I liked Hawthorn from the beginning page when she compared her mother’s oatmeal to silly putty. My mother made oatmeal like that. This lighthearted opening for The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti doesn’t stay lighthearted long.
Questions begin for Hawthorn as soon as word gets out that Lizzie Lovett has disappeared. Is she dead? Did her boyfriend kill her? Has she become a werewolf? And the big one, can Hawthorn find out what happened to her?
Relationships with her longtime best friend, her brother and his best friend Connor, the people at the diner where she works to keep her dilapidated car running, and Lizzie’s boyfriend round out the story of Hawthorn’s search. Then her mother’s long ago hippie friends show up to camp out in the back yard.
In an unapologetic spoiler, the book deals with bullying, social outcasts, and suicide. Hawthorn says it well, “The thing about high school is that you have to pretend you don’t care what people think, even though that’s all you care about.”
Hawthorn’s poor decisions sometimes had me wanting to yank a knot in her neck and questioning whether I would even use the book for a blog, but her frailties seemed so real and relevant that I began to come around. The final decision came when Hawthorn remembered and understood the significance of Connor’s words “about life looking different depending on where you were standing.”
This book is not an easy read but has relevance and would appeal to its intended audience of high schoolers.