Curses, Mysteries and Teen Drama – What I Thought #3

Even though they are coming from different genres, these three books have one thing in common. A teenage girl in the center of attention. Those turbulent years of self exploration are so important in our lives, and are usually filled with heightened emotions and plenty of drama. But that’s just how we like it, right?

Well, in books, anyway.3

What I Thought is a feature where I point out some books I’ve read but never felt compelled to write a full review.

hattiehoffmanThe Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Published: 5th January, 2017
Series: N/A
Rating: 5

Small towns seem to beg for mysteries and murders to happen. Everyone knows everyone, they all have an opinion about everything, you know the drill. When eighteen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is found stabbed to death on the opening night of the school play, the whole town is shaken. Because Hattie was so sweet and lovely. Everyone loved her. Well, guess not, right?

This beautifully written, evocative story is an exploration into the heart of this small community. As Sheriff Del Goodman digs deeper into the case, he ends up with more questions than answers. Who was Hattie, really? Beneath the sweet and charming surface there’s another girl. A determined girl, who would do anything to escape her small and boring life. Dreaming of living in New York, she would go to great lengths to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous actress.

The crime, so senseless, seems to puzzle Sheriff Goodman. Does it have to do with Hattie’s secret online relationship? Was it a heartbroken boyfriend? A jealous friend? Because you see, not everyone loved Hattie as much as they claimed. Some are even convinced it was the Macbeth curse that ended the girl’s life, as she was playing Lady Macbeth on stage. Could that be actually a thing?

A brilliant and vivid portrait of a small town and its inhabitants, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman was a truly riveting mystery, and a thoughtful examination of the psychology of manipulation and identity.

This book was also published under the title Everything You Want Me To Be.5


genuinefraudGenuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Published: 5th September, 2017
Series: N/A
Rating: 2

Basically The Talented Mr. Ripley told backwards, with a teen girl as the criminal mastermind. Imogen, the rich heiress and Julie, the social cameleon are friends. They are inseparable. Until one of them just vanishes, that is.

What happened and why? The story starts at the end, and as we are going back to the beginning, more and more details are revealed.

After reading We Were Liars and being super impressed, Genuine Fraud was quite a disappointment. I expected the poetic, lyrical writing style I came to know when I read the author’s other book, but this was nothing like that. The flipped time line was actually quite cool, but on the whole the story seemed pretty unbelievable. I’m not trying to discredit any teen girl, but pulling off international fraud is a teeny tiny bit more difficult than it seemed based on this book. I think this could have worked better if the characters were portrayed slightly older.2


lostandthefoundThe Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Published: 2nd July, 2015
Series: N/A
Rating: 4

I love listening to Cat Clarke’s books on audio. They always focus on mainly one character and have quite a simple, and yet complex story. The plot itself is nothing complicated. When Faith was little, her six-year-old sister was kidnapped. Now, thirteen years later, she’s found wandering the streets, clutching her old teddy bear.

What was meant to be a happy reunion, is tainted by suspicion and a tinge of jealousy. Faith’s been dreaming about getting Laurel back, and yet, when it happens, she finds herself all sorts of paranoid. All the attention turning toward the family also makes her uncomfortable. It’s such a difficult situation. The joy of having her sister back, mixed with all the guilt. Because surely she should be just happy. Surely Laurel is just trying to catch up on all the missed years, missed opportunities to have friends, right? Surely she’s not after Faith’s boyfriend? Faith should just be happy her sister is not damaged beyond repair and is able to form bonds with others. No? You see? I told you, it’s complicated.

I loved the exploration into family dynamics, and especially the focus on sibling relationships. 4


Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Have you ever performed in a school play?

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26 comments

  1. Ooo, I love the sound of LAST ACT. I’ve read a couple of novels with similar ideas, one worked the other was a disaster (The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey) But still, I’m drawn to this kind of dynamic about how others see us, and what hidden lives we all lead, elsewhere! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, nooo… i have Dark Lake and had really high hopes. Mainly cuz i loved the cover πŸ˜€
      It’s defo an interesting topic. I remember in uni we had to rate each other on different personality aspects and then rate ourselves and compare the results. I was nothing like what people thought i was apparently… πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just because I hated it, doesn’t mean you will. I just found the character a flake and, well, tedious. And yeah, this is one of those topics that you can come at from so many different angles, which is probably why it’s a much used trope. You can really go all in, or have fun with it.

        Oh, I’m not sure anyone gets me either, though it’s true I’m not sure I get me either! Ha! Ha!

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  2. Oh I’m so sorry you were disappointed by Genuine Fraud. I’ve read and really loved We Were Liars, but I’ve heard some mixed reviews about Genuine Fraud so I haven’t read it just yet…. I don’t know if I will, to be honest ahah πŸ™‚ I’d be SO interested in that Cat Clarke book though, it sounds so good and I love a great focus on siblings relationships! Thank you for the recommendation πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • We Were Liars is one of my faves ❀ Kind of expected Genuine Fraud to be similar – but it was not comparable.
      I can totes recommend the Cat Clarke one on audio. Had a really good narrator.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. `Genuine Fraud`… I completely agree with you on that one. I wonΒ΄t even bother typing a review for that one because I have nothing nice to say. `The Lost & The Found`… Girl, that tagline is so catchy. I was never in a school play. I was a super shy kid with a weak stomach when someone talked to me. Until I turned 14 and the moping began. Were you ever in a school play? Great job on the 3 reviews. ❀

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  4. Oh wow, The Last Act sounds so good!! Online relationships? A possible Macbeth curse? Yes please! And for a sec I thought there were popcorn on the cover for Lost and Found, but then I saw the beheaded teddy bears…The sibling relationship aspect does sound wonderful! Awesome reviews, Norrie! ❀

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  5. Ooo, definitely adding the Hattie Hoffman book to my TBR. I loved We Were Liars but had no interest in the synopsis for Genuine Fraud so it’s nice to know I’m not missing out much– I personally hate stories told backwards. πŸ˜›

    When I was in Middle School I was in a Phantom of the Op’ry musical/play. It was a spoof of Phantom of the Opera lol, it was a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read We Were Liars recently and loved it too. So, I’m not touching Genuine Fraud as I hear the same complaint from everybody. I’ll wait for her next one. The other two I never heard of, but adding to my list now πŸ™‚ Thanks Norrie!

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