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Published by Atria Books on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Purchase links: Amazon, iTunes, Audible
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Source: Atria, NetGalley
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?
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
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An amazing book is even more amazing every time one reads it, or in this case, listen to it. When I finished reading Everything You Want Me To Be back in January—read my book review here—, I was in shock and in love with this murder mystery story and I needed to repeat it, because I knew I’d have to pay more attention to every detail, every moment, every word. These kind of books can’t be read only once and what a better way of repeating it than by listening to the audiobook, and let me tell you, what an amazing, flawless and awesome production.
Everything You Want Me To Be has three POV: Hattie, the victim—narrated by Caitlin Thorburn, Peter, the victim’s lover—narrated by John Moraitis, and Dell, the Sheriff who is investigating Hattie’s murder—narrated by Jeff Harding.
Let’s start with Caitlin’s performance. Hattie is a the kind of teenager who is perfect in the eyes of everybody: The perfect daughter, sister, friend, student, employee. But it’s all an act. She never fit in with anyone or in anywhere. She feels the town where she’s lived all his life is so small for her and during her last year of highschool, she slowly starts showing her true colors. Caitlin’s voice and emotions matched perfectly Hattie. Her obsessions, her flaws, her love for acting and Peter, everything was perfectly portrayed by Caitlin’s narration.
John’s performance was really amazing as well. Peter is a young man who has a miserable life. His marriage is a complete failure, he ends up living in his wife’s home town and far away from his friends and the lifestyle he’s so used to. At least he’s got a job as an English teacher and he’s great at it. John’s narration is flawless. I could listen the despair and anxiety in his voice. I loved the way John’s voice sounded in those crucial moments in his relationship with his wife and his lover Hattie. And above all, his narration made me love him even more than the first time I read this book. Don’t judge me, I know he is the ultimate anti book boyfriend but I understood his actions. Love is love and forbidden love was exactly what happened between Hattie and Peter.
And the last narrator is Jeff, the Sheriff in charged of Hattie’s murder investigation. He’s known Hattie and his family all her life, her dad was Dell’s best friend, so he takes this investigation very personally. He’s very good at his job, very perceptive and in the end, very noble too. Jeff’s narration was fantastic, I loved his accent the most, making the whole experience complete.
The story not only has multiple POV, it also goes from past to present and reveals slowly all the details about Hattie and Peter’s life and romance until the moment of the murder, and also tells every detail of the investigation, which is pretty impressive, like I said, Dell is very good at his job and he didn’t give up until he discovered the truth behind Hattie’s murder.
Awesome book and better audiobook. 100% recommended.