I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on Jan 3rd, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon
Hawthorn wasn't trying to insert herself into a missing person's investigation. Or maybe she was. But that's only because Lizzie Lovett's disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don't happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she'll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now.
So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie's disappearance. A theory way too absurd to take seriously...at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie's life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie's boyfriend. After all, it's not as if he killed her-or did he?
Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn's quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself.
I have NOT been having a good reading week. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti continues my streak of 2-star reviews. This book showed up on my radar during my weekly perusal of Netgalley books. The cover made it look like a fun contemporary and the synopsis promised me an interesting mystery.
This book is also featured in Publishers Lunch’s Buzz Books 2016: YA Fall/Winter. Ellen and I had a chance to read and review 2o samplers, including The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett (full review HERE). I wasn’t impressed back then, and I definitely am not now.
Hawthorne, named for the tree and not the writer, is an insufferable teenager. That’s not part of the blurb but it very well should be. She is is self-centered, whiny, narcissistic (yes, I know this is the same as self-centered but it’s so bad that it needs to be mentioned twice), and irritating.
The first two lines sums it up for me.
“The first thing that happened was Lizzie Lovett disappeared, and everyone was all, “How can someone like Lizzie be missing?” and I was like, “Who cares?” A few days later, there was talk about Lizzie maybe being dead, and it was still kinda boring, but not totally boring, because I’d never known a dead person before.”
Is anybody else reading this in a valley girl accent? IT CAN’T BE JUST ME GUYS.
As you can see, the writing is incredibly juvenile. Ellen would have had a fit. But being the nice and open-minded reviewer that I am, I put that aside. I tried to settle into the mind of this obnoxious 17 yr-old girl.
Compassion & Kindness
I absolutely despise people who have no compassion for others. In fact when I was 11, I almost punched a girl because she made a comment about how this earthquake in Punjab should have killed people. And the fact that it hadn’t meant the earthquake had ‘no pride or dignity’. Whatever that means. My two best friends had to drag me away when they saw the thunderous look in my eye.
Looking back I realize that we were children. At the time I had already gone through life experiences that had taught me the value of human life. And I couldn’t bear that someone else was taking it so lightly and uttered such despicable words. I’m not in touch with this girl anymore, but I’m sure she’s grown into a kind and compassionate person. After all, she didn’t know any better at the time.
Hawthorne has no real compassion for anyone else. And I HATE her for it. I didn’t expect her to be moping around, but good god, try to have SOME caring thoughts for Lizzie and the people who are suffering due to her disappearance. Hawthorne is so damn DISRESPECTFUL. If I were her best friend (Emma? Emily?), I would have slapped Hawthorne.
This isn’t a plot-driven novel. In fact, there is barely any plot in it. Since the synopsis mentions Hawthorne inserting herself into the investigation, I thought there would be more, you know, REAL investigating. Instead we just have Hawthorne taking on Lizzie’s old job at the diner and gallivanting around with Lizzie’s boyfriend.
She does have a theory about Lizzie’s disappearance though. But it is just the fucking WORST. I don’t want to mention it for fear of spoiling people, so thank god for spoiler tags!View Spoiler »Hawthorne thinks that Lizzie turned into a werewolf. Obviously, I read a ton of supernatural fiction so the concept of were-wolves existing doesn’t bother me the slightest. But someone is actually missing. Why the hell would you go around telling people that she’s a werewolf? Especially to people who are actually concerned and grieving about her? With absolutely no goddamn proof? WTF is up with that?!??! « Hide Spoiler
Hawthorne constantly says, Lizzie can’t be missing. She’s too perfect. Things like this don’t happen to her. Hawthorne says that about everybody around her. Things are perfect for others. Nobody understands me and my struggles. While I can sympathize with some of those feelings especially when live in a world of social media where it is so easy to compare ourselves to the posts and instagram pictures of others, I CAN’T STAND HOW WHINY SHE SOUNDS ABOUT IT. Dear god Hawthorne. You’re not the only one going through crap. OPEN YOUR EYES.
Since this is a character-driven story, we do see Hawthorne evolve and learn from her mistakes. So yes, she does eventually learn that she needs to be less self-involved, more compassionate and respectful but I can’t forgive her for being such an ass in the first place.
Romance & Friendship
The romantic elements are the only parts of the book that I didn’t mind. Besides the whole going out with a guy whose girlfriend just disappeared, it seemed realistic. There were some elements of her relationship with Enzo that I could personally relate to so that did tug at my heartstrings. The confusing nature of relationships and what it means to be physically and/or emotionally intimate was explored well.
I will try my best not to rant about Hawthorne’s friendship with Emily, whose name I had to look up. The author depicts Hawthorne as so self-involved, that she BARELY mentions Emily (it’s written in the first person perspective). Part of that had to do with the fact that their friendship went through some ups and downs throughout this book. I practically cheered when Emily detailed some of Hawthorne’s character flaws. Honestly, Emily deserves a better friend. Like I mentioned before, Hawthorne does go through some personal growth as the novel ends. In fact, there is a scene where Hawthorne (FINALLY) asks Emily about her life instead of blabbing about her own personal theories. BUT WE DIDN’T GET TO READ ANY OF IT. *sigh* It’s still all about Hawthorne. I guess people can’t change all that much.
I gave this book a fair shot and it just wasn’t for me. I have personal issues with people who aren’t compassionate to others and take advantage of their friends. I’ve been Emily several times. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN.
I gave The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett 2 stars because it was still a quick read and there were a couple of elements that I appreciated. Also I started drinking sangria (pictured HERE) halfway through, so that definitely helped. I will ponder over this rating in the next few days and see if I’d like to lower it.
Happy reading everyone!