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Someone I Wanted to Be

2.98  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  58 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 2.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  164 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Kristy was my girl-we'd been friends since junior high-but something white-hot like hatred for her ran through me like a nerve.

Kristy is a dang bitchy heifer. She would make Regina George cringe.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Okay maybe not. Kristy is that perfect spoiled girl. (I totally eat up these mean girl books)..her mom just happens to be dying from cancer. Oh don't worry, Kristy makes fun of her mom's sagging butt too.
Then you have the point of view for the book, the chubby, insecure, poor girl. Leah.
Leah has a
Taylor Knight
Jul 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Personally, I just couldn't get into this book. The first half was okay and the last half was a lot better but I couldn't ever become emotionally invested in the story or the characters. I think the biggest "problem" with this book is that is has so many tough, sad topics that I did couldn't enjoy anything about it. It was like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong and it was just an exhausting read. There was just so much sad stuff going that it felt really depressing. ...more
I received a copy of Someone I Wanted to Be from Walker Books Australia to review.

So the main character, Leah, drove me crazy for most of the book. She did a couple of things that frustrated me, like contacting the random guy and pretending to be someone else. I can’t remember how old Leah and her friends were, like 15-16 I think, but the guy was clearly over 21 to be able to buy them alcohol. I know she did it for the attention she wasn’t receiving from her mother or even her friends and she wa
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE is one of the dreariest stories I've read in recent memory, yet also raw and realistic. Leah is considered a loser by many of her peers. Overweight, poor and neglected by her alcoholic mother, Leah tolerates one of her "best friends", Kristy, constantly calling her fatso and the other making excuses for the name caller. When better quality people want to befriend Leah, she blows the off for her mean friends.

While she may be sympathetic, Leah is an unlikable, disho
Alyssa Loebig
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Leah Lobermier is not ninety-three pounds. She’s not blonde. She doesn’t live in a nice home with two parents who love her. She’s not popular.

Leah’s “friend” Kristy Baker is all of those things. When an older man gives Leah his number to give to Kristy, Leah calls him and begins a lie that will put both her and Kristy in danger.

SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE has the makings of a poignant, gripping novel. It just doesn’t quite achieve what it sets out to do.

To talk about the novel, I have to talk abo
Childhood friends, Leah, Kristy, and Corinne, now in high school are each dealing with, not only the normal teenage dilemmas, but also some deeper ones. Leah, living with an alcoholic, defeatist mother, is bullied because of her weight. Kristy, abusing alcohol and dangerously flirting with many boys, is despondent over her mother's imminent death from cancer. Corrine, the peacemaker among the three, is a talented softball player, who is denied the chance to play since she has to babysit her youn ...more
Stewart Thorvald
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a wonderful read, with powerfully drawn characters and an incredibly strong sense of place. The book pulls you into a fictional dream and does not let go easily, and I find myself going over scenes in my mind in a way that lets me know it will stay with me.

These are characters that do not easily fit stereotypes-- they are too complex and real for that -- and there is a strong sense of hope at the end of the book. It's not insipid hope. It's more like what I have found hope in
Kelly Gunderman
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

The whole idea behind Someone I Wanted to Be was a marvelous one, with promises of a teenage girl pretending to be someone she isn't in order to get attention that she doesn't get anywhere else. While it sounded like it was going to be a somewhat sad tale, at the same time I was sure that there were going to be some happy moments in there somewhere, instead of just a whole bunch of depressing elements in the m
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. Why did I pick it up? Because all the other good series and standalones in my local library were taken, and I just needed to read something quick!

At first, the story and plot made me, well, kinda bored to put it frankly. Something about the way that the MC was a bit chubby and friends with fake people and her life was miserable because she didn't like and/or appreciate her mother made it sound ignorant and annoying in a way.

However, I think the last chunk of
Hannah Huegel
I was in the bandwagon with everyone else in believing that Someone I Want to Be was going to be a physiological thriller. Instead it turned into a combo of Mean Girls and some TV show you’d find on ABC family (Freeform, now). Cheesy and too much teenage angst (no offense to those that like shows that air on ABC family).

There are some nonsensical things in the book that aren’t needed. Either that or they are written in a way that you can tell that Someone I Want to Be was Aurelia Wills’s first b
Elisha Jachetti
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE by Aurelia Wills deals with the darker sides of the high school experience. The teenagers of the book grapple with a multitude of issues including dead and dying parents, divorced parents, stepparents, single parents, alcoholism and other addictions, bullying, rape, bad friends, good friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and the future after graduation, to name a few. Mostly, however, the novel focuses on Leah Lobermeir, a young, slightly overweight girl from a poor family, wh ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Someone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills

Leah is a good student, very smart, and has big dreams. But she is also teased because of her weight. Making life harder (Leah) is living with an Alcoholic Mother. She is friends with "skinny popular" girls Kristy and Corine. One day the girls decide to ask a handsome stranger to buy them some beer. (Innocently) Leah decides to pretend to be Kristy, as she calls and texts this young man. Soon things turn dangerous as Leah has second thoughts on what she tho
Kirsti Call
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Thanks to candlewick for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked: This story shares authentic teen struggles with identity and body image and friendship. It addresses tough topics (obesity, alcoholism, teen drinking, assault, depression, poverty, child neglect, cancer and death of a parent) in an approachable way. The characters are authentic, the writing lovely, and the glimmer of hope gratifying.

