Double Book Review: Cinder & Ella ( #1 & #2 ) – Kelly Oram

Book Review for Cinder & Ella ( book #1 ) by Kelly Oram

 

synopsis book 1

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.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

I´m glad I didn´t rush a review for `Cinder & Ella`( Cinder & Ella #1 ) by Kelly Oram because this review would have turned out meaner than the characters portrayed in the book.

Cinder Ella ( Engl )

Thanks to giving myself time to think about Cinder and Ella´s story I can approach this review with a less vicious mind.

I finished this book weeks ago. And as more time passes the less I can remember the story. Which doesn´t speak for the story, to be honest. If you can´t remember shit then the book hasn´t made much of an impact. The only thing I do remember are the notes I made for the book.

 

 

cinder ella

 

Let´s start off with the book description before explaining the asshole song / rhyme. It´s p.r.e.t.t.y. long for a novel with 250 + pages. And the title is also quite revealing. Cinder and Ella… Cinderella!

 

You´re welcome.

 

It´s sad that it took me a while to figure that one out * face palm *.

Where was I? Oh, that´s right. The review.

I´m going to say that this book was okay. A YA / Contemp. romantic Cinderella retelling with many shallow asshole characters that were more meeh than ooooh. The teenage drama in a plastic world where people hardly have backbones or gave two shits was interesting to read about but it didn´t flash me.

Judging by my notes, I think it´s safe to say I didn’t fancy the characters. From the main characters to the sub figures… all had that special type of quality that wasn´t lovable.

But ( !!! ) here´s the thing- Although I don´t categorize this story as a masterpiece I can still see why so many people are falling in love /  fell in love with the book. It´s not your everyday typical read. It´s different with a healthy dosage of sap and…. other stuff.

Romantic? Definitely. The best thing I´ve read? Most certainly not. I know, I know… this is a work of fiction and not meant to be taken seriously but I can´t help myself thinking that everything that has happened in `Cinder & Ella` was just exaggerated to the point where everything felt unrealistic.

The Heroine has been traumatized through certain events and what happens? The author doesn´t give the girl a break. The Hero is this hotshot heart-throb but… he´s oh so powerless. This calls for lots of frustrating moments, I can tell you that much.


Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. To everyone who doesn´t trust my opinion, actually. `Cinder & Ella is a light and quick read with so much drama to last the romance world a lifetime.

Would I re-read this book? Probably not.


 

The Cover – 5 Stars: I actually like the color theme going on. And the prominent title.

The Story – 4 Stars:  It´s a modern day Cinderella retelling with a twist. Meeh. Could have been better. Could have been worse.

The Characters – 2-3 Stars: Asshole-ville- The place for characters who are assholes.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Not impressed.

3 stars


 

This book is available on Amazon.com

Cinder Ella ( Engl )

 



 

Book Review for Happily Ever After ( Cinder & Ella #2 ) by Kelly Oram

 

synopsis book 2

The end of one story is often the beginning of another. Hollywood heartthrob Brian Oliver and his Cinderella princess Ellamara Rodriguez have finally found love outside the digital world. But leaving their anonymity behind creates a whole new set of obstacles for the nation’s new favorite sweethearts. With the stress of Brian’s fame and the pressures of a new relationship weighing down on them, the It Couple quickly begins to wonder if they can hold on to their newfound joy, or if maybe happily ever after is only a fairy tale.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Yeah, I wasn´t so sure why I read the second installment from `Cinder & Ella` but I did. And right now I´ve come to the painful conclusion that it wasn´t worth it. happily ever after

Not worth my time. Not worth the long night I spent reading. Not worth the money I paid.

That´s not to say that this is an awful read, though. `Happily Ever After`, the sequel to `Cinder & Ella` has definitely been published for a reason ( this is me making wild assumptions ). To give fans more insight on Cinder and Ella´s life after the first book.

 

My general feeling towards the book.

In my opinion, totally unnecessary. Which is disappointing because I expected a little growth from the characters, or the story. I expected the important message that was in this book to come across and not drown in the sea of unnecessary info. Instead, I got some details I didn´t think were relevant. Do I really want to know if the Heroine wants to save her virginity until she´s married? No. This stuff doesn´t interest me at my age. I definitely feel utterly frustrated when authors include the ” I´m saving myself” theme in their books. Many might find this wonderful- I don´t. I have nothing against clean romances but this romance was sqeaky clean. Kind of like

“If you ever so much as think of my beaver then you´re out!”.

I don´t want characters who constantly complain. Bah. You know what I want? A drink right now. Reliving this story is giving me a dry mouth.

I mean, this is just one of quite a few things that rubbed me the wrong way so I´m just going to stop here and say this book wasn´t worth my time. With no character improvement or story development I can´t say I was moved or touched.


 

Would I recommend this book? To fans of the first book, yes. And since this is book #2 it would be wise to read book #1 just to understand what´s going on.

Would I re-read this book? Nope.


