Unblemished by Sara Ella
Unblemished, Book 1
Thomas Nelson, 2016
I have been really interested in this debut young adult novel since I found out about it months ago. It’s written by Sara Ella, who is a YouTuber. And as someone who is involved in the book-reviewing blogger/vlogger world, it is exciting to see the success of one of my peers.
My hesitation with this book is that it falls under the fantasy/young adult genre, both of which I do not typically read. So my feelings on this book are complex, much like the story that unfolds within its pages.
This book definitely caught my attention as Eliyana grieves the loss of her mother at the opening and is thereafter swept up into a world she never knew existed. What does it all mean for her? I found myself thinking about this book and eager to find time to sit and read the next few chapters.
Here’s the thing: world building in fantasy novels is an enigma to me. It is interesting and creative and so many details have to come together to make sense of this new reality. But it’s also this incredibly difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around. Even now, I’m pretty sure I’m still confused on how the world works in this ‘Reflection’. But I’m trying to figure it out, guys, because I really want to understand how and why things happened the way they did within the context of this world.
We have to talk about the romance. I was fascinated by the love triangle and the dynamics within those relationships. Specifically, I was intrigued by how the world building plays into the triangle and what the consequences of certain actions were. It created an extra complexity to the world and how relationships are bound by actions. I’m really interested in seeing how this will develop in the next book.
Overall, I found the descriptions in this book many times bordered on too flowery. And the one word sentences to describe noises were odd. For example: Click. Bang. Boom. It threw me out of the story. Other than that, the first three acts were interesting. Elyiana learns fragmented pieces of her new reality, which allows the reader to be confused and try to make sense of everything alongside the main character.
Then Act IV arrived, and everything starts to make sense, and it becomes a more cohesive story. So many things were coming together and I was eager to find out how the resolution would come about, how it could possibly end well. I was completely sucked into the story by Act IV, the build up from the previous three acts finally coming to fruition.
I’ve already shelved book two on my Goodreads TBR. I’ve even subscribed to Sara Ella’s newsletter and YouTube channel. So, I guess you could say I’m invested. I’m really looking forward to Sara Ella’s next book and watching her grow as an author.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*