The Hundreds Lies of Lizzie Lovett

400p. ebook available. Sourcebooks/Fire. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492636083.
Gr 9 Up—Lonely misfit high school senior Hawthorn Creely finds respite from pressure at school and at home by searching for a missing student: popular Lizzie Lovett. There are no clues, burning secrets, or great reveals surrounding Lizzie's disappearance. Instead, Hawthorn's wildly creative imagination and humor drive this mystery's plot forward. In a somewhat disturbing turn of events, she steps into Lizzie's life, taking the missing girl's old job and becoming involved with her boyfriend, Enzo. Hawthorn's insecurities and eventual self-discovery comprise the central themes of the novel as she navigates dates, dances, mean girls, and social isolation. Ultimately, Sundog, a visiting hippie, gives Hawthorn sensible spiritual guidance: "Some people are born knowing their paths from the start. The rest of us take a while to get there." Sage advice indeed. Some readers may be put off by the lack of a traditional whodunit story line as well as by Hawthorn's sometimes odd responses to situations, while other readers may find her eccentricities refreshingly honest and recognize an authentic teen voice. Some mature situations, including sex and drinking, are woven throughout.
VERDICT Recommended for teens who appreciate a protagonist with a lively imagination and an acerbic tongue.

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