Title: Cinder & Ella
Author: 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 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 have seen and passed up Cinder & Ella multiple times on Amazon.com. It was one of those – eh, I’ll probably like that book but I’m not sure. I’m not totally into the whole Hollywood aspect of the story. However, when a friend and fellow blogger over at Celebrity Readers was reading it and really enjoying the book, I knew I had to get it. (Bonus for being on sale for $.99, but at that point, it didn’t matter – she was raving and I knew I had to have it.) I have not done a ‘book binge’ in a long time, however I started reading this book probably at about 5:30 Friday night, and finished it at 1am Saturday morning. Aaaannnnd I was exhausted all day Saturday (I want to say it’s not because I can’t handle going to bed late, but I lift some heavy weights, and have three kids…so truth is, I can’t handle going to bed late…)
What I Loved: What didn’t I love? First, it’s loosely based off a fairy-tale. Right there is a winner for me, but that’s obvious based on the title alone. Second, the interaction between Cinder and Ella, which is mainly NOT in person, is so perfect and funny! The banter, I totally fell in love with the banter, and the fact that both of them have this mutual “I really like this person…but I only know them via the internet” stigma; kind of just made it all that much better. It was also nice that the story changed perspectives, and you really got a good idea of what both Ella and Brian (Cinder) were going through.
Third, there were no innocent parties in this book, everyone is a victim of something, everyone has issues. I liked this because this wasn’t a perfect heroine needing rescued. Ella has had a complete life changing experience, and she really has the hardest hand in the entire book – but she is not faultless, she is not flawless (er, I’m speaking internally…). The fact that you’re reading this book and genuinely end up liking almost all of the characters was okay for me. I think that for this book, it really made for a well rounded story.
Fourth, this book felt so incredibly real. I wanted to read The Druid Prince. I wanted see the movie, go to the FantasyCon (I think that was what it was called..) with my new friends. I did not fall in love with Cinder myself, I wanted him so badly for Ella. I wish that I could call my new friends on the phone!!
Not So Much: There really isn’t a lot for me to put here. The one thing I can think of is I didn’t quite understand Rob’s character in the book. I understand he ended up being this great friend, but I was left feeling like he got a really crappy deal over all, especially since he was kind of a great guy. There was a part of me that wanted him to fall for one of Ella’s step sisters, or something just to make it all better.
GREAT Book! I will read it again, and probably love it just as much. I have already purchased more books by Kelly Oram because I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love all of her works. Cinder & Ella was clean over all, perfect of YA and NA loves in my opinion! Go grab it now, last I checked it was still $.99!