off for the misleading description and lack of warning over something which easily triggered ME; and it hasn’t affected me much before.
Secondly, I felt like the main character, Hawthorn’s, parents were weirdly out of the picture. Like, they didn’t stop their daughter from running around with a suspected murderer. WHAT. And how big was their back garden for many people with caravans and tents to stay there?! Also, I felt like they were just bad parents. I feel like this is a theme in YA novels, but Hawthorn’s father could have been more involved, easily, and I feel like her mother was just on the verge. It just annoyed me that they were very distant and this made the book unbelievable.
Thirdly, Hawthorn herself. She was SEVENTEEN and acting like she was seven! I don’t know where all of this talk came from, but I felt, honestly, like she should have gotten some help (again, back to the parents thing). Like, I know I’m a bit weird and I know I believe in stuff other people don’t and get freaked out by the supernatural, but this was taking it way too far. On the other hand, she could have just taken this ONE bit too far, but from other interactions with characters, I kind of think that this wasn’t the first time.
However, the mystery was very interesting and poignant at the end. I know that a lot of people have raved about this book, so what I’ve written might seem weird to those people. The mystery did keep me reading – I read this entire book in three sittings, and over half of it in one. I was constantly intrigued as to what had happened; but again, there’s with the misleading thing.
(Also, can we talk about Enzo? Like, he was manipulative and vindictive and I’m surprised that the police just left him alone. I’m surprised he didn’t try to help himself. He was a very odd character; I actually feel like the book could have done without him, and probably could have been better off; Hawthorn was much worse off with him in the novel.)
HOWEVER (again), Hawthorn herself was actually a really great character. She was totally realistic, and she genuinely wasn’t like anyone else I have ever read in YA. I don’t know if I enjoyed reading her, but she was the best view point for the story.
Overall? I think that this book would be great for some people. Admittedly, I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to read a novel like this (AGAIN WITH THE MISLEADING ARGH) so I think that if I had read it a couple of days ago I would have really enjoyed it. It kept me gripped, it was around the right pace (maybe a little slow in places, but that’s novels for you) and the writing was very good. I just wouldn’t read this again.
SPOILERS: If you want to know what the misleading thing was, aka the mystery, here it is (TW): Lizzie Lovett died by suicide, and we discover this at the end of the novel. She hanged herself, so her body has been left for a couple of months as it hadn’t been found. There are some descriptions and ideas of it which made me shudder, and I DEFINITELY think Hawthorn should have got some help and I don’t know how no one else saw this either. Her own brother saw her tying a scarf around her neck to check out what the pressure would feel like AND YET DID NOTHING. I feel like this book didn’t do enough on the mental health aspect, especially considering that pretty much every single character in this novel seemed to have some kind of mental health illness.
*I was sent an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
TITLE: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
AUTHOR: Chelsea Serdoti
GENRE: YA Mystery
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: Sourcebooks // Expected publication: January 3rd 2017
PERSONAL SOURCE: eARC from NetGalley