Monday, October 20, 2014

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram + Awesome Book Giveaway!

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.

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 feel like I have so much to say!  I'm going to have to think of clever ways to condense what I want to say so I don't type a novel here.  I will admit that I read this book the minute I got it.  MONTHS before my review was scheduled.  And then I didn't write my review right away so I just HAD to go back and read it again.  haha.  Poor me.

I think Kelly Oram is an exceptional writer.  She has a knack for writing.  Her books always suck me in from the very beginning and keep me there.  I have no desire to stray to another book when I have one of hers in my hand.  (That is like the ultimate praise from a book reviewer because I am usually reading 3-4 books at one time.)

One of the things I think Kelly does so masterfully is write characters.  Her characters are always living, breathing, and full of life.  I can hear them and see them in my head.  The dialogue flows so well and fits the characters perfectly.  Kelly really nails these characters.

Poor Ella.  Seriously, how much can one girl endure?  Her life is so sad- a nightmare, really, but her determination to take baby steps toward getting better brings out the cheerleader in me.  She lost her mother in an accident that leaves her so broken and weak.  Her physical issues lead to mental and emotional issues.  After a ridiculous amount of time in the hospital having surgeries, Ella is sent home with her estranged father to a family she doesn't even know.  Her step sisters are abusive and mean.  She suffers ill treatment from strangers, peers and even her family.  She is bullied.  It's crazy.  And for all those crazy issues going on (and that's only with Ella!), I am amazed to say that this book never felt overwhelming to me as a reader.  That takes talent.

The relationships in this book evolve.  Understanding and compromise come through effort.  That is why things don't feel overwhelming.  Because hope is thrown in there and as a reader, I could see improvement.  It was so well done.

Cinder is a much better person when he is focused on Ella and not himself.  I love how the relationship between Cinder and Ella started (obsession over a book series), how it developed (by email, phone and then meeting at Comic Con) and even how it ended.  The road gets a little bumpy at times but I got the ending I needed for Ella and it made me happy.

My only negative about this book was the swearing (lots of it) and the sexual innuendo.  If I could take out the swearing and sexual stuff, I would be so happy because then I could recommend this book to EVERYONE.  As it is, I have to add caution.  I think a sentence from the book might sum up the way I feel about a lot of this book.  "Cheesy porno talk".  Not always cheesy but a lot of porno talk, and I really don't love that.  The book would be just as good without it.  (Well, better to me.)

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat named Mr. Darcy.

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