Everything You Want Me to Be 

Author: Mindy Mejia

Publisher: Atria

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Stand-alone mystery

Provided by Publisher 

 

Blurb: Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage. Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

 

Review: This novel walks a fine line between irritating and compelling. The characters were all very flawed images, with secrets and deceptions running amuck. Some books you trust the sequence and the narrator. In this book, they’re very questionable. Of course, if you dislike first person, then you shouldn’t read it because there are three first person accounts. And yes, at times the different sections aren’t in chronological order.

You must understand, though. This is one of those mysteries that you have to solve while you’re reading. Like a movie you walk into halfway through–you have to keep going, gathering clues, and assume it will work out at the end. Just like a puzzle.

Sometimes with mysteries, though, I have puzzle pieces left over. Do you?

I just kept on reading, knowing that I would eventually figure it out, getting disappointed chapter after chapter by the behavior of these people. The main character, the victim, gave me much Friday for my mill. Hattie felt like her entire life was acting; performing the roles each person in her life wanted her to be. As I study my teenagers, so close in age to her, I wonder if they feel that way too. Playing a part for each person you meet, waiting to get away to a place they can finally be themselves.
Very thought provoking question wrapped up in so much human drama, destroying lives, families, and at the end, the innocence of the killer. Great read for those who enjoy emotional depth and mysterious narrative. Thanks!

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