Book Review: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

My Rating:★★★★★

Songs: Half the World Away (cover) by AURORA, Halo by Beyoncé

These songs are personal to me, they remind me of this book (they may be songs that were popular during the time that I read this, with lyrics that relate to this book or it might just be random)

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This book is definitely in my top 5. Cinderella is my favourite princess story, hands down, and this was the best retelling of it I have read (and believe me I have read all I could get my hands on). This is a contemporary retelling of Cinderella. Ella was recently in a car accident that killed her mother and has left her with scars and caused her to have to walk with a cane. Cinder is a cover name for Brian, Brian Oliver who is a famous Hollywood actor and playboy (and closet fantasy geek). Brian and Ella used to chat anonymously usually about their favourite book series, The Druid Prince. Ella is actually a book blogger and this book kind of encouraged me to create a blog (don’t worry I’m not expecting celebrities). When Ella doesn’t answer ‘Cinder’s’ messages for over 9 months, he assumes the worse then out of the blue she emails him explaining that she had been in a car accident (but she didn’t mention her scars or the fact that she is disabled). During this time, Brian acquired himself a fake fiance – his co-actor Kaylee Summers. His management team think that this will change people’s perspectives of Brian and making him seem more mature. Ella has been sent from a small city in Boston to Los Angeles to live with her father that walked out on her and her mother when she was 8. She has a stepmother and 2 stepsisters named Juliette and Anastasia who are all (by the media’s standards) perfect.

I love Ella’s character, she was strong but still had weaknesses. I love how she spoke her mind and was strong enough to cope through everything she has been through. I think the reason that I love the cinderella story is because it shows that ‘after hardship comes ease’. And Ella had a lot of hardships, you could feel the emotion yourself and I’m not an emotional person (usually, anyway). I think that Ella, in my eyes, is an inspiration. I aspire to be like Ella, strong enough that I don’t need anyone else’s approval and able to voice my opinion. Ella bullied at school, doesn’t fit in her family, the only person she can count on is cinder. Unbeknownst to her, he is a celebrity who fits the media’s ideology of perfect while she doesn’t.

Brian is so understanding and empathetic. Everyone deserves a Brian in life. Even using screen names and messaging anonymously, Brian was able to help Ella forget about the bad things in her life even if he didn’t know it. Brian would never push the subject of the car crash and would try to cheer Ella up. Brian is being forced to propose to Kaylee Summers as a publicity stunt. He obviously isn’t happy about his however is being blackmailed by Kaylee.

I liked how it had double perspectives (both Ella and Brian) they didn’t alternate but it didn’t need to. I also liked Vivian’s and Julliette’s characters and Rob’s too. I understood the reason for Anastasia’s behaviour towards Ella but some of it was extreme, and I mean extreme. The thing that really made this book amazing was how Kelly Oram displayed the emotions of the characters (I definitely teared up at some moments). The most emotional moment for me was right at the end of chapter 15. This book actually makes you feel and sympathise with Ella.

Okay this book was predictable but what did you expect! I think even though it is predictable it is an incredible story and retelling. I read it it one sitting and I re-read it often. This book is definitely worth 5 stars.

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