Title: Cinder & Ella
Author: Kelly Oram
Release Date: October 1, 2014
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.
What a great surprise this book is! I absolutely loved it!
By the title of this book, readers automatically see it as being a retelling of Cinderella. However while it does have similar characteristics of the classic fairy tale, it is so much more than that. She creates dimensions to the ‘evil’ characters and gives depth to the hero and heroine. The author also throws in some bits of “Beauty and the Beast” for good measure.
I loved the heroine and despite my initial ‘ughh’ of the ‘prince’ I grew to love him as well. The side characters were well written and had facets to their personality and reasons, in some cases bad ones, for their actions.
I really hate giving any spoilers in my reviews but I feel I should point out these bits which, for me, made this story more than a retelling of Cinderella. Slight spoilers:
What I really connected with and found something of uniqueness to the story was the depth of pain and despair the heroine was in. She tried to commit suicide. She was bullied, repeatedly. She survived and became stronger by reaching out for help. The hero also struggled with other forms of social pressure and found a way to survive as well. These bits of the story I found so important and relevant in society today.
So do yourself a favor and read this book. If you love a good romance, read this book. If you have any, tiny, remote interest in fairy tales read this book. If you like a good story, read this book. And if you just like to read about struggles of interesting folks, read this book.
Recommended for mature pre-teens and older.
Rating: 5 Stars – I Loved it!
Content: Some language and mild sexual language
Source: Received a copy of this book from author for review.