The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett Review
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The high school years can be filled with drama and anxiety. So in author Chelsea Sedoti’s The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, one teenage girl escapes the pressures and insecurities of real life by creating her own little world of mystery, fantasy, and romance, inspired by a troubling missing person’s case.

The story begins with a missing girl. Lizzie Lovett was the most popular girl in her small Ohio town. One night, a few years after graduating from high school, Lizzie goes on a camping trip with her boyfriend and simply disappears.

Hawthorn Creely didn’t really know Lizzie—outside one horrible memory. But something about the mystery of it all—and the fact that it makes a great distraction from the stress of her own life—makes Hawthorn want to search for answers. So she steps into Lizzie’s footsteps and sets out on an unlikely quest.

  
 
The first thing readers will notice about The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is the voice. The first-person story is told from Hawthorn’s perspective, using the unmistakable voice of a dry, sarcastic teenage outsider whose cutting comments mask her fears and insecurity. She’s a real character—which means that she’s not always likable. In fact, she’s often quite the opposite. She’s often selfish and sometimes just plain cruel—yet there’s something about her that’s relatable, too.

Like most teenagers, Hawthorn struggles with relationships, feels disconnected from her family, and worries about her future. And while her best (and only) friend, Emily, is already planning her years after high school, Hawthorn avoids all talk of serious, practical matters. So, instead, she escapes into Lizzie Lovett’s world. She takes Lizzie’s waitressing job and starts spending time with Lizzie’s boyfriend. And that eventually takes her on an imaginative—but rather bizarre—journey.

Hawthorn’s story, meanwhile, is an unexpected one. Though she sets out to figure out what happened to Lizzie, this isn’t really a mystery—because she’s more focused on her own imaginative investigation (one involving Lizzie as a werewolf). There’s a bit of romance, as her friendship with Lizzie’s much-older boyfriend, Enzo, begins to shift. And, in between Hawthorn’s supernatural investigation and her adventures with Enzo, there’s also plenty of teen drama, as well as some counseling from the hippies who are camped out in her family’s back yard. It’s a strange and shifting and often perplexing story—with some adult situations—but, in the end, there’s something here that’s smart and captivating, too.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett isn’t a light romance or a cozy mystery. It isn’t a quirky teen adventure. But somewhere in this eccentric teenager’s oddly challenging story, there’s a melancholy yet meaningful message.


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