by Kelly Oram
5 of 5 stars
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.
Ellamara Rodriguez (Ella): Bright blue eyes, naturally tanned skin. Badly scarred over 70% of her body from a car accident and walks slowly with a heavy limp. Very intelligent, kind and with an amazingly strong spirit. She is a well-known blogger and an avid reader (I know, I know, She sounds awesome right?)
Brian Oliver (Cinder): He is a Hollywood heart-throb and playboy. He grew up in the Hollywood scene and as a result he is a bit emotionally stunted. He has been in some films but has just started to become a household name.
I picked this book because I was in the mood for something sweet and, lets face it, a little dorky. That is not the way I would describe this book. It is definitely an example of why you do not judge a book by its cover.
Ella and Brian (Cinder) share a love for a series of fantasy novels that are currently being made into a movie. Little does she know, her online BFF Cinder is really Brian Oliver. I didn’t really like that he was such a playboy. I don’t usually mind the whole playboy angle, but for some reason it bothered me in this book. I think it is because he talked to her about women even when he claimed he was in love with her.
It is not all sadness and trauma, though. There is some very swoon worthy romantic moments and they show themselves in unsuspecting ways.
“Say car for me”
This was a clever adaptation of Cinderella, very very loosely based. There was a step-family who was basically just stupid, not evil. Ella’s rehabilitation team served as her little mice.
“A real man would have fought to be with the woman he loved—social class be damned.”
Ella is strong. If most people went through even a portion of what Ella survived, they would be mentally broken beyond repair. Ella’s mind is certainly a bit bruised around the edges, but she is a fighter and she didn’t lose her spark.
“The Easter Bunny could have come down the chimney armed with machine guns and opened fire on the house, and everyone would have been less surprised.”
I did find the extreme reactions to Ella a bit unrealistic, but I was able to overlook that and get sucked into a surprisingly moving story that featured depth, unique character voices and an overall well put together plot that is sure to hold your interest.
Point of View: Alternating first person between Ella and Brian (clearly marked)
Length: 269 pages
Price: $4.99 on Amazon (as of 2/4/15)