Monday, September 4, 2017

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram ~ Review

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.

I really enjoyed this book!  It's full of so many things and it captured and held my attention through every least word.  

Ella has some significant issues in her life.  One could certainly say that her life is a mess.  Her mother died in the car accident that crippled her.  She's forced to live with the father that left her as a child.  She moves across country and has no one.  Her two step-sisters are cruel.  And before you think this is just a re-write of Cinderella, let me say that this book is so much more.  Because if there was another side to the story for Cinderella, it wasn't part of the fairy tale.  And this one is the complete tale.  

There's her father's story - one she thinks she knows.  There's her step-mother's story - one she assumes about but isn't sure of.  There's her step-sister's stories - those seem clear enough but there's more.  There's Cinder's story - one Ella is sure she knows.  And of course there is Ella's story - one she's learning as she goes.  When you combine all these together, you have a masterful story that makes it clear no one knows the whole story of their own lives.  Maybe we should always ask more questions to make sure we see the whole picture.

I so love Ella.  She is incredibly strong and amazing.  I admire her.  She's gone through something horrible but she keeps picking herself up and moving forward.  Life doesn't always go the way one plans but for Ella it went in a direction she never expected.  Yet she was forced to deal.  Though she struggles to deal with the depression that inevitably come, she overcomes.  She keeps fighting, a lesson for the rest of us.  And when she falls apart, I'm just so happy her dad was there to catch her.

As for Cinder, I adore him.  He's a book geek playing movie star actor.  His friendship with Ella comes from posting comments on her book/movie blog.  He's his real self with her like he can't be in the spotlight of Hollywood.  And when she disappears from his life, he's broken by it.  So when he finds her again, he isn't letting her go.  Adorable.

I recommended this book to my daughter and she devoured it as quickly as I did.  We both just loved it.  It's the kind of book you read when you need that lift knowing that there will be a happily ever after for more than Ella and Cinder.

I listened to this book and enjoyed the narrator very much.


1 comment:

  1. I love fairytale retellings. I can't seem to get enough of them. I've seen so many positive reviews for this one too. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm going to have to pick it up one of these days. Great review!