Thursday, January 19, 2017
Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia (thoughts)
"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?"
What a way to end my reading year in 2016 with this book! I don't even know if I have the words to describe my reading experience with this one. It was just as intense as I had hoped it would be but I was surprised at how uncomfortable it made me at times. That sounds like it was a bad thing but it really wasn't. I just found book to be a more challenging read when it came to how I felt about the things that happened in this book. Not trying to be too vague but I also don't want to spoil anything for other readers. Let's just say that the author has quite the talent at blurring the lines so that I didn't always know what or how to feel about the characters and the decisions they were making. It was so completely intriguing but also there was this feeling of dread that was present throughout the entire book. As the reader, you just knew that everything wasn't going to end well by the end of the book. That feeling just builds page by page- by a certain point there was no way that I was not going to finish the book. It was just too good of a read!
I feel like I heard a lot of hype surrounding this book early on and I do think that it is well deserved. This is one of those books that just pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Even when I didn't necessarily want to be reading it....well, I was thinking about it at least. It was the perfect page turner and I found myself unwilling to put it down. I loved that the story was told from multiple viewpoints. It gave me the chance to get to know Hattie more (which if you read the summary from above you know has been murdered) which was a bit unexpected. I loved that we got this chance to learn more about her because it really helped to explain and lead up to the ending. I won't say more than that. This isn't a book that you necessarily feel good about after finishing. There are too many dark and sad things that happen. But it makes you think about the choices we make and how those choices effect the rest of our lives.
I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. It wasn't easy to read for me at times but I'm glad that I did. It came VERY close to ending up on my top ten reads list for 2016. It was a book that left me thinking about it for days afterwards. The characters get under you skin in a way that I can't fully explain. I'm just left very excited about this author as this is her debut novel I believe. Craziness! I can't wait for more and will be recommending this one to just about any reader. Highly recommended.
Bottom Line: A stunning way to end my reading year!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.