To discuss The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is to revisit what I loved as a young reader. I was obsessed with middle grade mysteries… Nancy Drew, horror mysteries, fantasy mysteries, pretty much anything that left me guessing. All of those. I have no idea why I stopped reading them, but I suspect it was when they made us read a mystery in grade school, and when you HAVE to read something, you suddenly don’t want to read them anymore. Anyway… back to the review!
This story introduces us to Hawthorn, a snarky but honest and comfortable in her own skin teen, slash somewhat outsider, slash lonely but not lonely teen who is trying to figure out how to get her mom to let her stay home from school when her older (and clearly popular) brother shares that news that Lizzie Lovett has gone missing. Lizzie is beloved, or envied, and a former cheerleader at Hawthorn’s high school. Lizzie is cast as a likable and valued member of their world, or the ‘inner circle’ of their world. Though Hawthorn seems completely disinterested over the initial melodrama, she starts to put pieces of the truth together.
Without spoilers (as it is a mystery), I will say that my favorite part of this book is Hawthorn’s voice. It is so true, clear, imperfect, obnoxious, snarky, endearing and valid. Her voice is so effortless you may forget that you are reading an authored work and not listening to an actual person or reading their journal. Hawthorn is likable by anyone who has ever felt like they were on the outside looking in.
This was a refreshing read for me as it is so different than many of the most popular offerings out there. It’s not a sci-fi, or a fairy tale retelling, it’s just an original read. Definitely recommended for mystery fans. I look forward to Chelsea’s next book!
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett released on January 3, 2017 by Sourcebooks.