 

The Cover – 4 Stars:    Not bad. It matches the cover of book #1, which is a total win for me.

The Story – 2 stars:    * shaking head *

The Characters – 2 stars:    *insert loudest sigh ever *

My emotional state after finishing this read:   Bummed.

2 stars

 


 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

happily ever after

Book Review: A Curse So Dark And Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

synopsis single

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


** Copy kindly provided by Bloomsbury Children´s via Netgalley in exchange for my opinion **

My Thoughts 2

I like fairy tale retellings. So much so that I´d drop whatever I´m reading just to dive head first in a pimped fairy tale. What some might not be aware of is that this book is more than just a retelling. It´s more or less a mash up of two popular stories with a pinch of the authors own signature.

Beauty & The Beast meets A Court Of Thorns And Roses

I´m not mad about the mash up, though. I thought `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` was an interesting read. I´m pretty sure the story will find it´s devoted crowd once it hits the shelves. But for me… I wasn´t entirely impressed. A Curse so dark and lonely

Beauty & The Beast belongs to one of my favorite fairy tales. I´m just a sucker for Stockholm syndrome romances. But this book leaned more towards ACOTAR. Which is fine. I didn´t have the hots for ACOTAR ( or for the series, for that matter ) but I did like what Brigid Kemmerer did with the ideas from ACOTAR that inspired her.

(Note: I´m just assuming the author was inspired by A Court Of Thorns And Roses. I could be wrong. I could be right. It just feels like the author was heavily inspired by Sarah J. Maas´s books )

With that being said:

I did enjoy `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` to a certain degree. It has it´s adventurous moments. It´s cheasy. There was a romance.  Things I appreciate when reading fantasies.

What I truly enjoyed were:

  • The details. The author has a knack for coloring out details. I felt there was no detail overkill what so ever.
  • The strong characters.
  • The plot twist. Although the story was predictable, I still enjoyed out the story panned out.
  • This is an admirable sized story. One I read through with ease due to it´s great pace.

Yet, there were some things about the story / it´s characters I had troubles accepting:

  • The Heroine´s disability. Harper, a bad ass teenager, suffered from cerebral palsy. Although this was mentioned more than once throughout the story I still felt like it was added dead weight. Unnecessary. While I´m not against including characters with certain disabilities… I´m not for including a disability for the sake of drama. Harper´s cerebral palsy did not affect the character nor the story in any way.
  • The Hero wasn´t convincing. I´m all for screw – up Heroes to see the light but for me, Rhen didn´t come across as genuine even when he saw the light.
  • The story, as a whole, felt a little flat and it also felt like it was all over the place. This is a fairy tale retelling. I should be sitting on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I should have suffered with and for the characters and I should have lived through their personal hell. I should have, but I didn´t.

 

This might sound confusing but… I didn´t think `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` was a terrible read. It wasn´t what I´m normally used to and it certainly wasn´t what I had expected. I´m sad to say that this story didn´t touch me the way I hoped it would.

 

Would I recommend this read? For fans of ACOTAR, absolutely. For fans of fairy tale retellings, yes. If you´re picky ( like me ) then, no.

Would I buy this book? Probably not.

 

The Cover – 5 stars: I fell in love with the cover the moment I spotted it on Netgalley.

The Story – 3 stars: A little flat. A tiny bit scattered. I liked it but would have like it more if there was a little more structure and depth.

The Characters – 3 stars: I´m torn. The main characters were strong but they had sides to them that either didn´t fit or didn´t feel genuine. I liked them but I also didn´t feel enough for them.  The sub characters were great, though.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Not impressed.

I´m giving `A Curse So Dark And Lonely` by author Brigid Kemmerer 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stars


Title: A Curse So Dark and LonelyA Curse so dark and lonely
Author:  Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children’s
Expected publication: January 29th 2019
ISBN:  1681195097 (ISBN13: 9781681195094)

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Surface Breaks – Louise O´Neill

synopsis singleDeep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.



Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Feminism



 

My Thoughts 2

One look at the cover I was sold. One look at the synopsis and I was in mermaid heaven. A Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid retelling? Yes, please!

For those who aren´t familiar with the original The Little Mermaid version…

The original tale is nothing like hippy dippy, all sunshine and rainbows Disney Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen wrote a brilliant tale that´s carries a more tragic theme than a happy one. Something I appreciate in classic fairy tales. It´s raw and emotional. So, you can guess the level of excitement I felt when I saw this gem?

`The Surface Breaks` by Louise O´Neill is a decent modern retelling that had me The Surface Breaksfeeling all kinds of feels. I mean, anything between confusion and anger. I think it´s safe to say that I was  confused about certain scenes and a tad bit disappointed by other scenes.

I believe it would be highly unnecessary to give you a quick run down on the story because everyone knows ( in a nutshell ) what happens. So, I´ll just give you a quick list of likes and dislikes about the book.

 

What I liked….

