Book Review: Everything You Want Me To Be

Apr 6, 2017

Random fact time: I am obsessed with Investigation Discovery. On days when I'm home, I will have ID playing in the background ALL. DAY. No kidding. It's streaming on my TV as I type right now. I share this random fact with you because I'm going to review Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia. How do they relate? Read on, friends. Here's a short summary from Goodreads:

"No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

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 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?"

Pros: Oh my, does Mindy Mejia know how to write a good murder mystery. I'd say this story is like Investigation Discovery meets Pretty Little Liars. That's because of the three perspectives it's narrated through: a teenage girl, a high school teacher, and a seasoned sheriff. Not only will you unravel a murder mystery, but you'll understand the truths from every side of the murder. The addition of politics and forensics from the sheriff's perspective is refreshingly real. As an avid ID viewer, I was looking for a way to debunk this murder as unrealistic. I couldn't find it. Mejia does an amazing job at making her characters come alive. And there are so many twists, turns, flips, and flops! It'll take you through all sorts of feelings. At one moment I was utterly shocked and horrified, then suddenly I was giggling like giddy teenager. My favorite part of reading this was watching the psyche of the main characters and discovering their fates. By the very end, my mind had been blown in the best way possible.

Cons: I have to nit pick because it simply must be done. It had a lot of cliches, though I'm sure the story was meant to be rather cliche. A lot of these characters behave in ways you've seen many times before. That results in the story not being exactly groundbreaking.

Overall: If you're looking for a new and outrageous story about murder, this isn't going to cut it. However, if you're looking for a new way to look at a classic murder, Everything You Want Me To Be is your best bet. You are guaranteed to have a great time reading this. Be prepared for a supremely entertaining mystery!

Personal Rating Score: 4.5/5
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