"He's not an evil man. Evil is simple. It's a child's explanation for why people do bad things. The truth is always more complicated and worth pursuing..." - Everything You Want Me To Be
I absolutely love books that keep me guessing - not just who did it, but why, and how and when! This book had me on my toes until the very last page! "Everything You Want Me To Be" is an amazingly twisty page turner, that is insightfully written, and I completely loved it!
Everything You Want Me To Be
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?
First off, I have to say this book is super hard to review without giving spoilers! So, if it seems like there are big ol' holes of information - it is only to be sure that I do not give even the slightest bit of a spoiler away! Pretty much impossible to really dig into the plot, but oh well! Definitely worth not ruining the suprise(s)!
My number one favorite about this book is the way that it is structured. "Everything You Want Me To Be" is told from three different view points - Hattie's POV, before she is murdered, Del's POV as the sheriff investigating Hattie's murder, and Peter's POV, Hattie's English teacher. The shifting view points made the pacing and plotting very fast and engaging. Just as I was tired of one voice, a new voice appeared that provided new information and a new angle on the story. I never wanted to put the book down!
The last line of the review on goodreads is the crux of why I loved this book "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?" - I love books where you wrestle with whose side you are on, and what that says about your own character. The thin grey line between black and white is such a challenging and engaging space for storytelling. As a reader, I felt constantly torn between hating and hoping for the characters in "Everything You Want Me To Be". I was completely engaged with the story and just completely sucked in - did I mention I had trouble putting this book down!?
Not only was the story excellent, so was the writing. Frequently in books with such an exciting plot, you don't also expect to find thoughtful quotes and beautiful writing. "Everything You Want Me To Be" has all of it though! One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
"She probably thought there were only a few years between us, but it was a lifetime- dark, undiscovered caverns of disappointment and compromises. She was the adult idealized. I was the adult that really happened"Killer, right?
You guys, this book was amazing - the plot was on point, the characters were full and complex, and the suspense was genuine and thrilling! I also love that this book is a genre bender- I really think it would appeal to YA readers, new adult readers, and, of course, general fiction lovers like myself!
If you enjoy suspenseful murder mysteries, I highly recommend this one! I really hope that this book gets the attention it deserves- maybe even a movie! I'd love to see this one on the big screen. Thinking about reading " Everything You Want Me To Be"? Click here to find a copy at your local library, or click the link below to view the book on Amazon.
Many thanks to Atria Books for allowing me to read this book prior to publication. As a "girl about library", where books are always free, you can be sure that all opinions expressed are my own. Happy reading!