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4.1 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Pulls you in

    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.
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    Captivating

    This book would make a great movie. The character development was outstanding and intriging. A who did it plot that kept me guessing.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Well-written and engaging

    Everything You Want Me to Be didn't leave me with a jaw-drop, but it did leave me with the memory of a thoroughly engaging reading experience. I was hooked on this multiple POV storyline about Hattie, a literal drama queen who uses a small-town as her personal stage before and after her tragic end. The perspectives include Peter: Hattie's high school English teacher, Del: the sheriff investigating Hattie's death, and Hattie herself who takes readers from start to finish of her last year of life. I was expecting a cookie-cutter psychological thriller/mystery from yet another writer inspired by the fairly recent blockbusting successes, but I got a complex tale that geniously mirrors events and themes in the MacBeth play that Hattie and her peers were preparing for. I was slightly disappointed in who the actual culprit was but it was a well-written ending that allowed the reader full access to how everything went down. I really enjoyed Everything You Want Me to Be and would recommend it to fans of the genres listed. Check it out! My favorite quote: "The trouble with vows was that they were too damn generic. I'd stood in that church a block away from here and repeated, “For better or for worse,” imagining the worst to be Mary laid low with a cute, flu-like sickness requiring chicken soup and boxes of Kleenex. Maybe we'd lose our jobs. Maybe we'd have to deal with infertility. I'd projected every normal scenario into those vows, everything people told me to expect, but the minister never said, “You might move away from everyone and everything you love into a rundown farmhouse in the middle of a desolate prairie, where you won't have sex or even any conversation that doesn't revolve around the state of a dying woman who hates you.” No, he stood smiling in front of us and said, “For better or for worse.” Better or worse what? I'd agreed to adjectives. I'd happily squeezed Mary's hands and made vows with unknown placeholders for nouns. For someone who aspired to be an English professor, binding my life to someone else's with a game of Mad Libs suddenly seemed like a terrible joke." Note: I have seen this title listed under the genre of young-adult and would have to disagree with that. There is non-graphic sexual content and I personally feel the reading experience is intended for adults even though one of the main settings is high school.
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