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review 2017-03-14 16:09
The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman - Mindy Mejia
Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

When 18 year old Hattie is found dead in a barn in her rural little hometown in Minnesota, everybody is shocked. Everybody loved Hattie. She is the perfect daughter, a great listener for her friends, and an exceptional student. Who could have wanted Hattie dead?

But who is Hattie really? She played a role for everybody in her life. Everybody got the Hattie he wanted to see. She was a master-manipulator and played everybody to serve her interests. But she wants to be her real self. I kept asking myself if there really was a real Hattie. Had she really a personality of her own or was she just – that. A girl who was just acting all the time because there nothing else there inside her. She showed all signs of a sociopath. Her lies and deceptions came back to her and literally killed her.

The story is told from 3 different points of views. There is Del, the sheriff who wants to find the one who did this to his best friend’s daughter; Peter, Hattie’s English Teacher and Hattie herself. First I found it disturbing to read from Hattie’s POV, knowing that she would be dead by the end of the book. I don’t like to get close to a character when I know their fate. But it turned out that I did not like Hattie. I could not connect to her and the story did not really tough me, It is a tragic story indeed and it is well written and an easy read. Hattie is an interesting and very realistic character. I just happen to dislike her. Her lack of personality and her manipulative way of threating people was just not very appealing.

It was an entertaining read. The story is not very unique; there are tons of books where young girls in rural towns get killed. But was an easy read and the author did a good job. 3,5 stars

I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-02-26 13:20
Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Quercus Books in return for an honest review.

This novel is a murder mystery set in a small Minnesota town. 17 year old Hattie was an inspiring actress who had plans to move to New York as soon as she could. However, when she is found murdered, its up to family friend and Sheriff Del Goodman to solve the murder.
This novel is told through three points of views. We follow Del as he solves the murder in the present day, and we also read Hattie and her English teacher's perspectives from the months leading up to her death. This split perspectives works well in this novel, the split timeline also leaves the puzzle unsolved for a long time, it takes a large part of the novel before all the pieces fit together.
This novel definitely has elements of the psychological thriller about it. The split perspectives, which create a tension and mystery in the novel, and the mystery around Hattie and her 'true' persona created this feel to the novel, and I have seen this novel compared to Gone Girl, and there are similarities, not in plot but in the thriller aspects.
Hattie is a fascinating main character, because she isn't honest to anyone you never know whether you are actually seeing the 'real' Hattie in her perspectives or not. This unreliable narrator adds another layer to the narrative as you have to take everything you are told with a pinch of salt! Mejia also deserves praise for her excellent writing of a 17 year old girl. Some authors struggle to accurately replicate the voice of a 17 year old, but I think Mejia has got it exactly right in this instance.
If you are looking for an exciting 'who-dunnit' this isn't the novel for you. There are very few suspects from the beginning of the novel, it is more about piecing the events together, and less about the big reveal of the murderer.
This novel also wasn't the quickest read, the first 70% or so was quite slow, the pace of the novel only picked up in the last 30%, and I was a little disappointed that I wasn't drawn further into the story than I was.
Overall I enjoyed this novel, it was an interesting story about a murder in a small town where everyone knows everyone, with some interesting twists and turns within. However it just didn't draw me in, it felt slow paced and laboured at parts.

Source: acascadeofbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/book-review-last-act-of-hattie-hoffman.html
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text 2017-01-30 17:50
New Releases for January 2017!
Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia
The Girl Before: A Novel - JP Delaney
The Room Mate - Kendall Ryan
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti

I can't wait to get a hold of these books!


Everything you want me to be by Mindy Mejia 

Published January 3, 2017


Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Bereconstructs 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?


The Girl before by J.P. Delanny

Published January 24th 2017


Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.


The Room Mate (Roommates #1) by Kendall Ryan

Published January 24th 2017 


The last time I saw my best friend’s younger brother, he was a geek wearing braces. But when Cannon shows up to crash in my spare room, I get a swift reality check. 

Now twenty-four, he’s broad shouldered and masculine, and so sinfully sexy, I want to climb him like the jungle gyms we used to enjoy. At six-foot-something with lean muscles hiding under his T-shirt, a deep sexy voice, and full lips that pull into a smirk when he studies me, he’s pure temptation. 

Fresh out of a messy breakup, he doesn’t want any entanglements. But I can resist, right? 

I’m holding strong until the third night of our new arrangement when we get drunk and he confesses his biggest secret of all: he’s cursed when it comes to sex. Apparently he’s a god in bed, and women instantly fall in love with him. 

I’m calling bullshit. In fact, I’m going to prove him wrong, and if I rack up a few much-needed orgasms in the process, all the better. 

There’s no way I’m going to fall in love with Cannon. But once we start…I realize betting against him may have been the biggest mistake of my life.


The hundred lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

Published January 3rd 2017


A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn't mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie's life. That includes taking her job... and her boyfriend. It's a huge risk — but it's just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.

