Tuesday 27 December 2016

Everything You Want Me To Be - Mindy Mejia

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 is 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?

What did I think?

Now renamed The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, Everything You Want Me to Be was a recommendation from Chelsea, a fellow book blogger, and I can see why she recommended it.  I felt as if Hattie was actually speaking to me through the book, the real Hattie and not one of the personas she adopts to please those around her.

Hattie is dead.  There is no happy ending, but the reader is taken on a journey as Hattie is unmasked and we find out what actually happened on the night she died.  Hattie is a budding actress and dreams of leaving school and moving to New York.  Dreams that will never be fulfilled.

Hattie joins an online forum to share her love of literature and acting and meets someone who shares the same interests as her. Unbeknown to her, this person is her English teacher, unhappily married Peter.  When they finally realise the real identity of each other, the conflicting emotions are palpable, but ultimately the attraction they have for each other cannot be ignored.

Hattie's life unfurls before us like the petals of a delicate flower, but we are constantly brought back to the present day like a herd of elephants stamping over the flowerbed with Del, the local sheriff and close family friend, investigating her murder.

Told from Hattie, Peter and Del's point of view, in such clear and distinct voices, it is a story that had my eyes glued to the page and I pointed my virtual finger at several of the characters before finding out what actually happened on the night that Hattie died.

Everything You Want Me to Be is an absorbing piece of fiction that had me questioning the masks that people wear and scratching the surface to see who the real person is beneath.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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