The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman (aka Everything You Want Me to Be)
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?
This narrative is so much more than a whodunit, it has so much more to offer than a psychological thriller, indeed it offers the reader so much more of life you will be rendered emotionally spent at the end of this work of crime fiction/ life lit/YA/murder mash up. WOW!
Powerful, credible and engaging…this is a fabulous read that will have you staying up late to finish the last page. And then you will be bereft!
I was astounded by the amazing insight that teen Hattie has about her life and the meaning of her existence and how she was able to verbalise her identity crisis – we all at some stage of our life ponder who we are and what we are doing with our life, what a great basis for a crime novel, what a way to connect with an audience. Hattie ponders her existence, her role, her identity, the big WHY’s and the honest answer she eventually provides herself is life changing or more accurately life ending. So much irony here.
Credit must be given to this author for creating such a loathsome manipulative character who somehow we cannot help but empathise with, as we do with all the main characters. The three, first person perspectives work effectively to flesh out the story and to bring out the honesty, humanness and great sadness that completes this narrative. This is the thinking person’s murder mystery. WOW WOW WOW- this is a great read.
PS I prefer the Australian tittle i.e The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman – says it all really 🙂
You know, I like the Australian title, too, Carol.For someone who’s not read the book, it’s very intriguing. And I give credit to any author who can do a solid blend of genres like that and have it come out cohesive. Add in the skill of making an unpleasant person somewhat sympathetic, and it sounds like real skill.
Margot I was very impressed with this read – multilayered, intriguing and the themes linger with you long after you have finished reading it.
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