“Other people could forget about Lizzie, but not Ms. Lovett. She’d always feel the pain of her daughter’s disappearance and the pain of watching everyone around her slowly stop caring.”
It’s books like The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett that make me feel like I need to work harder to try new authors. First, the reviews on this one are all over the place. There are a lot of people who liked it, and for every one there’s someone who didn’t. I fall in the camp of people who really liked it, which makes me feel even better about it. A new author I liked; one that where I get to offer a good review. Yay!
Would it be presumptuous of me to say that I think The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is a book some people just don’t understand? I read a reviewer say that they felt like the author couldn’t decide what kind of book it was, that the story flopped between contemporary and paranormal. I couldn’t disagree more. There was nothing paranormal in The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett at all. I’m pretty positive that Chelsea Sedoti knew exactly what kind of story she was telling.
It was Hawthorn’s story. It was about how lonely life is when you feel like you don’t fit in, and even more, when the kids around you go out of their way to make sure you are an outsider. It’s about this world that Hawthorn creates in her head to keep her going. Hawthorn’s theory was one based in a need for her world to be bigger than what she experienced in High School. I liked her right away.
All of the characters felt fleshed out. For instance, Enzo. Enzo was that guy… the one that represents the relationships that are unhealthy but you can grudgingly understand why Hawthorn is drawn to him. He’s hurtful without purpose, and then oddly sweet at times. I felt like it was obvious that he was not the turn Hawthorn’s path was supposed to take. Yet, I also appreciated that he wasn’t villainized beyond necessity.
Another relationship that showed growth in the story was the one between Hawthorn and her brother Rush. To start, Hawthorn felt distanced from her brother, as though he had no interest in her once he became popular and ‘adult’. Yet, we the reader watched him prove, as the story progressed, how much he actually did love his little sister. I think familial relationships will almost always be a highlight for me. I liked Rush, but I particularly liked reading about Rush and Hawthorn.
And then there was Connor. The surprise. I loved him from the beginning. I love the unassuming characters. I love when they sneak up on me and make me adore them.
Now, it’s worth noting that despite what I’ve said about Enzo and Connor, this is NOT a romantic book. This book is about Hawthorn, and it’s about Lizzie. And even more importantly it’s about how Hawthorn sees herself and what that means about how she sees Lizzie. It’s a self-reflection book.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love self-reflection. Even when it’s not my own.
“Do you know about the hawthorn tree? They’re tough, sturdy. They can outlast storms. Hawthorn trees provide food and shelter for animals and insects. They nourish the world around them. It’s a name anyone would be honored to have.”
Thanks you to Sourcebooks Fire for a copy in exchange for an honest review.