What I didn't like: While I like how the book includes many tough t
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is not so much about coming of age as it is about coming into being. Carefully crafted and emotionally resonant, with imagery that is both vivid and precise, Someone I Wanted to Be offers sustained engagement through the voice of a fifteen-year-old girl struggling to find meaningful ground for herself. That ground is ultimately discovered through the naming of what it truly means not to be invisible, both to oneself and to others. With an integrity of form and tone, this story demonst ...more
Amber Kirbey
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's giveaway. This book deals with several tough realities of today's society; alcoholic parents, underage drinking and smoking, bullying, cancer, etc. I felt like the book was well written but because of its harsh realities it was kind of a downer. I appreciated the character's realistic struggles, however, there were times I needed a break from them! ...more
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

*3.5 star rating*

For some peculiar reason, Someone I Wanted to Be is receiving so much hate on Goodreads, and I can't discern the real reason why. This definitely wasn't the best book I've read, but I enjoyed reading it and sensing a darker theme within. This book is about rebellious teenagers and definitely features mature themes dealing with alcohol and drugs, for some. I keep seeing middle grade books popping up as
Jennifer S
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is refreshing to read a novel with believable young characters. Someone I Wanted to Be brought me right back to my teenage years. As an adult reader, it is easy to fall into the trap of looking at the character’s motives through adult eyes, with adult knowledge about the world. Thinking back to my teenage self, I can absolutely relate to the characters in this book. Teenagers are selfish, make bad decisions and think they know everything. That is part of growing up. Hopefully, for all of us, ...more
Wisconsin Alumni
Aurelia Wills ’85

From the author:
Leah, a lonely teenager living in a small town in Colorado, begins impersonating a beautiful friend in a phone relationship with an older man. The situation becomes increasingly tense and dangerous for both girls. Leah must own up to what she’s done, and by doing so, begins to recognize who her real friends are and what is authentic within herself.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
(I read an advanced reader copy)
The book wasn't bad. Unfortunately, it wasn't that compelling either. There were a lot of moments that made the reader fill in the blanks. Leah, the narrator, is a real character with flaws and endearing moments. But she makes decisions that are irritating.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
The thing I hate to do more than giving bad reviews to books, is giving bad reviews to books I got for free. Lol
But seriously. I can not say that I liked a novel, if I was struggling to actually finish it.
Unfortunately it was the case with"Someone I wanted to Be".
It is the same script, we all heard over and over. There is mean, spoiled girl Kristy. Her mom is dying from cancer, but it doesn't stop Kristy from being self absorbed brat.
There is obese Leah, who is poor and has mother alcoholic, wa
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very repetitive.
Stephanie A.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This girl is a good deal dumber than me in her decision to actually call the sleazy 22+ dude who gives his number to random obviously-teenage girls, as well as her decision to smoke. She's unlike me in terms of sticking with a horrible friend out of misguided loyalty/habit, being raised by an alcoholic single mom and living in a ratty basement apartment, though I did find the contrast between the wealthy gated community and the poverty line two miles away to be one of the stronger aspects. But w ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
A serious and realistic book about the vulnerability of high school age students. This particular book is too mature my library, but I think is a good appropriate read for young women to understand what the "real world" is really about. ...more
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Okay, so where do I start with this one? I could kind of relate to the main character with this one and not in a "she is so much like me that I am annoyed by her" way. I did feel for her. Leah is overweight and deals with insults from everyone at school (including her so-called friends) and she has to deal with being poor and having an alcoholic mother. She dreams of being as pretty and as thin as her "friend," Kristy (notice my
Kate Puleo Unger
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 f ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
DISCLAIMER: I received this e-book via NetGalley for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I felt like this book really had potential because the writing and story are both very honest. Leah, our protagonist, doesn't sugarcoat anything in her narrative. As someone who is overweight and is constantly being bullied by her mom, friends, and peers she uses food as a means of escape. Eating makes her feel better, it gives her a sense of relief, but in the end she feels guilty. What I found the mos
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Someone I Wanted To Be/Aurelia Willis 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, a
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was ok, kind of tedious, though.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Set in the typical high school novel setting, SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE by Aurelia Wills follows the life of Leah Lobermeir, an overweight teenage girl with aspirations to become a doctor who has never been willing to admit it because her “friends” would laugh at her and her mom would never take her seriously. For Leah, she’s always been in the shadows of her best friend, Kristy, who’s the most popular girl at school. Even though Kristy doesn’t treat Leah as a very good friend, Leah can’t leave Kri ...more
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