Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia [in Library Journal]
In sleepy Pine Valley, MN, 18-year-old Hattie Hoffman – beloved daughter, excellent student, best friend, adored girlfriend, talented actress – lies dead. Solving her gruesome murder is up to local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend who watched Hattie grow up. Her English teacher Peter Lund thought she was one of the small town’s most promising students.
And from these three perspectives – Hattie narrated by Caitlin Thorburn, Del by John Moraitis, and Peter by Jeff Harding – the “who-done-what-to-whom” gets slowly revealed over Hattie’s high school senior year.
With three characters telling the story, a corresponding triumvirate cast makes perfect sense. What’s missing, unfortunately, is a sense of continuity among the narrators so that overlapping characters remain consistently recognizable throughout: boyfriend Tommy, for example, shouldn’t sound like an affable goof from one reader and then resemble a strangely accented thug in another section. As singular narrators, all three readers are competent, with Moraitis the most convincing.
Verdict: Mindy Mejia’s (The Dragon Keeper) latest is not a particularly opaque mystery; more seasoned thrill-seekers in search of less predictable fare might look elsewhere.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult