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Publisher's 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?

©2017 Mindy Mejia (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    182
  • 4 Stars
    155
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    170
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    175
  • 4 Stars
    127
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story with One Terrible Narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would! I enjoyed it. I think comparisons to Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn are a bit of a stretch. It's a good book, but it's not "the next Gone Girl" or whatever.

I would definitely recommend this to someone else from Minnesota. I think being Minnesotan makes for increased enjoyment of this book.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It's not that kind of thriller. You know Hattie dies, and the book is about unraveling how and whodunnit. So no, I was not on the edge of my seat, but I was interested enough to keep at it despite how much I disliked 1 of the 3 narrators.

What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

Caitlin Thorburn: sweet, clear, charming. She sounds like a young girl and does a good job when she does Portia's voice, too. However, she mispronounced "pho," "Guthrie," and several other words. Man, if you're narrating a book about Minnesota, look up how to pronounce "Guthrie." It's not hard.

Jeff Harding: gruff, deliberate, middling. His cadence seems a little forced at times, but it works for the character, so it didn't bother me.

John Moraitis: wrong, warbly, arrhythmic. I do not understand why this narrator was cast to play a young Minneapolis man named Peter Lund. Moraitis sounds like he has a speech impediment around his Rs and Ls, and his cadence is really off-putting. It sounds like he doesn't know what he's reading until he gets to the word, and then he has to carefully move his mouth around the words. I'm not sure how else to describe it. I dislike it so much that I almost returned the book after listening to him for 2 minutes. The story was enough to keep me invested and I just gritted my teeth to get through it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No? Who on earth would sit and listen to a book for nearly 12 hours in one sitting?

Any additional comments?

I wish I'd read it, not listened to it. I think the narration is making me enjoy this book far less than I would have had I actually read it.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too bad about lackluster narration

This story has potential but lost me due to really quite cheesy and overdone male narrators, and the other, better parts of the book couldn't overcome it. Better one to read in paper form.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but two terrible narrators

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

I'm enjoying the book but am writing my first review based on two terrible narrators. I'm losing count of the number of words Caitlin Thornburn has mispronounced--as another reviewer noted, what theater geek in Minnesota wouldn't know how to pronounce Guthrie? Cholera, LaGuardia, Gustafson (a common surname in the Upper Midwest)--all mispronounced and took me out of the story. Then she gives employees at the Minneapolis airport Southern accents. What? Is anyone paying attention? John Moraitis sounds like he belongs in Brooklyn not Minnesota, and pauses in weird places. Why no attempt at Minnesota accents? Very disappointed in the narration of this book (although Jeff Harding is good).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable listen in spite of distracting narration.

Compelling and additive read with interesting and complex characters.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with the others reviewers about the narrators. Caitlin Thornburn did a good job (mispronounced words and all), but the male narrators almost ruined the book with their distracting and cringeworthy performances. One used an odd accent and sounded "robotic," while the other was unintentionally comical and rather cheesy. The book was good enough to put up with the narration.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

TERRIBLE NARRATORS

I've never done a review here before but the narration of this book is so bad I had to say something. Caitlin Thorburn pronounces many places and cities in Minnesota incorrectly. She also gives SOUTHERN accents to a number of MN characters.
The man reading the part of the detective does all of the female voices as if the women were horrible, nagging harpies. Honestly, it's sexist and offensive.
The man reading the part of the teacher has a speech impediment and sounds about 30 years older than he should.
The narration really took me out of the story. I almost didn't finish it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, adequate performance

The story is very good! Mispronunciation of words and strange choices of accent by narrators was distracting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jess
  • St. Paul
  • 01-24-18

Ok story - terrible narration

Like many others have mentioned- the narration on this was not great. I am from Minnesota/Twin Cities - so the butchered and bizarre accents and pronunciations made it difficult to stay in the story. As others have said - the narrator for Peter sounded much too old, and for some reason the narrator for Del sounded like he was doing a southern accent - I believe it was an attempt at sounding folksy. Bottom line - read this one instead of listening - especially if you are from Minnesota.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The performances. 😩

The story was fine, but what the heck was with the readers? Why the unneeded pauses in every sentence? Don’t even get me started on the strange version of midwestern accents. It really ruined what could’ve been a mediocre experience and made it laughable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I could have loved this book.

I could have loved this book if only the narration didn't make me cringe. Why did a teacher, supposedly younger, sound middle aged? Also, please learn how to pronounce "OB/GYN". Seriously, pull aside a woman (any woman) and have her help you with the pronunciation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed On This One

Pluses: It kept my interest & had a few twists & turns. The female narrator was very good. The female characters were well written. I didn't guess the killer's identity. Overall, I'd give it a B. I'd read this author again.

Minuses
I disliked both male narrators. The male characters were more like caricatures than their female counterparts. They also seemed pretty dumb - maybe that was playing into the web of two of the deceitful characters. I found Mary to be a pretty hateful character - could not imagine why anyone would marry her, stay with her or what in the world she saw in her husband since she treated him with only contempt- except for one contrived love scene that you could guess from a mile away what the outcome would be. Also, the main character - was she a manipulative brat or innocent victim? I guess that's a sign of a good writer that it was an open questions.

SPOILER ALERT

I thought for sure the killer would be female. There were enough red herrings & male suspects - it would have been an interesting choice - as opposed to the rather pedestrian murderer. It was hard to generate much sympathy for any of the characters - except the killer. Then the 'hit by a bus (or suitable vehicle substitute) ending was a little too neat & too sudden for my taste, given the amount of time it took to get there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful