Sunday, October 19, 2014

{Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway} Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

Cinder & Ella

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.

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Kelly OramKelly 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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{Details} 269 pages. Published October 1st 2014 by Bluefields (first published August 15th 2014). Source: ebook provided in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Kelly Oram

{Rating} 5/5 - I loved it!

"The problem with fairy tales is that most of them begin with tragedy." (page 1, line 1)
I loved it. The storyline and characters were so absorbing that Cinder and Ella kept me up until two am because I needed to see if they would get their happily ever after. I'm a big fan of fairy tale retellings and this one was fabulous. Cinder and Ella has all the great elements of Cinderella - the evil stepfamily, a token left behind when the heroine runs from the hero, heartbreak and then love overcoming all, but set in contemporary LA and with a heroine who has it so much harder than Cinderella ever did.

I loved the main characters, Cinder/Brian and Ella. Cinder is cocky, generous, terrified of losing his best friend again and though he allows himself to be forced into a fake engagement he's steadfast and determined when he finally figures out what he wants. Ella is a strong heroine. I was awed by the grace with which she dealt with everything that happened to her, with her new family, with her classmates and as she suffers setbacks. She even manages to keep her sense of humor. "With my luck, we'd have an earthquake and I'd plummet down the cliff and live through it." (Oram, loc 2820) If anyone deserves a fairy tale ending it's Ella.

What else I loved? I loved the banter between Cinder and Ella. Although I wish there had been more of Cinder and Ella together in person what I saw of them together through IM and over the phone conveyed how well they understood each other, how rare it is to find someone who can understand you like that. And of course, what fairy tale would be complete without a grand romantic gesture? Swoon.

While I loved Cinder and Ella - and her little band of friends - I really hated Ella's 'father' and his new and perfect (at least until Ella moves in) family. They are just this side of evil and I could go on all day about all of the horrible things they say and do and what her 'father' does with her books... well, he might be evil. 

I loved Cinder and Ella and can't wait to see what Kelly Oram comes out with next.

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