Title: Everything You Want Me to Be
Author: Mindy Mejia
Genre: Fiction (Mystery/Thriller)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
# of Pages: 352
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Chapters
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?
Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress with dreams of moving to New York City after her high school graduation. Teachers think Hattie is the perfect student and other students claim she’s a great listener. Unfortunately, Hattie never makes it to her high school graduation; instead she’s found murdered in an abandoned barn. So how does this seemingly perfect girl end up dead?
The story is told from three perspectives; Hattie, Del (the local Sheriff) and Peter (Hattie’s high school English teacher). Throughout the story we are given pieces of information from each character that not only reveals who killed Hattie, but who Hattie really was.
I thought I had it figured out. Within the first few chapters I had “called” who killed Hattie Hoffman and I was wrong! This story is full of twists and turns and you continually are examining each character’s motives, even Hattie herself. The characters were intriguing but I think each of them could have had a little more depth. I found some of the reasoning for their actions very surface level and could have used further background and explanation.
Mindy Mejia did a great job of keeping the reader guessing until the very end. I enjoyed her writing style and never found myself scanning over the words; I hung to each word and each detail trying to uncover the mystery of who killed Hattie. This was a fantastic novel by Mejia and a great way to start my 2017 reading!