by Mindy Mejia
Release: 9th March 2017
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Eighteen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. When she's found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.
Sheriff Del Goodman, a close 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 Hattie behind the masks, and what happened in that final year of her life. . .
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.
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman was an incredibly addictive read that completely surpassed my expectations! Despite being marketed for adults, I can see this book being popular with mature teen readers too because of Hattie’s strong YA voice. It’s a book shrouded in mystery and intrigue and every chapter ends in a way that leaves you wanting more. I found myself flying through this book desperate to know the real Hattie Hoffman and her secrets.
The book follows the life and death of Hattie Hoffman, a small town girl with big dreams of becoming an actress and making it big in New York City. Little do her friends and family know, Hattie is already getting in good practise as she plays the roles of star pupil, the Jock’s girlfriend and the wholesome girl next door whilst inside she hides a dark secret that could ruin the lives of several people.
When Hattie’s body is discovered local Sheriff and Hattie’s father’s best friend, Del Goodman, digs into Hattie’s life and learns that she was not the girl she appeared to be. As the final curtain closes on Hattie’s last act, Del must unearth the secrets of Hattie Hoffman and deal with the fallout of a small town shook by his findings.
The story switches between following the last few months of Hattie’s life to the present day when her body is first discovered. I really enjoyed the shifting timeline as we got to hear from Hattie herself meaning that we as the readers are the only people who really get to know the true Hattie Hoffman before her death. I loved getting inside Hattie’s head and witnessing her make the choices that you know will later on have huge consequences. In the present we get to hear from Del as he investigates Hattie’s murder and although I didn’t find his voice as compelling as Hattie’s, I loved watching him unearth the remains of the true Hattie Hoffman and bring them into the light for everyone to see.
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman is a fascinating read that looks at manipulation, blame and desire and leaves you with plenty to think about. If you like books with complex characters that have you questioning everything you think you know about right and wrong you won’t want to miss this book!
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