Sometimes, there are books that look REALLY good, and turn out not to be very good at all. Sometimes, there are books that don’t look very good, and turn out to be one of the best books ever. And sometimes, there are books that sit somewhat in the middle – either they look good and are okay, or they look bad and aren’t too bad at all.
This… is kind of one of those books. It was okay, but it wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad, though. It was pretty… interesting, and had a really authentic voice, and a few other things ( but I’ll get into those when I start the actual review. ) Plus, the cover matches my blog aesthetic! #important
There will be some minor spoilers below! I haven’t quite figured out how to hide spoilers, so please forgive me on that area. More major spoilers will be colored white, and you’ll have to hover over them to read them. Because for some reason you might want to read this book.
“HAWTHORN wasn’t trying to insert herself into a missing person’s investiagation. 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 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?”
WHAT I LIKED
- HAWTHORN. As a character, she was pretty interesting. I’m not saying that because interesting = a good character, or anything of the sort, because it really doesn’t. Hawthorn jumps on crazy theories ( their teacher’s a terrorist! there’s a monster in the lake! ) and doesn’t let go. She practically thrives off of the interesting things in her life, because she lives in a small town where really nothing happens at all… and I can’t really blame her, Griffin Mills is very much portrayed as boring. Her voice was really well written, too.
“Cities let you blend in. There are so many people that it doesn’t matter if you’re weird or if no one likes you, because there’s probably someone even worse off. And if you’re really lucky, you might even meet people who are weird in the exact same way you are and feel like you’ve finally found a place where you fit in. There was no chance of that happening in Griffin Mills. I was convinced there was a secret factory somewhere in town, spitting out people from a mold. And I came out defective.”
She really comes into her own about half way through the book, becoming a character both imaginative and strong. Welllll… stronger than in the first half of the book, that is.
- EMILY. Hawthorn’s friendship with Emily is quite well written. Emily calls out Hawthorn a few times when she’s doing things that aren’t exactly healthy ( like hanging out with Lizzie’s boyfriend, Enzo. ) Hawthorn isn’t the best friend to Emily, and honestly Emily deserved better, but I’m glad that it was portrayed the way it was. It ended up being worth it. Personally? I would read a book about Emily. She’s a great character. I loved her.
- HAWTHORN’S FAMILY. I really liked Hawthorn’s family, especially how the author portrayed it. Her parents actually seemed to care about their daughter. She wasn’t super close with her brother, but they still loved each other a lot.
WHAT I DIDN’T
- HAWTHORN. Wait, what? “Why is this on here twice?” you might be asking. Well, I say to you… Hawthorn’s pretty obnoxious. I don’t mind an obnoxious protagonist if the story is super duper interesting… but Hawthorn was rude. Yeah, I get it! She was lonely, and bored, and nobody liked her because she was different… but she was rude to her best friend, she was rude to her family, she was rude to pretty much everyone except for Enzo ( at first, at least ) and, spoiler alert, the hippies? who come to stay with them for a while.
- THE ‘LIES.’ The title of this book has ‘lies’ in it, so why weren’t there really any lies at all? I was expecting for Hawthorn to have to search through Lizzie’s life, learning about all of the lies she had told throughout it, weaving them around herself until ‘Lizzie Lovett’ was a character, not a person. There were really no lies at all. None. Nada. Zilch.
- ENZO. Sometimes, you read a book and hate someone. For me, this book had one of those: Enzo, Lizzie’s boyfriend. Aside from being pretty self absorbed ( and, SPOILER ALERT using Hawthorn to get over Lizzie’s disappearance )… he didn’t really have much of a personality. He was an ‘artist’! He missed his girlfriend!! He was depressed!!! Yeah, that was about it. Besides… he was a lot older than Hawthorn ( who was only 17 ) and took an interest in her, and that was honestly kind of disgusting?? Like, no thank you.
- THE PLOT. “Wait,” you’re asking… “are there really any redeemable qualities to this book?” ( See ‘What I Liked’ section for answers. ) “Not really,” I say, tossing my copy of the book off a cliff and then diving after it because it’s from the library. “Why is the plot bad”? you’re asking. “What plot?” I reply. There basically was no plot. The plot was that Hawthorn was bored and, SPOILER ALERT, thought that Lizzie was a werewolf. There really was no plot aside from that… unless you count the side plot thing with Enzo, which I’d much prefer to forget, personally.
Would I suggest it to someone? Nope.
Would I read it again? Nope.