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text 2018-10-17 20:44
Ashlynn Ella’s Story
Ever After High: Ashlynn Ella's Story - Shannon Hale
   
Ever After High, Book .5

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Ashlynn Ella:
Her woodland friends

The Story:

Ashlynn Ella stands to inherit a pretty sad story however she seems mostly resigned to her fate. I hope her prince turns out to be a lumberjack.


The Random Thoughts:



3 Stars

 

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text 2018-10-14 20:06
Cinder & Ella By Kelly Oram 99 cents!
Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram,Kirsten Leigh,Bluefields

Cinder458: Your blogaversary is coming up, right?
EllaTheRealHero: Do all those Hollywood friends of yours know you use words like blogaversary?
Cinder458: Of course not. I need your address. Got you a blogaversary present.


Cinder got me a gift? 
My heart flipped. 
Not that I was in love with my Internet best friend or anything. That would be utterly ridiculous. The boy was cocky and stubborn and argued with everything I said just to be infuriating. He also had lots of money, dated models—which meant he had to be hot—and was a closet book nerd. 
Funny, rich, hot, confident, book lover. Definitely not my type. Nope. Not at all. 



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.

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review 2018-09-17 16:07
DNF at 25 Percent
Fairest - Gail Carson Levine

I don't hate myself enough to continue to read this book. Going to find something else to fit the "A Grimm Tale" square. I just don't have the patience for the singing or Aza and others talking about how ugly she is every freaking five seconds. My biggest issue is that Aza's not interesting enough to read as a re-imagining of "Snow White." She's mean at times to her sister and family cause she's not beautiful, though it makes no sense why she's not besides the fact she doesn't look like others around her. She apparently has a fantastic singing voice she can throw and bah. I just don't care.


Aza is a foundling in the kingdom of Ayortha. Apparently being beautiful and being able to sing are the only things people care about. Aza is tall, has dark hair, pale skin, and red lips and is therefore ugly (I am playing the world's smallest violin). Her family hides her away in the tavern (not really, she acts like a fool if anyone sees her and most people don't seem to care and or know her) until a Duchess needs Aza to accompany her to the royal wedding. So even though Aza is so ugly that she can make death die, she is still invited as companion (this made zero sense to me and I don't care enough to fixate on it). Aza goes to court and of course the new Queen has zeroed in on her.


The writing is repetitive, and I loathed all the songs. Maybe I hate happiness? Who knows. I think the main thing is that there is barely any character development to Aza and zero to everyone else. I just didn't have the energy to completely finish a book I knew I was going to be lukewarm about. 

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review 2018-07-21 07:44
Unbreakable (The Unblemished Trilogy) - Sara Ella

Eliyana Ember is a reluctant queen. As vessel of the Verity—the purest of souls—only she can lead the fight against the wicked magnetism of the Void. If she fails, the paths between Reflections will cease to exist, and those she loves will remain plagued by darkness. After falling through a draining Threshold and suffering near-death, Eliyana awakens to a Shadowalker-ridden Venice, Italy. From there, she must learn to navigate mysteries of time and space. Traveling across the seven Reflections, Eliyana seeks one thing: the demise of the Void. But something else is at stake—the fate of her heart. Kyaphus Rhyen and Joshua David, brothers in arms, duel to win her hand. Ky remains ensnared and tortured by the Void. Joshua, though well-meaning, harbors dark secrets. Meanwhile, Eliyana finds herself torn, her mind and memories leading her in one direction, but her heart pulling her toward a man she knows she shouldn’t trust. How can she discern whom to believe when she cannot even depend on her own fragmented memories?

Amazon.com

 

 

 

*NOTE: This is a continuation / conclusion of a series, so we have some spoiler-y material down below. Click away now if you haven't yet read the first two books and don't want spoilers!

 

 

Eliyana is now queen of the Second Reflection and vessel for The Verity. As such, she prepares herself and her kingdom for leading an attack against The Void. She survives a fall through a Threshold that nearly kills her (attempting to suck her life force out), awakening in Venice, Italy to find the place full of Shadowalkers. From Venice, Eliyana begins a journey that takes her across the Seven Reflections, gathering info on how to most successfully destroy The Void once and for all. During all this, Eli also goes through an unexpected physical alteration that leaves her quite shaken. 

