Everything You Want Me to Be

I finished this book a few days ago, but it has stuck with me ever since. It’s been a while since I’ve read something that I’ve enjoyed this much!

I loved the fact that the story was told from three different points of view. Hattie is dead, but throughout the book we’re given the story in her words, seeing it in through her eyes. It’s an interesting technique that makes it easier to forgive Hattie’s transgressions, because we know what’s going to happen to her.

Hattie is easy to relate to; she’s a high schooler with big dreams to move to New York. She’s naive and convinced that Peter, her English teacher, will leave his wife for her. While it’s hard to sympathize with someone who tries to split a family apart, hearing Hattie’s story in her own words helps the reader understand that she’s misguided, naive, and doesn’t understand the possible ramifications of her actions.

Peter, on the other hand, knows exactly what he’s getting into. He falls in love with Hattie before he realizes who she is; they “meet” online and don’t reveal their real names. However, as soon as he discovers that she’s he’s student, he tries to end the relationship. It’s harder than he expects, for numerous reasons.

A third of the story is told by Del, the local sheriff and Hattie’s fathers good friend. Del knew Hattie her whole life, and feels a personal responsibility for solving a crime that has very few suspects and very little evidence.

I enjoyed the references to literature throughout the book, and liked that the author incorporated the Macbeth curse. The author did a good job of letting us get to know some minor characters – Portia, Hattie’s overly-dramatic best friend; Winifred, Peter’s neighbor who murdered her husband – without letting them take over the story.

Up until the moment the murderer was revealed, I was in the dark. Maybe that just proves my lack of detective skills, but I loved the suspense up until the very last second.

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this cook from Netgalley, and enjoyed every bit of it.