Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Get a copy here!
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?
Quick Reasons: this is a haunting merry-go-round of mystery; I LOVELOVELOVE all the different viewpoints we’re treated to; the plot is deliciously dramatic and angsty; I honestly didn’t see that ending coming; this was a treat of a read!
Huge thanks to Mindy Mejia, Atria/Emily Bestler Books, and Netgalley for granting me free digital access to this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
This was SUCH a delicious dramatic, angsty treat to read, penguins! So let’s start with that–the plot. The plot for this is action-packed, laced through with tension, and unbelievably mysterious all at once. For someone who often figures out the ending long before the halfway mark….this book caught me up in a whirlwind of visceral emotions and total surprise. From page one, I was drawn in–to Hattie’s story, to the wonderful lure of the unknown. This book was an exciting, captivating journey!
The characters are wholly realistic, believably flawed, and so complex you’ll feel as if they’re in the same room with you instead of written down on a page. I really enjoyed that we were given several different viewpoints to fight through and learn from–and that the plot is not necessarily linear, but written in a series of present times and back-flashes. This helped to both bring the entire story together, and keep the mystery at a high par. I also really enjoyed how Mindy Mejia handled each of these perspectives; it’s clear, from the beginning, that she knew where she wanted this story to take readers…and she knew EXACTLY how to get us there without giving the important details away too soon.
This is the type of book you pick up expecting to read only a few chapters of at a time…and instead find yourself devouring. The pacing was spot-on, the tension was high and heart-pounding, and the characters all played their roles and brought readers closer to the answer without actually spoiling the journey. There were several moments I thought I knew EXACTLY where this story was headed…only to turn around and be proven totally wrong, and I love books (and authors) who manage to do that.
Overall, this was a treat to read from start to finish! The characters and plot were believable, the action was full of drama and angst, and I absolutely adored the multiple perspectives we were given insight to. I recommend this to lovers of murder mysteries, star-crossed lovers, and flawed but endearing personalities. If you like gritty stories with a ton of twists, you should pick this one up! As for me, I cannot WAIT to see what Mindy Mejia writes next!