Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Everything You Want Me to Be, by Mindy Mejia {ends 12/20}

Most people think that acting is make-believe. Like it's a big game where people put on costumes and feign kisses or stab wounds and they pretend to gasp and die. They think it's a show. They don't understand that acting is becoming someone else, changing your thoughts and needs until you don't remember your own anymore. You let the other person invade everything you are and then you turn yourself inside out, spilling their identity on to the stage like a kind of bloodletting. Sometimes I think acting is a disease, but I can't say for sure because I don't know what it's like to be healthy.

The first character I remember playing was Fearless Little Sister.

This is the first novel by Mindy Mejia that I've read, and it was very good. The book tells the story of Hattie Hoffman, but it tells it from three POVs: Hattie's, Del's (a cop), and Hattie's English teacher.

Book Review: Everything You Want Me to Be, by Mindy Mejia
Official synopsis:
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?

This almost reminded me of Gone Girl a bit, because Hattie is the master of her craft - she's an excellent actress, and she becomes whom she needs to be with her friends and even family. Her ultimate goal is to move to NYC and be an actress, so she starts looking around on message boards online. She eventually strikes up a conversation with LitGeek, who, like her, lives in suburban Minnesota; imagine her surprise to find that it's her 20-something, married English teacher - and at that point, she's emotionally invested in him.

Hattie decides to pursue him, but meanwhile, she needs a cover - so she starts dating Tommy Kinakis, who is on the school's football team and is dumb as rocks. She figures out whom she needs to "be" in order to be his girlfriend, too - what part she needs to play - and it's the perfect cover for when she and her teacher start seeing each other.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of mysteries. We know at the beginning of the book that Hattie has been murdered, but we don't know by whom - and there are definitely a few suspects. Parts of the book are told in the present (Del's story) and Hattie's and the English teacher's start in the past, although the teacher's eventually catches up to the present. This format made the novel very interesting, and I wanted to finish it quickly, so I could figure out who the killer was.

Everything You Want Me to Be will be in stores/online on January 3, 2017 - click here to pre-order.

4 stars out of 5.


One of my lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of Everything You Want Me to Be!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 20th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

All tweets for this giveaway must be public tweets, or they will not count towards the giveaway.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Everything You Want Me to Be


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