Everything You Want Me To Be (Mindy Mejia)

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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?

Initially, I wasn’t going to write this review. After lots of thinking, I decided that I  wanted to let you know why this book didn’t work for me. When you finish a book you haven’t liked and you see that all your blogger friends and people on Goodreads have loved it and recommended it highly, you’re probably going to feel a bit misunderstood. But that’s why I thought it’s important you read diverse opinions.

My main issue with Everything You Want Me To Be was that I felt this could’ve easily been two different books. There was Hattie Hoffman’s story, a young teenager who’s used to acting and becoming “everything their friends/family want her to be”. She’s dying to escape her small-town and move to New York. And even though I didn’t like her personality, I thought she was incredibly interesting to read about. She reminded me a bit of Gone Girl‘s Amy. Some people are great actors and life is just a play for them. Hattie wanted to be an actress… and so she practiced with everyone around her. That part was the most appealing to me.

Peter was another character I didn’t like, and he came across as conceited and snobby, but he was already an adult, so I definitely think he was way worse. They thought they were so much better than everyone else, just because they loved books and plays. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with trying to connect with people with your same interests (we all do that, and that’s why I started blogging), but the way they talked about everyone like they were the smartest people on earth… I thought they were incredibly irritating.

Then we had the mystery, which in my opinion, was the weakest part of the book. Maybe my lack of interest had to do with my inability to connect with the characters. But I also felt that there were no twists and turns and the investigation wasn’t as thrilling or intriguing as I would’ve liked. Of course, I wanted to know who had killed Hattie and I kept reading to find out. However, when the ending came, I realized I didn’t really care about its resolution. It wasn’t a bad ending, I just thought this kind of story had been done before and so I wasn’t really impressed.

In addition, at some point, one of the characters (and it bothered me a lot because it was one that I previously liked), said that Hattie’s death was her fault. That she was to blame for what had happened. And they said it like they were stating something meaningful and poetic. I absolutely hated that part. So the girl was to blame because she was difficult? And the killer was a poor, misunderstood soul, so it’s her fault they decided to murder her. She should’ve have provoked them. You know how that sounds, right?

Everything You Want Me To Be had all my favorite ingredients: a small town mystery, different points of views, flashbacks, a murder… and yet, I never felt the connection, no matter how much I tried. I admit I just wasn’t feeling this book, not even in the beginning.

Buy Here

Atria Books, 2017 // Netgalley

Other reviews:

Dandelions Inspired
Novel Gossip
The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

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Published by

Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

53 thoughts on “Everything You Want Me To Be (Mindy Mejia)

  1. Fabulous honest review. When I end up not liking a book everyone was praising, I give myself a few days to understand why my experience with the story differs from others. I love this kind of reviews because it forces me to see a book through a different light and usually the reviewer noticed things I did not pay attention to, which is great to find different sides to a story. I’m sorry this book did not work out for you, it did present everything you need in this kind of story, thank you for the great explanation as to why the magic did not happen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna! I also took my time to write this, as I read stellar reviews and I felt bad. A book can’t be for everyone… but I’m stil bummed because I really wanted to like this one. Plus it’s my first review of 2017 XD

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  2. I’m glad you decided to review this book too. I like reading diverse opinions and personally I see so many 5 star reviews that I don’t even feel as if these are exceptional books any more as so many get this rating lately. So I’m actually quite happy with an honest score and opinion on your blog.

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  3. 😔 sorry this one didn’t work for you. As you know I had a similar experience recently, it sucks even more when the book has all the ingredients you usually look for in a book but they just don’t work for you personally. Fab and honest review!

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    1. This was the one I was referring to. Eventually, I read other similar opinions on Goodreads, so I know I’m not the only one. Maybe if I had read this in a few months, I would’ve liked it more. Who knows! Thanks ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry this one didn’t work for you, and even though I loved this one I really enjoyed reading your thoughts! I’m glad you decided to review this one since we all need balance in reviews; you could potentially be the voice of reason that saves another reader from picking up a book they won’t enjoy for the same reasons you didn’t! 🙂

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  5. I so appreciate reviews like this! Not all books are 5 star reads and I agree that I wonder about so many 5 stars sometimes. I thought you shared what didn’t work in a thoughtful, considerate way. Hopefully your next read is fantastic!!

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  6. I love honesty in reviews! It’s always so fascinating for me to see a completely different viewpoint from mine and as you know I respect your opinions greatly. You are so fair and objective, I love it!

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  7. I’m glad you decided to review it! I love different opinions and viewpoints for books. It’s fascinating reading different reviews for the same books, we are all so different I love it :). Your review was fantastic and I loved the honesty!

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  8. Thanks for reviewing this despite the fact that you didn’t love it. I can totally relate as there were a few books I read this year that I didn’t love but everyone else seemed to.

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  9. Thank goodness you went ahead with your review! I love seeing your honest thoughts. And sometimes when they conflict with the majority, they are even more interesting and can provide some real food for thought. So for me, this was very appreciated.

    While I am interested in reading this, I can see how it fell through for you. I do not do well with titles when I cannot find an appreciation for the characters, and if the mystery is weak, well.. that can definitely seal the fate. This book sounds like it was full of some serious jerks? haha?

    Great review!

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    1. Haha They definitely were jerks… all the time laughing at the others… and tha MC was kind of a sociopath, but I think the man was even worse! I don’t know, it didn’t engage me as I hoped 😦 Thanks for your kind comment ❤

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  10. Annie, I almost wonder if you are much more well-read in this genre than many readers. Had this been the first book you’d read that was like this plot–meaning it didn’t seem like it had been done before–you might have liked it. This is a compliment! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally get not wanting to write a well loved book. You always feel like you are going to get hate comments and that you will need to defend yourself. The fact of the matter is that this book isn’t going to be for everyone, and it turns out it definitely wasn’t for you.

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  12. Yours is actually the second review from someone I trust that didn’t care for this book. I appreciate the honesty and saving me from reading a book I’d likely not enjoy. So, thanks!

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  13. I love how honest this review is. I need to do one of these someday 🙂 I am sorry that the book didn’t work for you. I thought the premise was interesting especially because the victim is one of the narrators. Sorry it didn’t deliver though.

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      1. Ha, I would have been too 😆 Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent. It’s not necessarily bad but I’m bored and can’t see why it’s getting the reviews it is 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

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