What a delightful, quirky book this was. The narration by Hawthorne was hilarious at times and really deep at others.
This book is about the high school experience, as told by nerdy Hawthorne. She’s not enjoying her time there and truly let’s you know why. The quirkiness of the characters in this book reminded me of those in The Fault in Our Stars . When the book opens we soon find out that Lizzie Lovett is missing. Hawthorne becomes obsessed with this fact as Lizzie is somewhat of an obsession to her already. She embarks on a mission to find Lizzie through no plan of her own. It just kind of happens. All of the characters in this book have a slight oddness about them. Putting them together in one book is sheer genius. I laughed out loud often in this book, yet was deeply touched by it as well. As the editor’s note in the beginning said, I didn’t really want it to end and I highlighted many passages to reread and savor.
Two passages I highlighted speak to the deep emotions that can be found lurking in the pages of this book. First, early in the book we get a sense of Hawthorne’s feelings about Lizzie,
“The thing is, Emily is right. I was jealous of Lizzie, but not of how pretty and popular and perfect she was. I envied Lizzie’s happiness. It seemed unfair that she should have so much of it when other people had so little.”
This passage really keyed us in to the depth of Hawthorne’s personal unhappiness. It also gives us another way to think about what is happening in the minds of many high school geeks. How many suffer in silence, sitting on the sidelines.
Second, toward the end of the book,
“”It’s weird. After all this time searching for her and trying to understand her life, I still don’t feel like I know her. Everyone I talked to saw her as a totally different person. And I thought it was intentional. Like Lizzie changed personalities depending on who she was with. But now, I don’t know.” Emily thought about it for a moment. “Maybe people saw her the way they wanted to see her. Maybe that’s how it always is.” If that was the case, I wondered how people saw me. How many different versions of Hawthorn Creely were out there in the world, living in people’s heads? How close were any of them to the actual me?”
I mean I could go on and on and just share so many highlighted pieces. Yes, it feels like a coined messages about life on some pages, but others like these two show just how much truly can be learned from these pages.
The book is a young adult read, but does have a sensitive topic, so more for middle school and up. I highly recommend reading the book when it is released. It’s not due out until January and I’ll surely remind you when that happens. I even love the cover of this book, don’t you?
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an early copy of the book to read and review.