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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

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    47
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

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).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent book, adequate performance

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne
  • Elsternwick, Australia
  • 01-17-17

Got better as it developed

Where does Everything You Want Me to Be rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I didn't much like the characters in the beginning, but it got better and better. Jumping between characters and timeframes does not usually appeal to me, but this really worked.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Jeff Harding character will always be my favourite. He is such a great narrator who only seems to do westerns these days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JT
  • 01-11-17

very good

love it. very good presented. interesting with twist ,can't stop listening, referring to anyone who likes good thriller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A superb and engaging mystery murder


At 17 Henrietta (Hattie) Hoffman is one of those precocious teenagers who, in the cusp of adulthood believe they have everything figured out. On the surface Hattie appears to be a typical teen about to graduate high school, she is talented, popular and looking forward to starting her life after school pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional actress.

But Hattie has two very notable character traits: she is a masterful manipulator and is capable of transforming herself into anyone and anything people want her to be. It is not surprising then that chooses acting as her future career and that the theater provides the ideal platform to use and develop her talents.

By the time the second chapter starts though, we learn that Hattie's promising life has been tragically cut short. Her body is found in an abandoned barn, only a few hours after her last performance as Lady Macbeth at her high school auditorium.

The novel is told in the form of flashbacks narrated by its three main protagonists.Sheriff Dell Goodman is in charge of investigating the murder, he is also an old friend of the Hoffmans. Peter Lund is Hattie's literature and drama teacher and someone with whom she becomes involves via a web chatting room. Hattie herself is the third narrator.

The challenge for a whodunit is keeping readers engaged once they know what the outcome of the story is. But as suspects emerge, new theories are considered and more secrets get revealed, Mejia does a great job at keeping the story flowing and our interest piqued.

Everything You Want Me To Be is one of those deliciously twisted stories that allow us to vicariously indulge our morbid tendencies without feeling guilty about it. Kudos to Mejia for writing a highly addictive crime mystery that manages to entertain without insulting our intelligence.

All three narrators were new to me but I thought they did a pretty decent job narrating the story. Particularly the two male narrators. The novel's easy-to-follow format and fast pace made for a breezy and enjoyable listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect for a relaxed day.

This is good fun to listen to, despite the subject matter. Writing is tricky and entertaining . Some words are mispronounced. No biggie, enough to make you smile though.

I won’t remember it forever but it’s well crafted and enjoyable!