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Eliyana has a birthmark covering half of her face. Her mother and close friend Joshua are the only people who treat her normally. He makes her feel like love is possible. One night her mother does not come home and Joshua becomes her new legal Guardian. Someone is following her. Eliyana soon finds herself in a strange world much larger than she’s ever known. Eliyana holds the answer to defeating a powerful and vile man him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she doesn’t believe in herself?
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)
Series: Unblemished Trilogy
"Sara Ellas debut novel is a stunning journey into a fascinating new world of reflections. Intricately plotted, the story is complex, but not difficult to follow. Eliyana is a strong heroine, yet also has a vulnerable side that readers will definitely identify with. The other characters are also well-developed and have many hidden secrets revealed throughout the course of the tale. Good vs. evil is the overarching theme, and its easy to draw parallels with faith. The book is set up for further installments, and it will be fascinating to see where the author takes the characters next." RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, TOP PICK!
Library Journal Starred Review November 2016; Debut of the Month for October 2016
With plenty of YA crossover appeal, this engaging and suspenseful debut urban fantasy features superb world-building and a tightly paced story line. Reading groups will find plenty to discuss concerning self-image, the nature of good vs. evil, and the power of the marginalized to change the world. Suggest to fans of Tosca Lees Demon or Ted Dekkers Eyes Wide Open.
Eliyana cant bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflectionone 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 doesnt come home, and thats 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 youve gone from weird to otherworldly.
Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than shes 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 cant even save herself?
Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney-style castle. Today, she is a winner of the ECPA Christian Book Award for her debut novel Unblemished, which released to magical applause: "a stunning journey into a fascinating new world of reflections" (RT Book Reviews). Sara spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses and conquering realms of her own imaginings. She believes "Happily Ever After Is Never Far Away." Connect with Sara online at SaraElla.com, Facebook: WritingHisTruth, Twitter: @SaraEllaWrites, Instagram: SaraEllaWrites, and YouTube: Sara Ella.
Sara Ellas debut novel is a stunning journey into a fascinating new world of reflections. Intricately plotted, the story is complex, but not difficult to follow. Eliyana is a strong heroine, yet also has a vulnerable side that readers will definitely identify with. The other characters are also well-developed and have many hidden secrets revealed throughout the course of the tale. Good vs. evil is the overarching theme, and its easy to draw parallels with faith. The book is set up for further installments, and it will be fascinating to see where the author takes the characters next.
BookwormMama14Age: 25-34Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Beautiful Story!July 7, 2017BookwormMama14Age: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5As some of you may know, over the past couple of months I have been a part of the judging process for the INSPYs. Reading and analyzing the 5 books on the short list. WELL, the winners were announced last week which means I FINALLY get to share my thoughts with YOU on all of these books! I decided it only appropriate to start with the WINNER in the Young Adult Literature category...Unblemished!
As my brain tries to untangle itself from this crazy mess this book put it into, I will TRY to express my true emotions for this book.
First off, I love LOVE Sara Ella's style. Written solely in first person and easy to follow her train of thought. I know that first person narratives can be an immediate turnoff for some people, but this one was done really well. (Reading is my SuperPower can attest to that). It was also helpful having MANY references to modern day movies, songs, etc. making this the perfect book as an introduction to fantasy. It gives you a taste without drowning you. There is a lot of new terminology and locations, but very easy to follow along. A couple of the names were pretty similar and I got a little confused at the beginning, but I caught on and got it sorted pretty easily.
As Eliyana searches for beauty and love she encounters so much more along the way. I really loved this theme. There were so many allegorical references to God's love, God's plan for us. I love how Sara wove the faith in. The Verity and the Void, the Light and the Dark, the Truth and Lies. #BookHangover at its finest right here. Clean and I felt it is very appropriate for young adults. I can NOT wait to read Unraveling now! (side note: I did in fact read Unblemished first, even though I post my review for Unravelling weeks ago.)
One thing that I could have done without, was the love triangle. Yes...you heard me right! I know that love triangles and Young Adult fiction goes hand in hand...But it would be nice to have a little break from that. In the end it was "needed"...but I still could have done without it.
I love allegories. They have the ability to reach so many people and work on their hearts no matter what they believe or where they are in life. One aspect of the allegory in this book was in Joshua's love for El. It mirrors (oops....I know I would do that) God's love for us. Unconditional, unphased by outward appearance, He loves with all of his heart and soul.
