Eliyana can't bear to look at her own reflection. But what if there were only one reflection -- one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a 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 like he does: 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, 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?
Sheer brilliance! I am gobsmacked over this being a debut novel! It's astounding! Every detail of this parallel world is so carefully thought out. And the plot is so complicated -- the twists and turns have twists and turns! And yet I never felt lost -- well, occasionally my brain felt scrambled -- and my questions had questions -- but otherwise this was an easy fantasy to navigate through.
I love the way Sara Ella delivers the story -- the blend of real and alternate worlds. And the way she uses easy-to-picture pop culture references to build quick images that help set the stage....and give us a glimpse into El's droll sense of humour. Like: "Things are looking up. I'm not going to smell like a hobbit today." (p.119) I do so love a heroine with a clever wit.
And poor El has to live by her wits when her world implodes just weeks before her eighteenth birthday! Told entirely from her viewpoint -- first person, present tense no less (not a favourite of mine but somehow it works here) -- I was so captivated by her story it consumed me. It's the kind of book that is so good you can't wait to read more but you don't want to read more because it will be over much too soon.
There are so many reader's-heart-stops-beating-as-she-collapses-on-floor moments that I still feel like I'm riding a tilt-a-whirl. I was constantly stunned. Gasping out loud. Had to stop reading in places while I wrestled with the whole 'need to know but don't really want to know' conundrum.
And can we say love triangle? Nooooooooo! Yes! Nooooooooo! Yes! Wait. What??????? Stay tuned for book two? And there it is...the dreaded cliffhanger of an ending. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of resolution and tons of answers covered in Unblemished BUT there are loose ends left dangling. And my mind is whirling with all the possibilities and ramifications and I'm not sure how I'll manage the wait until Unravelling releases this summer.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Unblemished please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 22 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!