Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

Title: Everything You Want Me to Be
Author: Mindy Mejia
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: January 3, 2017

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?

“Ordinary men commit extraordinary evil all the time.”

This was a good suspense novel. At the beginning we get a glimpse of a desolated Hattie Hoffman.
Hattie's in her last year of high school. She's just a few weeks short of finishing school but instead of enjoying it, she's trying to catch a flight to New York. She's in a hurry to leave her hometown of Pine Valley behind. Fast forward a few weeks later and her lifeless body is discovered. The town is in shock. Hattie has been stabbed to death in a barn.

Everything You Want Me to Be is told from three different points of views. This helps in giving us an idea of what the characters were thinking before and after the murder.

I had a hard time connecting with Hattie. She didn't seem to care about anything or anyone. Her life was devoid of real feelings or interactions. She told people what they wanted to hear. She was always playing a part. Despite my feelings towards Hattie,  I did want justice for her. I wanted her murderer to be found and put away.

Sherif Del Goodman was the character I related the most with. He had a special interest in catching the person who killed Hattie, not only because he was the town's Sherif but because his best friend was Hattie's father, making her a part of his life too.

Hattie's parents' pain felt too real. A parent never wants to lose a child. It is an unthinkable horror. In their case, they also had to learn the truth about Hattie. They had to come to terms with her deceit and her shortcomings.

I wasn't crazy about Peter. He seem to lack determination. He was weak and a very flawed human being. I'm sure they are many Peters out there in real life. I didn't know if he was happy or sad Hattie was gone. The author did keep me guessing about his true feelings.

Everything You Want Me to Be was a story which kept my attention. It did drag in the middle but the last part of the novel was the best. There was a lot of action and a very needed resolution.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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