If you are a fan of YA Fiction, Fantasy, or allegories...Or all of the above...You really should give Unblemished a try! It didn't win an INSPY for nothing...
I purchased and read my own ebook copy of Unblemished from Amazon. However, I was provided with a complimentary hardback copy from the publishers through The INSPY Award. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
SavannaAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Can't Stop Thinking About This Story!June 13, 2017SavannaAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Wow. I was not prepared for this book. I knew within the first couple pages that I was in for an adventure. What I didn't expect was to be so consumed with the intricate world the author created. This is a new genre for me and I have to say I LOVED it!
Eliyana is a fascinating heroine, who struggles to see herself for who she really is. She goes through a deep transformation throughout the book's journey and I was holding my breath to see how she would survive. There are several other characters, which at times confused me in keeping track of who was who, but they each played a strong role.
It took me a little while to adjust to the story being told through first person present tense, but I quickly realized it made the tale that much stronger. The blending of the real world with the fictional world was incredible. The settings and descriptions were bright and intriguing.
The story had so many layers to it and each character was so well-developed. I was surprised at nearly every turn of the page. It kept me guessing up to the very end. And what an ending it was. Wow! It's both satisfying and surprising, with a great lead in to book 2. I can't wait for the sequel.
I had the hardest time putting the book down. I found myself thinking about the plot twists and the characters throughout the day. After finishing it, I had to take a few days to digest it all before moving on to another book. It's that gripping. If you can't tell, I'm very excited about this new series.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required - all opinions are my own.
bookbloggerWestern MichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Riveting YA fictionMarch 30, 2017bookbloggerWestern MichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Unblemished by Sara Ella
Eliyanna Ember is 17 and a misfit. Because of her birthmark she is an outcast wherever she goes. Her mother and her neighbor, Joshua David are her closest friends. Then her mother dies and Joshua her neighbor-turned-boyfriend becomes her guardian. Thats when her life gets really strange.
To help her cope with her grief, her acquaintance Quinn persuades her to sneak away from Joshua and hang out at a party. Then Quinn ditches the party and Eliyanna is stuck without a ride until another party-goer, Ky, persuades her that he can take her home. Except that Ky isnt the safe new friend she thought he was and Eliyanna ends up in another world that is strangely familiar and yet totally new. She will have to call forth resources deep inside her that she never knew she had in order to survive this new world.
This book was way better than I expected. It was a compelling story, one that I didnt want to put down. It moved so quickly that it almost made me dizzy. The characters were surprisingI had a hard time figuring out who was good and who was bad. The plot twists were amazing and caught me off guard. The ending was satisfying and yet left me with soooo many questions! The next book cant be published quickly enough for me. Despite this being a young adult fiction, it totally engrossed me. Even after finishing the book, there are still things in the story that I am pondering. For readers who enjoy fantasy, this book and any others that follow it will quickly become favorites. I was given a free copy by Thomas Nelson for my honest review.
LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Fairytale...FantasyMarch 28, 2017LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Well, when I received this book, I wasn't certain what I would think. I really enjoyed the fairy tale feel to it. It reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia in a lot of ways. Sara Ella is a gifted writer and you travel to other worlds with her. The story doesn't mention God but it is a story of Good vs Evil and I saw the representation. At times I was a little confused because of so many characters, so therefore I gave it four stars instead of five. I look forward to the next book to see where the story takes me. A very enjoyable read, especially if you like fantasy or fairy tales.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
DonnasBookshelfTennesseeAge: 55-65Gender: female2 Stars Out Of 5Unblemished | Sara EllaMarch 10, 2017DonnasBookshelfTennesseeAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 1Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1I love the cover on this book . . . and I couldn't wait to read it. Unblemished was described as an inspirational novel, and even as a Christian fiction novel, so I dove into it with high expectations.
Uh. . . no.
I can't honestly recommend this book to my readers. I have nothing against fairy tales, which this story emulates, or kissing, which this story has plenty of... but I feel the story is far from Christian fiction (or inspirational). We all have our own idea of when the lines we set get crossed . . . and this story crossed too many lines for me.
But the hardest thing to swallow? How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she cant even save herself?
Yes, I admit, I am offended by a young girl who is obviously immature and sees herself as a savior. And I'm sorry, but I thought the writing wasn't quite up to par. I expected much more. . .
That being said, if you read it, and enjoy it, that 's fine.