 

Meanwhile, Ky is struggling with being periodically controlled / tortured by The Void while his brother Joshua David, still not quite right in the head after the events of Book 2, has developed the early stages of DID (once referred to as Split Personality Disorder). Honestly, this part of the book was a little hard to keep straight but I BELIEVE "David" was the good side while "Josh" was the evil one?! The chapters in this book, as in the earlier installments, alternate POVs between Eli, Josh and Ky and in Josh's chapters there's a lot of first person referencing "Josh" in third person. For real, compared to the first two books, this one was a massive headache to keep sorted out. 

 

Even the world building! While impressive in the first book, in this one it was more like a literary Christmas lights tangle. Just all over the place. A ton of info dumps.

 

WAS. NOT. IMPRESSED.

 

What else went wrong? Well, Eli's sister, Ebony -- While I actually kinda liked her character in the earlier installments, in this conclusion piece I found her distractingly obnoxious. Seriously, WHAT happened to all these characters I loved so much in Book 1??!

 

Also, AGAIN the reader is assaulted with pop culture references. Goodness, Miss Sara Ella does play to a certain demographic, and HARD. This was an issue I had with the second book and right off the bat in Book 3 I already hit the "hey, young millennial!" wall. Being of the millennial generation myself... for me, being so obvious felt a little desperate to sound relevant... which is generally not really required of a FANTASY novel. But I will say she does ease up on the habit SOME as you move along in this third book. Even so, it's noticeably grating for this reader.  

 

While I found the first book very unique and gripping, having now reached this conclusion novel I find much of the series to be a sort of YA / NA soap opera with mild, not always well plotted out fantasy elements.

 

Indulge me a momentary rant: *VENICE. SERIOUSLY --- HOW DO YOU DO SO LITTLE WITH SUCH A SETTING??? -- only brief mention of some canals and St. Marks Basilica and then off to anywhere, everywhere else! Why bother working that location in at all, then? At one point, Eli is even going to the literal Land of Oz. No joke. 

 

I read this one in a day but it took ALL DAY with LOTS of breaks in between. Not because of "OMG THE FEELS. SQUUEEE!" but more like I'm so bored outta my gourd I was doing anything and everything -- even laundry and deep cleaning projects, y'all -- procrastinating going back to this book... not a good sign, but since I was sent this one for review, I don't feel right bestowing a DNF on it. 

 

Noted, Sara, you're a fan of OUAT, Disney and all things princess-y and whimsical. You're hip. You're with it. Dukka Dukka Dukka.

 

 Image result for im hip im with it

 

One line I will give Sara Ella props for though, is in Chapter 22, when Ky explains how he perceives The Verity: "Pure of heart doesn't mean without darkness... it means a desire for the light." As someone who has had a lot of darkness in her life but still strives for good, I thought this was rather well put. 

 

But yeah, maybe next go 'round, pull back on the pop culture refs just a bit, girl. 

 

 

FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book & requested that I check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

----------------------

 

My review for Unblemished (Book 1)

My review for Unraveling  (Book 2)

 

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review 2018-06-29 08:39
The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies
The Novel Cure, An A-Z of Literary Remedies - Ella Berthoud,Susan Elderkin

In terms of quantity and breadth, this might be the mother of all books on book recommendations.  Quality of the recommendations likely lies in the eye of the beholder, although there has to be something in here for everyone, just from a statistical point o view.  

 

This is a reference of maladies; everything from going off the rails, to giving birth, to children, under pressure to have.  Each entry (and they are legion) has a t least one book recommendation, if not an entire list (see: turning forty-something, books on); some with commentary, some without - presumably because their inclusion is obvious.  There are also occasional sets about book collecting, b book lending, over-coming an over-hyped book, finding your book identity and so on. 

 

This is NOT a book to be tackled all at once or even cover to cover over a long period of time.  This is a true reference for those times when you need a book that is a match for your mood, or just desperate for inspiration.  

 

This is not a book for people trying to combat their TBR piles - but I'm telling you about it anyway.

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