image via goodreads
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.
This is a tricky one for me to review.
On its own, it’s a solid thriller and whodunnit with a strong female protagonist. However, as an avid thriller reader, there seems to be an ongoing theme that goes a little something likes this: small town, strong, bad*ss girl who believes she is way better than her tiny town, can’t wait to get out of dodge and ends up getting herself killed. These books also tend to have the word “Girl” in the title, this one doesn’t, bonus point.
The strongest part of this book for me is he main character, Hattie. While she’s not entirely likable, she is a total enigma and kind of a fascinating chick in the way she handles life (not going into detail here as I don’t want to give away any spoilers).
The format of the book, told in the first person from three different perspectives, totally works for this story. It’s great for character development and also a super interesting way to look at the story as it unfolds.
Also, triggers. As a parent, this one was excruciating to get through. It is disturbing and graphic in parts.
If you’re looking for a twisty turny thriller – this one is for you!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.