Review: Someone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills

Someone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills

Someone I Wanted To Be was not what I was expecting. I was hoping for a suspenseful story about a girl who’s gotten in over her head. Instead, this book is very slow moving and incredibly depressing. Leah is overweight, and she is teased mercilessly about it by the other kids at school and even by other people around town. Her mother works a lot and when she’s home, she just watches TV and gets drunk on cheap wine. Leah is friends with this skinny, popular girl, Kristy, who has been her friend for a long time. Kristy’s mother is dying so she takes it out on her. She’s pretty awful, but for some reason, Leah just takes it. Even after she meets a new friend, who I thought was wonderful, she still keeps crawling back to Kristy whenever she shows her the slightest attention.

I cannot stand weak characters, and Leah was just the worst. Instead of doing something to improve her situation, like finding friends who are nice to her – which is completely within the realm of possibility because she does have two acquaintances who are really nice to her – she starts calling this sleazy older guy who’s obsessed with Kristy. Leah pretends to be “Ashley”, the name she told Kurt King was Kristy’s name.

This book did not have enough plot for me. It moved way to slowly. I kept trying to figure out why Wills wrote this book. At first I thought it was a cautionary tale about lying or pretending to be someone you’re not or even against getting involved with older men, but the resolution wasn’t even satisfying in that vein.

I almost stopped reading this book many times, but I was hopefully that something was going to happen or that Leah was going to turn her life around. But, sadly, the ending was just as disappointing as the rest of the book.

Rating: 2 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.

Someone I Wanted to Be
Aurelia Wills
Young Adult Fiction
Candlewick Press
September 6, 2016
eARC
336

When an insecure teen starts impersonating someone else, her life spirals dangerously out of control in a realistic, relatable novel about finding yourself—and discovering your true friends.

Leah Lobermier dreams of becoming a doctor, but it’s hard to stay focused on getting good grades when boys make oinking sounds at her in school and her mother spends every night on the couch with a bottle of wine. Leah’s skinny and popular "friends," Kristy and Corinne, aren’t much better and can hardly be counted on for support. When the girls convince a handsome older man to buy them beer, Leah takes his phone number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy—coy and confident—and they develop a relationship, talking and texting day after day. But as the lie she created grows beyond her control, can Leah put a stop to things before she—or Kristy—is seriously hurt?

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