Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la CruzTitle: Someone to Love
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 2, 2018

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Olivia “Liv” Blakely knows how important it is to look good. Her father is running for governor and Liv is thrust into the bright media spotlight. She has an image to uphold—to her maybe boyfriend, to her new friends and to the public, who love to find fault on social media.

Liv’s sunny, charming facade hides an inner voice that will settle for nothing less than perfection. No matter who she has to give up, or what she has to lose, to achieve it. But as the high price of perfection takes a toll, Liv realizes that the love she feels for herself is more important than all the ‘likes’ in the world.

Amazon “Book

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃


Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz is a YA novel that digs deep into the issues surrounding bulimia. While there is some enlightening information contained in this book that will educate its readers about a serious and often ignored topic, there are too many other topics that this book also attempts to address, which seems to detract from the original theme. The main character is one that can be empathized with, but she is not one that I found to be particularly enjoyable. This book contains scenes of self-harm, so I will caution anyone who is triggered by this topic.

Addresses Eating Disorders

When I first came across this book, I was really intrigued by the fact that it addresses an eating disorder. This seems to be a topic that has gone by the wayside in YA to make room for other relevant issues of our times. It is a theme that, unfortunately, will always be important to learn about, as it affects so many individuals in our society. While I am not versed on all of the details and signs of bulimia, Melissa de la Cruz absolutely offers her readers lots of insight in recognizing someone who may be suffering from this disorder, and the inner and outer struggles they face. I found this aspect of  Someone to Love to be very educational.

Too Many Topics Thrown In

As I was reading this book, it felt like there were too many other issues attempting to be addressed at the same time as the main theme of bulimia. The other topics seemed to make appearances, yet there was no resolution or any sort of deeper understanding brought into the story. Some examples of these other topics are immigration, slut-shaming, alcoholism, and coming out. I feel as though the novel would have progressed a lot smoother and felt less jumbled if it had stuck to the main issue at hand. Yes, these other topics are important, however they just seemed thrown into the story and were not really resolved or dealt with at all.

Whiny Main Character

Olivia is a character who is absolutely under a great deal of pressure. This aspect of her personality is one that the reader can understand and even empathize with. However, the whiny nature of this character just becomes a bit too much. Creating a character, such as Olivia, is difficult for sure, as there have to be some qualities that the reader doesn’t like or approve of. I have had experience reading other books that have a main character who is dislikable, however as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the character has some redeeming qualities and as the issues are worked out, the character becomes one that is admirable. I did not find myself feeling this way about Olivia at all.

Someone to Love is a book that addresses an issue that is not seen very often in YA and de la Cruz has provided her readers with a great wealth of information on the issues surrounding bulimia. It would have been more enjoyable to read this book if it had stuck to its main purpose and not go off in tangents to add in other hot topics. There may have been more opportunities to give the character of Olivia some redemption for the reader as well.

About Melissa de la Cruz

Image of Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

5 thoughts on “Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz

  1. kozbisa says:

    I have to agree with you. When I was a teen (in the 80s), I read a LOT of books dealing with eating disorders and domestic violence, whereas now, I think I read more that deal with identity issues, particularly, sexual identity issues which are definitely more in the forefront these days. With that said, I wish it would have been a better read. I was looking forward to this one, but I am sad that de la Cruz tried to tackle too many things and it lost some of its focus.

  2. John Smith says:

    The cover looks a little sappy, and I suspect eating disorders might be a little bit hard to read about, but it sounds well done!

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