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review 2017-01-09 01:53
Everything You Want Me to Be
Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel - Mindy Mejia

I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley. This does not prevent me from providing an honest review.


The residents of the small farming community of Pine Valley, Minnesota are shocked when an unrecognizable corpse found in an abandoned barn turns out to be high-school senior Henrietta "Hattie" Hoffman. With a successful opening night of the spring school play, MacBeth, featuring Hattie as Lady MacBeth, no one would have expected such a thing.


The book's narration moves back and forth in time, taking the reader through the events that lead to Hattie's demise as well as the investigation that follows. There are three narrators.


Hattie's acting talent appears to be linked to her instincts about fashioning herself into whichever version of herself suits her situation--hence the title. She's an actress in all parts of her life and a people pleaser. The problem is figuring out her genuine self.


Naturally, Hattie has certain secrets. She forges an online relationship with a man she never expects to meet in real life. And by chance she realizes she already knows him. Drama ensues.


I kept thinking of the Fine Young Cannibals song: "Ever fallen in love with someone, ever fallen in love, in love with someone, ever fallen in love, in love with someone you should'n'a fallen in love with?" That's the catalyst for what happens. Both parties shouldn't fall in love with one another, but they do, and it's tragic.


I read most of this over the course of two days, becoming completely immersed in the book's world. One small criticism I have is that two suspects are sent to the Mayo Clinic to leave sperm samples in order to establish a match with semen found on the crime scene. Okay, in every single episode of Law and Order SVU where a match like that needs to be made, a cheek swab for a DNA test is sufficient. What the heck with requiring a sperm sample?!?!? Nonetheless, recommended for people who enjoy a mystery with some star-crossed lovers in the mix.

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review 2017-01-08 06:44
Everything You Want Me To Be
Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

By:  Mindy Mejia

ISBN: 9781501123429

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date:1/3/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars


Mindy Mejia’s EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO leads us to deadly dark secrets and lies of a small rural town. The good daughter, turns up murdered, leaving the town in shock. Haunting, twisty, and psychologically rich the author will keep you guessing until the end.

Hattie Hoffman is living in a small rural town in Minnesota. She attends a small high school, Pine Valley. Like most teens with ambition and dreams, they cannot wait to escape the small- town community for the big city.

In this case, Hattie has set her mind on New York City, for an acting career on Broadway. If she needs to use a few people along the way, she will manipulate to her advantage. She has played lots of parts, in her life trying to be what everyone wants her to be.

Told from three POVs, we hear from Del, Hattie, and Peter. A young girl’s dreams, loves, desires, and ambitions. Her secrets. Her last year of high school, which is to be special, turns into a deadly nightmare.

Peter Lund, her English teacher, is a bad marriage. His wife is not the nicest woman and too focused on other things to satisfy her hubby. Of course, an affair begins between Hattie and Peter. The two keep their secrets, and throw everyone off course, while Hattie begins dating the high school jock, Tommy.

However, she never truly warms up to Tommy (if you know what I mean), because she has her sights set on bigger things and getting action elsewhere. Hattie was going places and Tommy was not. We also are introduced to parents Bud and Mona and fishing buddy, Sherriff, Del.

As the book opens, Hattie is planning her escape. The play was finished and she has her bags packed. She has written her note and planned her meet up at the barn. On the night she plans her getaway, she has all her cards lined up perfectly. However, her well-laid plans do not go as intended.

She is stabbed to death in the Erickson barn. Brutally murdered. She also had sex before the murder, not rape. The town is shocked. Del, the family friend is leading the murder investigation and the suspicions point to Tommy and Peter. However, could it be someone else? What about Peter’s wife, or someone else? The parents are devastated. Did they really know their daughter?

Hattie had spent her entire life playing parts, being whatever “they” wanted her to be, focused on everyone around her while inside she felt like she was sitting in the exact same spot. She was her parent’s only daughter. Who could have murdered Hattie Hoffman?

The child who was going to succeed and make a new life away from Pine Valley and marry some hotshot lawyer and come home for the holidays with a kid or two. She was not supposed to the child who was going to die. They had worried more about their son Greg, who went to Afghanistan. A life cut short.

From the Dairy Queen to other small town characters, high school, a marriage, a farm, and three main characters with events leading up to the murder. From a girl who worked at the local CVS photo counter, a dangerous affair, to high school theatrics - a girl who wanted what she wanted. A man caught in the middle, and a Sherriff, father, and mother, seeking the truth.

A contemporary young adult suspense, ideal for those who enjoy a little Macbeth and Shakespeare mixed with mystery.

Depending on the reader, each person will have their own person they may have more sympathy for than others. I enjoyed the book version, much more than the audio version. Del’s narrator was very poorly done. However, recommend the book and ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An author to follow!

A special thank you to Atria/Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy for review consideration.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/04/Everything-You-Want-Me-to-Be
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