The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Available January 3, 2017
Hawthorn didn’t even like Lizzie Lovett, but when the girl disappears and the whole town turns upside down over it, she can’t resist getting involved. At first it’s just a pastime. But as Hawthorn’s unorthodox theory takes shape, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into Lizzie’s life. She gets hired at Lizzie’s old job makes friends with her understandably wrecked boyfriend, the guy half the town thinks might have killed Lizzie. As she delves deeper into the girl she never knew, Hawthorn learns how little she understands herself and her own place in the world, and understanding what happened to Lizzie becomes her own transforming journey.
Hawthorn’s voice has to be the strongest part of this story. I wasn’t immediately crazy about the voice, but the style and its consistency definitely drew me in. This is one of those stories with deeply flawed characters, and my disappointment with those that didn’t rise from the ashes of their mistakes (sorry, no spoilers) made me stop reading for a few moments to grieve. Sometimes you just want better for people—even imaginary ones!
I often struggle reading stories about really unconventional families (probably odd, since I think my family would probably fit that description to those looking in from the outside) and Hawthorn’s family was definitely a struggle. I loved her brother and his best friend.
Fans of Cori McCarthy’s You Were Here should check out The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett. The emotional depth and surprising journey of grief reminded me a lot of You Were Here as did the quirkiness of the main character—though Lizzie Lovett is told only in Hawthorn’s point-of-view as opposed to the multiple perspectives in McCarthy’s novel.
Pretty generic small-town America.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.
Hawthorn reveals the source of her name—her parents conceived her under a hawthorn tree. Later she kisses and has sex with her boyfriend—an experience which leaves her with mixed feelings. She didn’t expect the awkwardness. She wonders about Lizzie’s experience with sex and asks some general questions of Lizzie’s boyfriend. He tells Hawthorn that Lizzie liked sex a lot.
Hawthorn explores some unconventional ideas about Lizzie’s disappearance. For instance, could she have transformed into another creature? A group of hippies begins camping in Hawthorn’s backyard, and their leader gives Hawthorn some advice about finding her true name and ways to view life according to his ways.
Hawthorn’s mother told her to be careful what she wished for, especially in terms of wishing ill on others. So when Hawthorn wishes ill on someone, she wishes things that are more often comical or inconvenient, such as wishing that whenever a rival microwaved a frozen burrito, the center would stay cold.
A girl at school makes Hawthorn miserable. She never physically bullies her, but her behavior is emotionally bullying and mean. See spoiler alert below for additional violent content.
Hawthorn goes to a party where teens are drinking. She also gets drunk and sick. At one point her brother comes home drunk and sick. The hippies (and Hawthorn’s mother) smoke pot in the backyard. Lizzie comments that if her mom is smoking pot, she can’t very well condemn her underage drinking.
Additional violent content – SPOILER WARNING
Searchers find Lizzie’s body eventually. She committed suicide by hanging herself.