Book Review: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new step-family, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Contemporary

PAGES:

254

PART OF A SERIES?:

1st in a 2-Part Series

RELEASE DATE: 

October 1st, 2014

 

PUBLISHER:

Bluefields

SOURCE:

Kindle eBook

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads

IndieBound

Amazon

Audible

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. 
… 
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

MY REVIEW

This book was indirectly recommended to me by the lovely and wonderful Lauren at Bookschief Managed. She did her End of the Year survey on her blog and spoke of this book many times. I’m in a sort of mini slump right now so I decided I needed something light and fun, the book was inexpensive to buy in ebook form, and the book totally delivered.

First off, I want to talk about Ella. I think its probably pretty obvious that I absolutely adored her and there are several reasons for it. She’s half-Latina, just like me, and I love love loved that. I like that she had that connection with her mother and her culture and she struggled with her dad’s life. That can be really hard for kids who are biracial (especially ones that have not spent much time with one particular side of the family, like Ella) and I think people miss that sometimes. Ella is also a book blogger, which is obviously very close to my heart, as I’ve been running this blog for nearly seven years now. She is a big fantasy fan and I just honestly felt such a connection with this character. The entire segment of FantasyCon in Los Angeles felt SO familiar – I attend and have attended many conventions in that center so I could picture all of this and it made me happy.

I also really felt like her story was the most compelling – what she was going through and what she was struggling with. Getting into a car accident, losing her mother and losing herself – that’s a lot to deal with. Her body doesn’t look or function the way it once did, she’s in a house with strangers who don’t seem happy to have her there, she’s surrounded by people who are horrible to her and she’s in a dark place. Watching her struggle to get out of bed, get out of her room, make friends, bond with her new family, reach out to Cinder and be honest about what has happened to her – this is what made the book so good. I would have honestly been content to have read the book in Ella’s point of view alone. Ella’s story is gripping and compelling and emotional.

That being said, while I definitely LIKED Brian, I didn’t him. I liked him for Ella and I liked him in general as a character but he was definitely a cheesier side of the novel. Don’t get me wrong – I like cheese. A lot. And that’s basically what I was searching for in a read to hopefully get me out of this mini slump I got going on. But there were times that I felt he was a bit much, a little too dramatic. There is a scene of confession and declaration toward the end of the movie that just felt…I don’t know. Sort of eye roll worthy but I totally get what they were going for here in that scene and even though I didn’t particularly love that scene, I understood why it was there. Brian’s story was cheesy and, at times, a little unbelievable, but I think his point of view balanced Ella’s and it kept the book light, fun, romantic and it kept it from becoming too dark, as it could have. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that – especially with all the things Ella has been through – but it definitely made it a better book.

All in all, I’m really satisfied with the purchase and the read. It took me less than a day and I truly enjoyed it, especially Ella’s character and story. I know there is a sequel but I’m a little wary to read it, simply because I like the way this book ended but it could be in the near future, we shall see. I definitely would like to check out Kelly’s other novels, because if they’re as fun as this one was, I’m definitely into that!

RATING:

4 out of 5 Stars

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