A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.Unblemished by Sara Ella
Published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing on October 11th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, General
Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.
But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.
Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.
Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?
Unblemished, by Sara Ella, is the first in a series by the same name. Now first off I want to say that this cover is so gorgeous. I had to read this book because of the cover. Let me repeat myself here. THIS COVER IS GORGEOUS!
Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this book. I was rather surprised because I’d read such glowing reviews and I was so hyped up and thinking this book was going to be awesome-sauce. In fact, once I started struggling to finish—I had to go back to GoodReads to see if anyone else felt the same. I just didn’t anticipate not liking this book. I did find a few that seemed to have the same issues that I had so I guess I feel validated in my reasoning. I guess I mention this because I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book. It seems you’ll either love or hate it and there is no in between.
I want to give just a few examples of the problems that I had with this book.
“We’re moving again. Whine. Snap.”
“Fizz. A match strikes. Hiss.”
These are all included within just a few paragraphs. The whole book reads this way!
“Chip. Crack. Shatter.”
“Flip. Flap. Flit.
“Flip. Scan. Turn.”
I do mean THE WHOLE BOOK is like this. First off, I’ve never read a book that needed to include sound effects. And can you even call some of these sound effects?
Then, I’ll be honest, the enumeration is a personal pet peeve of mine. Stating that a character counted under her breath is perfectly fine. I don’t need to hear the character count out the numbers. This book saw the character counting on numerous occasions and I felt a bit like I was in preschool and getting math lessons.
Sound effects and enumeration aside, El wasn’t likable—well, I mean some people might like her but I didn’t. She was so entitled, spoiled, childish and reckless. I mean, you know, I’ve absolutely nothing against vegetarians but this chick finds herself in an alterate universe with people trying to kill her. There’s a small group of people trying to save her behind and not even a simple, “thank you.” Nope, she just wants to go on and on about not being able to eat their food because it’d been alive. I can tell you right now, if I had rescued this girl I’d have given her a bowl and told her to go gather some berries. Alone. In the woods full of people trying to kill her. I mean, she was bent on doing the most reckless things anyway anyway. And grateful she was not.
Everything was all about Eliyana and whatever she was feeling in the moment. One minute she was completely obsessed and in love with Joshua and the next minute she’s all googly feeling for Kai even though she’d only known him for less than three weeks. Oh yeah, and he kidnapped her. Sorry, I don’t care the whys. If some man abducts me—he’s going to lose boyfriend/husband status forever.
Then as some other reviewers mentioned—El was in the new alternate universe for less than three weeks and she’s already using words and phrases like, “Thank the verity” which seems a little soon.
Last but not least—the whole “tattoos to signify your gifts thing” has been done already—Divergent. Which speaking of—is basically what a “mirror” is. A gift that is all the gifts in one. El is practically Divergent.
I could go on and on. Plot holes, weird effects, odd behavior from El—like talking to her mom in her head. I don’t even mean telepathically. I mean more like— this girl is just straight up cray-cray. And the never-ending pop culture references drove me crazy.
This book just wasn’t for me and I don’t think that I’ll finish the series.