Cinder & Ella
by Kelly Oram
Published on October 1st, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Also by this author: Being Jamie Baker, The Avery Shaw Experiment, Cinder & Ella, V is for Virgin, A is for Abstinence
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 LOVED Cinder & Ella and I thank the awesome Bieke from Istyria Book Blog for reviewing this book and introducing me to Oram and her incredible writing (you can see her review here.) As you can probably tell I adored this story.
I fell in love with these characters. Ella is of Hispanic descendance (her mom was Chilean) and she went through a horrible accident and even worse recovery. Her life is full of pain, disappointment, despair, constant therapy and doctor’s appointments, and to top it all she needs to move to a new place with people she doesn’t know. She’s fun, smart, pretty, geeky, a fantasy hard-core fan, and a book blogger! She was a bit whiney, but she had the right to be, and she was also very strong.
“I sat in my chair, staring at the e-mail while the room spun around me. Ella was alive. Ella had e-mailed me. And she missed me. It was almost too miraculous to believe.”
Cinder – is handsome, brilliant, closet geek, upcoming actor Brian Oliver – user name. He found Ella through her blog and became best friends through their love of books and movies. They fell in love with each other in a platonic sort of way. Cinder was devastated when Ella disappeared out if his life and he feared she was dead (she almost was.)
The banter between these two! Their conversations and even their thoughts are gems to be treasured. I loved their relationship and specially the way that Cinder always made her a priority, even when he as pressured by others to do things he didn’t want to do. This sort of devotion, in spite of all the odds, is just so sweet and touching. Oh, and the glass slipper turned out to be a book, how brilliant is that?
“Ella: You wouldn’t know normal if it bit you on your ridiculously good-looking face
Cinder: You’re never seen my face. How do you know it’s good-looking?
Ella: Because no ugly person could have an ego as big as you.”
Julliette, the good twin (as opposed to the evil twin) turned out to be a great friend and ally. She introduced Vivian to Ella and they bonded instantly. Not only that, but Vivian’s dad sort of “adopted” her and supported her emotionally. Rob is interested in Ella and also becomes a good friend when he realizes that her heart belongs to another. Anastasia (the evil twin) and Kaylee were awful typical bi**** (pardon my French.)
Don’t get me started on Ellla’s dad! Why is it that common for men to remarry and forget about their children from the previous marriage? He sold Ella’s books, I felt faint at the very though! He and his new family were quite oblivious to Ella and her emotional turmoil. I don’t think that most of the time they were cruel on purpose (well, except Anastasia, she was horrible), but rather lacked understanding, empathy and common sense. Most of them redeemed themselves by the end, but I think they needed to work a lot more on becoming, if not a family, friends.
“Cinder? I wanted to kick myself for how small my voice sounded.
“Ellamara! That is you. My beautiful and wise mystic priestess of the Realm, we speak at last.”
“Holy crap, your voice is sexy!”
The writing is awesome. As I said, the dialogue is a gem. This is not a fluffy romance, it deals with a lot of issues, such as abandonment, suicide, gay marriage, divorce, and abuse. It is intense and at moments heartbreaking. But it’s SO good.
Overall, Cinder & Ella is a must read for all lovers of contemporary romance. Trust me on this, you won’t regret it. Is it too much to wish for a sequel?
About the cover: I’m not a fan of the cover. It is too literal and it doesn’t do this awesome book any justice.