A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, January 13, 2017

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia- Feature and Review


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?



Everything You Want Me to BeEverything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia is a 2017 Atria/ Emily Bestler Books publication.

Very suspenseful, atmospheric, and absorbing.

This is a cleverly written novel of suspense featuring not one, not two, but three first person perspectives.

Hattie has grown up in Pine Valley, and is bursting to break free. She has played a variety of roles in her life, and can easily transform herself into the person people want her to be. She’s a good daughter to her parents, a good friend, a sweet girlfriend, a good student…

But, when she is found brutally stabbed to death, the shocking facts about her secret life come bubbling to the surface and will shock the town and devastate lives for a long time to come.

Peter, who is Hattie’s high school English teacher, gives us his perspective, as he explains how he came to live in Pine Valley with his wife, Mary.

Mary’s mother is gravely ill, but she refuses to sell the farm, leaving Mary no choice but to stay and take care of her and the farm. Peter, however, feels like an outsider as Mary’s focus on her mother’s health becomes morosely obsessive, leaving little room for Peter.

Del is the head of Pine Valley law enforcement and walks us through the investigation into Hattie’s murder. His story is raw, and conflicting as he must maintain professionalism while delivering bad news to one of his best friends and grieve the loss of a girl he watched grow up.

But, the most haunting voice is Hattie’s, who tells us her story posthumously. She’s a chameleon in many ways, a teenager with a bright future, a little too advanced for her small-town classmates and friends, who needs more a challenge. She has big dreams and hopes and nothing is going to get in her way of what she wants...

For me, this story was deeply absorbing and hard to put down. The focus is firmly on the characterizations, but that doesn’t compromise the mystery and suspense elements. There is an understated quality to the story, as it moves toward what appears to be an inevitable outcome. I was so consumed by the characters’ emotions and actions, I never saw the twists coming. But, once they start, they just keep coming, with one shock wave after another.

This is the first book I’ve read by Mindy Mejia and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. I loved her writing style and her ability to pull me so deeply into the story, building suspense at just the right pace. I love it when a book is unpredictable and challenges me, really making me work for it, and just when I think I have it all worked out, pulls the rug out from under me.

Good stuff! I recommend it to all mystery, suspense and thriller fans!





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 www.MindyMejia.com.

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