  • The Writing! Good golly. Great writing.
  • The sea witch. She had the most depth from all the characters.
  • The fact that it´s a retelling.

Retellings aren´t easy because authors who attempt to retell a successful classic are going to be confronted with an already large and strong rooted fan base. Retellings are judged and criticized more. In my opinion, the author did a decent job with her retelling. If only….

What I disliked...

  • The pace is slow
  • The negativity
  • The in – your – face – feminism
  • The man – hate – parade
  • That this was a retelling gone wild

 

Although I think the author did fairly okay, that doesn´t mean I liked what I read.

While I´m totally for feminism being included in modern literature, I´m not a fan of the in – your – face – feminism. We get the picture. Move on. This is a story about a mermaid. A fairy tale. Stick to the original moral of the story and get the hell on with it. This actually killed it for me.

I truly dislike when authors lose focus and include their beliefs like the author did in this book- Just for the sake of including something interesting.

This book made me feel the same way I felt at my last U2 concert. It´s the music that´s important. Stop being political before every song, for Christ´s sake. I didn´t pay almost 100 euros to listen to politics. Watching the news on TV would´ve been cheaper. And I didn´t pay good money to read about man hating. I could have had that for free watching SJW on Youtube.

Meeh. Let´s just say that I´ve read better retellings before. This one isn´t one of the better retellings.


 

Would I recommend this book? That depends. The book itself looks fabulous on a bookshelf. If you´re a book collector then YES! If you´re one of those blinded by hatred feminists out to destroy the male race.. then yes. If you´re like me and expect to read a retelling with a modern touch then no, I would not recommend this read.

Would I reread this book? No.



 

The Cover – 5+ stars  ( What a beauty. )

The Story – 2-3 stars ( Yeah, no. It´s a retelling gone batshit unbelievable. The aggressive feminism ruined it for me. )

The Characters – 2 stars ( All except for the sea witch were a big fat NOPE for me. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Bummed.

2 stars


 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

 

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Book Review: To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

Synopsis

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

My Thoughts

Have you ever read a book and wished you were the female protagonist? Or, have you ever read a story and so desperately wanted to live in the world created by the author?

I have. It happens to me all the time!

I´ll watch the X Men and wish I was a mutant. I´ll watch Game of Thrones and imagine I´m Sexy Jesus ( Jaqen H´ghar ) just because he´s cool AF ( and because he wears a loose robe all day. I love loose clothes and flipflops )

I had the same experience while reading `To Kill A Kingdom` by Alexandra Christo. to kill

I desperately wanted to be a siren and desperately wanted to live in the world the author created.

But wait – The author didn´t completely offer an original story.  `To Kill A Kingdom` is actually a warped retelling of The Little Mermaid. A darkish, morbid version that´s been tweaked and bent to fit the author´s ideas.

I absolutely LOVED IT!

Get that picture of  Disney´s Ariel with her perfect hair and shell bra out of your mind because the mermaids portrayed in this book are less attractive and appealing. Even the sirens, with all their incredible beauty, have a glowing neon sign above their heads that screams “RUN, bitch! RUN!”

The synopsis spoils enough so I won´t reveal an awful lot about this story.

Just know that it has mermaids, sirens, magical portrayed human lands, a siren hunter crew and a prince who´s ready to end the evil that occupies the ocean. Things get messy on quite a few levels. Messy and exciting.

I LOVE PIRATES AND SIRENS! Mermaids… not so much anymore. Not after this book. But that´s okay. I´ve got some major siren love going on now.

Besides the fact that I was in sea heaven I couldn´t ignore the great writing. I had absolutely no troubles with anything. The descriptions were pretty good. The details were perfect ( not too little and not too much ). I was able to see, feel and taste the story.

The romance ( yes, there was a hint of a romantic flair in this book ) was subtle. Perfect for a young adult fantasy novel. Usually, I´m someone who wants the feels and adventure in equal proportions but that wouldn´t have worked with this story. The adventure was the spotlight and I´m glad it stayed that way until the end of the book.

There´s even a moral to the story! Why I´m so happy about that? Well, these days, stories often don´t have a message for readers anymore. There´s hardly anything to take away after finishing a book. With this read, though… a reader is allowed to walk away with a moral.

All in all, I have nothing to complain about.

 

Would I recommend this book? Yes! Although it´s a YA read the story still has a strong dark side to it. And some parts are graphic, which I fully enjoy. So, yes. I´d recommend this read.

Would I re- read this book? Absolutely.

 

The Cover – 4 stars ( It´s a little too dark for my taste but I do love the title. How eye catchy!)

The Story – 5 stars ( The author didn´t re- invent the wheel with the story but I did enjoy how the story was told. The magic is always in the writing.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( A vicious siren princess and a prince with a purpose. I want to be best friends with both )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I want to be a siren just like princess Lira and show off my vicious, badass side. AWESOME!

5 stars

Purchase Link : Amazon.comto kill