on August 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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 fiancee-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."
Cinder & Ella is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and sad books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Even going in with different expectations, I did not get disappointed. While I was expecting a light and fluffy read, instead I got a dose of all the feels. Which was fine, because this book was amazing.
Cinder and Ella both lead hectic lives in their own way, and they each find solace and peace in the same thing: a chatroom where they can talk for hours on end. They are, essentially, best friends, and know pretty much everything about each other except for their first names. However, there are a few secrets left.
What he doesn’t know is that Ella was in a gruesome car accident, lost her mother, spent eight months in rehab, and is now for 70% covered in burn marks.
What she doesn’t know is that Cinder is actually Brian Oliver, Hollywood’s next teenage heartthrob, and about to play the lead role in The Cinder Chronicles, a movie adaptation of their favourite book series.
At times, I felt like Ella’s story was going to tear my heart in two. The way she would get either ignored or bullied at school for not looking like everyone else, the way she never truly fit in with her new family, how her body would never be her own anymore. It was absolutely heart-breaking to watch her going through the motions of what others have taken for granted. She walks with a cane, she can’t fully stretch her right (mangled) hand, she was forced to move in with a father who left her when she was 8 years old. At times, it was really difficult to read. I don’t usually cry when I’m reading something, but this time I did have something in my eye a few times.
The only one she can truly count on is Cinder, and even so, he’s in a bit of a pickle of his own. His life is being dictated to him and he doesn’t have any input – up to the point where they decide who he gets engaged to. Their lives are turned upside down when they meet by happenstance at a fantasy convention, but there are so many complications that can’t be ignored.
Cinder & Ella wasn’t without fault and did have a handful of clichés, but the high rating is because of the fact that I couldn’t put it down and read the entire thing within 24 hours. It is because it made me feel so many things, because I truly sympathised with Ella, because I loved Ella and wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be alright. It is because I would recommend this book to anyone who’s a contemporary fan, because it was cute and swoon-worthy and definitely a new favourite.