Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Date Read: December 30, 2016
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?
I enjoyed reading this book. This was one of those books that pulled me into the story pretty quickly. I knew that things would go horribly wrong but I just couldn't look away. I had to know exactly what happened and I wanted Hattie to tell me. The way that the story unfolded really added to the story. This is a book that I am very glad that I decided to pick up.
One of the first things that struck me about this book was the fact that it is told in a nonlinear manner. I am not usually a fan of this method of story telling and I have to say that I was rather disappointed to see that this book was told in such a manner. It worked wonderfully in this story. It wasn't hard to keep track of where the story was in time and having the characters tell their story as it was taking place was really powerful.
This book is told from three points of view. Del is the sheriff of a small town who is working to solve a murder. Hattie is a senior in high school who dreams of leaving the small town she has lived her life in to move to New York. Peter is the school's new English teacher who has just moved to town. All three of these characters play an important part of unraveling what really happened to Hattie.
I liked the characters even though I am not sure why I do with the exception of Del. Del is a likeable guy who is in a bad place. He needs to solve Hattie's murder but is getting a lot of pressure from everyone in town not to mention that Hattie's father is one of his best friends. Hattie is kind of hard to like at first. She is manipulative and seems to think she is better than others in her town. I liked her anyway especially as the book progressed. Peter seemed lost throughout a lot of the book. He is never sure what he wants to do and feels guilty with a lot of his choices. I thought Peter felt really authentic and I liked him even when I wanted to throw things at him.
I would recommend this book to others. It tells a story that kept me guessing up until the very end. This is the first book by Mindy Mejia that I have had a chance to read but I plan to look for her work in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley.
About the Author
Mindy Mejia received her MFA from Hamline University. Her debut novel, The Dragon Keeper, was published by Ashland Creek Press in 2012. The granddaughter of Minnesota farmers, she lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and two children.