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Someone to Love


Someone to Love

When Olivia Blakely’s father announces that he is running for governor, Olivia suddenly feels even more pressure to be perfect. However, she’s been struggling with an eating disorder, making the pursuit of perfection more complicated. Olivia must learn to block out her negative inner voice and follow her dreams of becoming an artist. SOMEONE TO LOVE by Melissa de la Cruz follows Olivia as she learns to accept that she needs help and that it’s okay if not everything is flawless.

"Olivia’s internal conflict was very real and raw, and it helped make the story much more realistic...."

I have read several of de la Cruz’s other books before, and I admire the way she is able to handle difficult problems without seeming cheesy or cliché. I was pleasantly surprised by the reference to one of her previous books, SOMETHING IN BETWEEN. This was a good way of carrying on the plot of that story for previous readers, but it also doesn’t detract from SOMEONE TO LOVE.  De la Cruz also does an excellent job of making her books different from one another. While I’ve only read a few of her realistic fiction books and one based on the love life of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton, I admire the fact that she doesn’t just stick to one genre of young adult fiction.

Even though I’m not an artist at all, I really appreciated the art aspect of this story. Olivia’s passion for art clearly showed in her actions and words, and the art references were very well explained for those of us who aren’t the most art savvy. This book had some moments that were very hard for me to read due to Olivia’s negative thoughts about herself. While I have no experiences with eating disorders firsthand, I know a girl who struggled with one, and reading about Olivia’s fictional struggle made me really understand just what my peer went through. Olivia’s internal conflict was very real and raw, and it helped make the story much more realistic. Even though it made me uncomfortable at times, I believe that de la Cruz achieved what she was trying to do by really showing how difficult eating disorders can be.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to learn about a tough subject. While I was originally drawn to it because of my enjoyment of de la Cruz’s previous books, I found it hard to put down because the topics portrayed were so riveting. This would also be a great book for anyone who has an interest in art, although it is still enjoyable without previous knowledge of art or artists. While this book definitely tackled its fair share of tough issues, these issues were handled gracefully and it ended up being an eye-opener for me. Hopefully, others will be inspired to read SOMEONE TO LOVE and show a little more compassion for those around them that might be going through something.

Reviewed by Breck G., Teen Board Member on January 29, 2018

Someone to Love
by Melissa de la Cruz