I'm slowly but surely closing in on 20 books. When I get there I'm going to post a special update on my blog with a list of things I've learned so far and changes I'm going to make for my last 30 books of the challenge.
According to Goodreads I'm on track for my 50 book goal. I've fallen behind a few times so far, but I've managed to catch back up. I'm trying hard not to read books just for the sake of getting another number added to my list. I've been working hard to read things that I'm interested in and that are at least somewhat challenging.
My sixteenth book was Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia. Set in rural Minnesota, it's a murder mystery about a high school student and the police officer who is trying to solve her murder. The victim, an actress with dreams to move away from her home town and into New York City, is a complicated character. Intelligent and hardworking at some moments, she can also be manipulative and cruel at others.
I know I've said this in at least ten other reviews so far, but this book is very readable. It's straightforward and easy to follow, and it's not particularly challenging. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's great for someone who is looking for something entertaining to read over a weekend or on a long car trip. It definitely passes the time.
Everything You Want Me To Be sometimes falls into what I call the cliche trap. It uses the (in my opinion) overplayed storyline of a student/teacher relationship that is a bit too far-fetched for me to really be supportive of. I also had a bit of trouble imagining a high school student and her teacher speaking to each other in the way that the two characters in this book did. It wasn't totally believable.
That being said, Mejia is a beautiful writer. She's subtle and straightforward, which I like. She uses foreshadowing to her advantage and she tucks in some surprising twists towards the end of the story.
I won't say that this was my favourite book of all time. I definitely wasn't a fan of the central relationship in the story, and I found the main character hard to like or root for. But I will say that Mejia is talented, and I would definitely read her other work.