Note: The U.S. version of this book is called Everything You Want Me to Be
Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she’s found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.
Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie’s dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers; it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives: Del’s, Hattie’s high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman tells the story of the real Hattie, and what happened that final year of school when she dreamed of leaving her small town behind . . .
Wonderfully evocative of its Midwestern setting and with a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a book about manipulation of relationships and identity, about the line between innocence and culpability, about the hope love offers and the tragedies that occur when it spins out of control.
I began reading this book with high expectations, as my friend had read and raved about it back in January and I’ve been waiting to read it ever since. I was afraid I was going in with unrealistic expectations but the hype I’ve seen about this book turned out to be justified. I loved it.
Before you even start the start of the book, you know the main character dies. I was concerned this may affect my enjoyment of the book, because obviously I want to invest in the character and how much can you invest in someone you already know is going to die? But Mejia handled this beautifully, as I became invested in both the character and in finding out the events that lead to her death. The story is told from three different points of view, one of them being Hattie’s, and jumps between the present and events from the year leading up to Hattie’s murder. While I appreciated the insight we got from the sheriff, I really loved the narration by Hattie and Peter and watching the events unfold from their perspectives. Both characters were wonderfully complex and kept me incredibly invested in the story.
This book kept me guessing and re-evaluating the whole way through, and I love that I wasn’t able to predict everything that unfolded. I zoomed through this book in about 24 hours, Mejia had me completely hooked and when I wasn’t reading I was wondering about the characters and eager to pick it back up. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes psychological thrillers, or really just anyone who likes a good read!