by Mindy Mejia
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?
‘You’ll have to make a statement. We’ll have every news station in the state calling.’ Brian always exaggerated the hell out of everything. He’d likely get a few calls from the County Gazette. The truth was, his wife probably wanted to know all the details so she could spread it around at Sally’s Café, where she baked muffins every morning.
… ever since I bought my Motorola this summer she acted like I was carrying Satan in my purse. Like I wasn’t going to school, and work, and rehearsals. Why couldn’t I text my friends and check my forums?
Something shifts inside you after your child dies, like things that were liquid before turn hard and brittle.
The only distinctive thing about her was a couple of large moles in front of her right ear. From a distance it looked like a vampire had missed his mark and bitten her face.
I looked up and her face had changed again. She was like quicksilver, how fast she processed information and emotions and moved on.
… she used to make fun of Maggie and all the girls that dated a lot in school. She called them ‘he-tarded.’
I lost my virginity when I was fifteen, although lost is a funny word for it. I didn’t misplace it like a homework assignment or a cell phone. It wasn’t like I could find it again and tuck it back in there.
Nobody talked about their feelings around here. They just absorbed the hurts and the losses and barely nodded if anyone said anything about it. It was okay to be funny or crack a joke like Dad, but any other emotion just got the American Gothic treatment. It was all hidden and sometimes I wondered if it was even there.
I quickly fell down the rabbit hole as I was immediately captivated by the superlative writing and remained riveted and enthralled with every sentence. Written in multiple POV and going back in forth between two timelines, Ms. Mejia’s ingenious and active storyline was highly eventful, fast-paced, and densely packed with heart-gripping suspense. Her clever style and witty descriptions were lushly detailed, juicy, and highly amusing, such as the prickly female Coroner who “sauntered around the morgue like the unholy queen of the dead.” Hattie was an intriguing chameleon and a complex character; it was hard for me not to over-identify with her eagerness and bone-deep desire to escape her rural small town roots. The story was brilliantly paced, well constructed, and flawlessly executed. I was totally mesmerized and continued to contemplate and obsess over the characters and story long after putting my kindle to rest. Mindy Mejia has mad skills!
About the Author
Mindy Mejia is a fiction writer, finance manager, weekend jogger, wife, and mother of two. She writes what she likes to read--contemporary, plot-driven novels that deliver both entertainment and substance. She lives in the Twin Cities and is currently working on a project that might or might not be a trilogy. Learn more about Mindy at: