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Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Mindy Mejia (Author)

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1524078,635 (3.95)2
Member:scoutlee
Title:Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel
Authors:Mindy Mejia (Author)
Info:Atria/Emily Bestler Books (2017), 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Minnesota, new release 2017, read 2017, ebook 2017, new author 2017, family dynamics, high school, mystery/suspense

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Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
In the rural Minnesota community of Pine Valley life is simple but then tragedy strikes, local high school senior Hattie Hoffman is murdered and the town is shocked and out for vengeance. Sheriff Del discovers that Hattie was leading two separate lives, the wholesome, hard-working school girl with a football player for a boyfriend and the aspiring actress desperate to leave Pine Valley with her older lover. The secrets that Hattie has kept hold the clues to her murder, but who is telling the truth.

The story of Hattie's murder is told from three perspectives and in two separate narratives coming together to solve the problem. I really enjoyed this way of telling the story as it made complete sense. Hattie herself was a complex character who didn't deserve what happened to her but her motivations for her actions were naive at best. Peter was confused and torn between love and duty, city and country, and Del had suffered but remained loyal and professional. I did enjoy the twist at the end but it wasn't surprising! ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
I needed a few hours to recover from this book. This was bitter, heartbreaking.

Hattie was the star of the school player, every teacher's favorite student but she was brutally murdered. Now, sheriff Del struggles to piece back a Hattie that looks far from the girl he remembered, and his suspect list might not be as empty as it had seemed at the start.

I wasn't ready for this. I do have this tendency to forget summaries and then just have general ideas of the book genre when I start reading. And boy, did I have this one wrong. First scene we see Hattie, a broken-hearted girl desperate to get away at all cost. So easy to relate to her. To my shock, she is dead in the opening of the following chapter.

The story was told from three different points of views as well as in two timelines—the beginning of the conflict and the discovery of the body. Another surprise for me is how different Hattie sounds when we're taken back to how it all started. This time, I found it hard to really care about her, always pretending, always perfect. This author had an amazing grip at character development and voice.

The second character is Peter, the English teacher. Here we go the reverse way. He starts as being the poor man who is stuck with an unhappy marriage but is this brilliant, lovable new teacher. The two actually get closer not because of that relationship and yet it is what defines them to the end, when Peter is already disturbed and at the very least unstable. It got to a point I could only feel disgust for the man he turned out to be.

I don't have much to say about Del. It was funny how he did have a background, he was personally involved with the case, too. Still, he was much more of a stand in for the reader. I can't say I didn't enjoy that—I was too invested in knowing what exactly had gone wrong that Hattie had to be like that.

I can't say this was dark, twisted but the topics are sensitive. The romance between a teacher and their student is never an easy plot, and this one is no exception. But this was also a self-discovery story for Hattie until she could become simply herself. And it's so hard—you know the end.

The book wasn't perfect though. I feel around the end the scenes were not so carefully written, even if they were still superior to your average book. Also, this book's advertising concentrates on the escalating plot twists. Indeed, there are some; they kept me interested all right. Nevertheless, they weren't all that. I didn't guess the ending but it didn't overwhelm me—the book as a whole did, though.

This wasn't a love story or an exciting thriller, or even an investigations book, and of course I couldn't call it a YA, either. But I'd say the mix of genres turned out very well. Definitely a release to look forward to in 2017.


Review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. I want to also thank the publisher for giving me this opportunity. ( )
1 vote AnnaBastos | Jun 13, 2017 |
I'm not always a fan of crime fiction, so when this book opened with a pretty graphic description of a crime scene, it initially turned me off. I gave it a second chance because of the good reviews I've heard, and I'm glad I did. Everything You Want Me to Be is a page-turner. Switching between characters and switching between time frames got a bit confusing at time, but made the book fly by very quickly. Overall, a very good read. ( )
  AmyBreiter | May 9, 2017 |
Hattie Hoffman is a high school senior in a small town where nothing ever happens. Everyone is shocked when they learn she's been stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play. She was a good daughter, a good student, a good friend, a good actress. She was going to New York after graduation. Who could have done this? Del Goodman, local sheriff and family friend of the Hoffman's, vows to find out. When he starts investigating, he uncovers another side of Hattie virtually no one knew about.

This is told from three points of view. Their stories are equally compelling. The timeline jumps around to give us Hattie's last months and the aftermath of her death. The writing was really good. I devoured the book, so it was fun to look back and realize the little clues I missed and see the cleverness that was sprinkled throughout the book.

I won a copy through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman is such a bittersweet story. I found the hardest thing about reading this book was that I liked Hattie so much. She was such a likable character, such a sweet girl, full of life and with the whole life ahead of her. And, then she was brutally murdered. Someone took her life, but why?

For sheriff Del Goodman is this case especially hard, he has known Hattie all her life, her father is a good friend to him and now he must find her killer. I loved that the story is told through three different perspectives, Del's, Hattie's and Peter, Hattie's English teacher. By giving Hattie a voice does the story come to life, this is not an anonymous dead girl, this is a girl that dreamed about Broadway, about becoming a star. It's the saddest thing reading this book, knowing that she will never ever fulfill her dreams.

I have to admit that the ending took me by surprise, I had the killer all figured out when the truth came out and I was astonished. It was not at all whom I had thought it would be.

Mindy Mejia has written a heartbreaking thriller with strong characters and a great ending. I look forward to reading more from Mejia in the future! PS. Love the cover for the book!

4.5 stars

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Myron, Blanche, Vic, and Hilma, who farmed the hills of southern Minnesota and cultivated a legacy of hard work, forbearance, laughter, and love. All my stories start with you.
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Running away sucked.
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'Everything You Want Me to Be' (US) is also published as 'The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman' (UK)
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