Everything You Want Me To Be By Mindy Mejia -Book Club Reading Guide

Everything You Want Me To Be

by Mindy Mejia

PBR Book Review:

This is an excellent psychological thriller and so much more. Hattie is a girl with a magnetic personality who knows what she wants and how to get it; she's manipulative, focused and undeterred when she wants something. Her voice is pure and believable, haunting even, it keeps you anting more. You may think this is a police procedural because a murder takes place-but it's not -this is Hattie's story and the story of the lives that intercept hers during the last year leading up to her death. The author gets the reader right into her head. She is an aspiring actress on stage and in her day to day life -constantly changing to meet the different needs of her parents, classmates, boyfriend and teachers. The people you meet through Hattie are complex and some, suspects in her murder. The story takes place in a small Minnesota town and this complicates things. Everyone knows everyone else, including Del, the local sheriff, heading up the investigation. He's best friends with Hattie's father, and has known her since the day she was born. Looking for a good mystery/thriller? Give this one a try -it's great. Highly recommend.

Book Club Talking Points:

The pressures of high school and the need to be everything to everybody plays a huge role in this book. It may be interesting to discuss who the real Hattie was. There is much said about the choices people make and living with the consequences. Lots of discussion about relationships too -parent-child, student -teacher, friendships and love both new and seasoned love-and impulsive, forbidden love that causes regret in hindsight.

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*Author Website: http://mindymejia.com

*Discussion Questions

1. There were so many strong female characters in this book, especially Hattie's mom and Peter's wife, who keep on going despite how tired or in pain they are and some deep relationships and conversations that I feel we could all learn from.

2. This is a cautionary tale about pretending to be something or someone you're not, in order to fit in or make others happy.

3. The dead girl was extremely controlling, and not in a positive way.

4. If you're at all fascinated by hu

5. It is a study in small town life, youthful wanting to fit and and break out, and what can go wrong despite the foundations to succeed But beneath the surface was a dissatisfaction that comes from living in a small town

6. Del who is the sheriff of the small town of Pine Valley investigating Hattie's murder; and Peter who is a city boy forced to move to Pine Valley due to his mother-in-law's illness and becomes the high school literature teacher.

7. Is something wrong due to what society's standards are or because we are not being honest with ourselves and others in following our desires? Should we be responsible and keep our obligations or do we follow our dreams? And at the heart of it, are we the heroes or the villains in our own lives?

8. And finally, there was Peter - Hattie's unhappy high school English teacher whose personal life and marriage were falling apart as his life spiraled rapidly in a direction he neither wanted nor could escape.

9. I appreciated its focus of self-discovery and self-destruction,

10.The 3 different first-person perspectives and the time switches between spring 2008 and summer/fall 2007 worked very well here and didn't create any confusion

Book Summary

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?
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