Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Lizzie Lovett is missing. Hawthorn Creely never cared much for Lizzie until she disappeared while out camping with her boyfriend. Suddenly Hawthorn can imagine a hundred interesting scenarios – and she needs to be involved. She finds herself working Lizzie’s old job and befriending Lorenzo, Lizzie’s boyfriend, to try and figure out what really happened to Lizzie Lovett.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is a fantastically unique young adult novel debut. It was easy to read, the dialogue and narration felt natural. Unfortunately, the “mystery” part of the book was not as important as the blurb would have you believe. For the most part, it’s just Hawthorn chasing a ridiculous theory that’s obviously not true.
Sedoti has managed to create a realistic teen, but it’s hard to support Hawthorn as the hero. Hawthorn has a fantastic voice, she’s annoying, lonely, selfish and rash. Sedoti has managed to make her memorable but she feels poorly used. Hawthorn is unlikeable because even while this is her story it isn’t. It is Lizzie’s story. Hawthorn is obsessed with some missing girl she briefly hated in high school. It is okay for a narrator to be unreliable/unlikable but when Hawthorn’s motives are so flimsy it’s hard to want to continue reading her story.
It’s almost like Hawthorn is too realistic. No one wants to read a story about a self-obsessed whiny teenager who barely learns to grow out of it by the end of the book. On the other hand, it can be argued that Hawthorn is ridiculously childish for a seventeen-year-old. She’s old enough to think she can date people over the age of twenty but still thinks it’s appropriate to make up and publically announce theories about werewolves while people are grieving.
Near the end of the novel a more realistic explanation is found and the plot sort of screeches to a stop. Everything it was building towards falls flat. Burgeoning romance suddenly cut off. A new empty romance forced in. Hawthorn just barely growing up. I feel the need to point out here that it is fine to believe in things, to want magic – but Hawthorn can barely distinguish reality from fiction even at the end of the novel.
Sedoti had a premise with promise, but an immature narrator wasting hundreds of pages with playing pretend makes this less of a magnificent mystery and more just mediocre.