Publishing Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "Hawthorn wasn't trying to insert herself into a missing person's investigation. Or maybe she was. But that's only because Lizzie Lovett's disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don't happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she'll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now.So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie's disappearance. A theory way too absurd to take seriously? at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie's life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie's boyfriend. After all, it's not as if he killed her-or did he?Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn's quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself" (Sourcebooks Fire).
My overall thoughts and review: I've been on such a mystery/thriller kick recently and when I read the premise for this book, I knew I had to pick it up. From the first page, the reader is immediately thrown into Hawthorn's world, or rather, Hawthorn's mind. I must admit, in the beginning, I was quite reluctant and I found it hard to get on board with the text. Hawthorn is kind of "prickly" but you quickly learn as a reader, the inner workings of her mind. She goes to school with some pretty hostile people, like the character Mychelle. Hawthorn finds her life as boring and when the mystery of what really happened to Lizzie Lovett comes up, she finds herself diving straight into it. She begins to explore where Lizzie used to work and even starts hanging out with her boyfriend, Enzo. The story isn't so much about Lizzie (well yes, it is, Hawthorn becomes obsessed with what happened to her), but it really becomes about Hawthorn learning more about herself and coming to terms with who she is. The text touches on her relationship with her bestfriend, and how that changes when you add other relationships to the mix. The text also speaks about her relationship with her brother, and what that is like, being the kid sister. You also see how her family life is which shapes everything nicely.
I will say, what I appreciated most about this book was that Chelsea does not sugarcoat things at all for the reader. Trigger warning, there is some dark subject matter. That might not be apparent from the beginning of the book because of Hawthorn's unique perspective and personality, but do go into this book with an open-mind. I said earlier on, I found it hard to empathize with Hawthorn, but as I kept reading, she genuinely grew on me. She wasn't a perfect character, but I got to understand why she was so interested in Lizzie Lovett, and she kind of reminded me of myself a bit. I definitely had some far-fetched ideas as a teen and although, Lizzie's idea of what happened is quite surreal and strange, I feel like this was her way of coping with what happened. We cope and manage in different ways and sometimes really strange ways. High-school years can be some of the toughest years for some individuals and Chelsea gives the reader a pretty good example of how dark and lonely high-school can be. Some believe that it can be the best years of your life, but the harsh reality is that many deal with cases of bullying on a daily basis. The text also speaks a lot about expectations and ideals. That because we give off a certain persona, we are expected to rise to a certain standard and into people's expectations. Overall, I feel like this YA read was definitely something I've never encountered before. It spoke about high-school, bullying, depression/anxiety, family, friendship and falling in love, and all from a very unique character like Hawthorn. If you are a fan of John Green's Paper Towns or Andrew Smith's Winger, I definitely think that you will enjoy this read!
Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)
As part of the blog tour, Chelsea has very kindly offered to answer a question for each blogger about the book! :D
Author Question and Answer
1. What part of the text was the most difficult for you to write?
Writing the last chapter of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was devastating.
Not for the reason some people struggle with final scenes. It wasn’t devastating because of the content, or because I was so invested in the character’s emotional journey.
It was because I didn’t want to stop writing.
Hawthorn and her story had lived in my head for years before I put anything on paper. Over time, I’d come to know Hawthorn so well. She became a part of me. I was convinced I’d never love another of my characters as much as I loved her. When it was time to say goodbye to her, it felt like saying goodbye to an old friend.
Writing the final words should have been a celebration, because finishing a novel is a huge accomplishment. Instead, I cried. I literally cried.
At the time, I didn’t know what would happen with the book. Would it ever be published? Or, after all that effort, would I put Hawthorn aside, never to be looked at again? For all I knew, The Hundred Lies would be my first and only novel. Typing “The End” felt so very final.
Clearly, the outcome of this story is already spoiled for you. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett got published. Hawthorn didn’t have to fade out of my life.
And I did write a second book. It turns out, there are characters in it who I love just as much as I love Hawthorn.
When I wrote the final chapter of my second book, I didn’t cry. Because I knew very well that there would be more stories in my future. More characters who would eventually feel like friends to me. I’m confident now that there’s no reason to grieve the end of a book.
But man, writing that last chapter of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was tough.
Thank you so much, Chelsea, for taking the time to answer my question. Writing the ending is definitely the author saying goodbye to the characters you have created and come to love. I look forward to seeing what you write next :) I want to thank the lovely folks over at Raincoast for this lovely opportunity as always to participate in their blog tours and Chelsea for speaking with us bloggers. Please take a moment to visit the other stops on the tour and check out my fellow bloggers' reviews and their own specific questions for Chelsea!
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own.