by Chelsea Sedoti
Published by Sourcebooks
on January 3, 2017
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn't mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie's life. That includes taking her job... and her boyfriend. It's a huge risk — but it's just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.My take: I love mysteries, and I'm generally a fan of books where an amateur detective tries to help find a missing person. Like Last Seen Leaving, this seemed to me to be part coming-of-age story and part mystery. When a popular fellow student named Lizzie disappears, Hawthorn (child of hippie parents and sibling to a popular older brother) becomes fascinated with the case. But then things got weirder. Hawthorn spends a lot of time wondering if Lizzie disappeared because she was a werewolf. (Um.... huh? For a while I wondered if this was going to turn into a paranormal book. Not really.) Then Hawthorn takes over Lizzie's old waitress job and takes up with Lizzie's boyfriend. And not because she thinks it will help her crack the case.
On the positive side, I liked the writing a lot and will definitely try future books by this author. On the negative, I found the main character hard to understand or connect with. I love quirky characters and am even fine with unlikeable. For me, Hawthorn took quirky and unlikeable and narcissistic a little too far. Her desire to take Lizzie's place started to seem weird and distasteful.
The mystery is eventually solved (not by Hawthorn) and I did think the ending fit the story.