Oh, man, I remember what it was like to be young and reluctant to grow up and desperately seeking the otherworldly in a futile effort to refute how very prosaic this world is. If that is the kind of person you are or were, too, then our teenage heroine, Hawthorn, will very much resonate with you, as well. Her self-consciousness causes her to be prickly, which makes people dislike her, which heightens her self-consciousness: a very familiar adolescent cycle. When Lizzie Lovett, the most popular girl in school three years ago before graduating, goes missing in the woods, Hawthorn becomes obsessed with the case despite her initial scoffing. She doesn’t believe that bad things happen to people like Lizzie, and as the days pass and no sign of Lizzie is found, she begins to develop her own theory of what happened on the night Lizzie disappeared. Next thing you know, Hawthorn has taken Lizzie’s job at the diner and is starting to hang out with Lizzie’s boyfriend. Yeah, that goes about as well as you’d expect. Tho, I’m pleased to say, not as badly as I’d feared (spoiler: I got a distinct Swamplandia! feel partway through and am so, so glad it didn’t get as bad as that.)
The Hundred Lies Of Lizzie Lovett is a smart, funny coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl who’s kind of weird and kind of a loner but who’s really, really easy to identify with (tho I’m well aware that some people won’t find her as relatable. We all had different lives growing up, of course.) It’s also really readable — I crushed it in one day — and I’m glad I picked it up as part of the #BigLibraryRead global reading initiative. I’m very much looking forward to their next selection, given how good this one was and how I likely would never have read it otherwise.