Tuesday, May 24, 2016

YA Pick: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Sourcebooks Fire
Chelsea Sedoti
400 pages
ISBN: 9781492636083

Available January 2017

Twisted and taut, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett will pull at your heartstrings, make you angry, and leave you breathless. Set in a small town that nobody cares about and where nothing interesting ever happens, the story opens with the disappearance of a popular cheerleader. Lizzie is the golden girl that every boy dreams about and every girl tries to be or at least align herself with in the glorified atmosphere that surrounds Lizzie.

Introvert, passive Hawthorn throws  herself into the search for clues in Lizzie's disappearance. Although she hates Lizzie and is secretly jealous of her, Hawthorn will do anything--literally--to find the truth.  Driven by curiosity and a strange passion for wild storytelling, Hawthorn paints a picture of what might have happened to Lizzie.

Did she just disappear? Or did someone wish her harm? Hawthorn does not buy the idea that Lizzie's boyfriend Enzo did it. Maybe Lizzie somehow magically shed her human form and became a wolf. She was--after all--fascinated by wolves. Hawthorn begins to research werewolf lore obsessed with the idea that something magical must have happened to Lizzie.

In order to carry out her ruse, Hawthorn takes a job (Lizzie's old job) at a nearby diner. There she meets tortured musician and Lizzie's ex-boyfriend Enzo. Now Hawthorn is in the position she's always wanted. She is living Lizzie's charmed life. She has the boyfriend and the job.

The closer Hawthorn gets to  Enzo, the more she finds herself falling in love with him. This is all wrong. Enzo is an adult--several years older than Hawthorn. That, and the possibility that he's a murderer should be enough to give Hawthorn a pause, but it doesn't. If anything, it seems to drive her into his arms. Hawthorn's thoughts are  almost too painful to read at this point.

Hawthorn has a difficult time processing what really happened to Lizzie. With her imaginative storytelling behind her, Hawthorn is forced to face facts. How many times does a person lie to herself and to others? What if your entire persona is a lie? What if reality and persona are completely at odds? Wise Yoda-like hippie Sundog tells Hawthorn, "You only know the part of the story people want you to see."

The book comes to an end with Hawthorn learning about real life, not the magical dream world she seems to have built. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is difficult to digest. It will haunt readers long after they have finished the book.

Recommended grade 9-up. Teen behavior, mean girls, bullying, mature content, teen sex.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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