A special thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Hawthorn, an awkward teenager, becomes obsessed with solving the disappearance of Lizzie Lovett, a girl who mysteriously vanished while on a camping trip with her boyfriend. Her overactive imagination invents a crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie and in order to prove it, Hawthorn inserts into Lizzie's life, including taking Lizzie's job and boyfriend.
Sedoti walks a fine line with such an unreliable narrator in Hawthorn. This coming-of-age story could come off as campy, but she pulls it off by giving Hawthorn some redeeming qualities that flesh out as the story progresses. It would be easy for the reader to assume that she is immature for her age, but in fact, it is simply lack of life experience given that she only has one friend and is therefore stunted when it comes to forming relationships.
Without giving away the ending, the writing is raw and encapsulates what it is like to be a misfit teenager, or anyone really who is trying to find their place in the world. Sedoti captures Hawthorn's angst and emotion through her solid writing. Her character is multi-faceted from her sarcastic wit to her vulnerable interior and this is why the story can move on from Hawthorn's juvenile theory into a moving story.