Monday, June 19, 2017

Peasread: Unblemished

Description from the back of the book:
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?

I really wanted to love this book. I thought I would. Fantasy? Check. Adventure. Check. Female heroine? Check. I read the reviews and even I recommended it to my tween and let her read it.  Before I read it. Probably not a good idea. She liked it quite a bit though. I had a hard time getting through the middle of the book. Is it possible to not really love a book but want to know what happens to one of the characters in the upcoming book? Because that is where I'm at.

I'm glad that my tween/teen got to read this book also and agreed to review it. We had different opinions on it, but we also both liked the book. She can't wait until the next book Unravelling is available. I am curious to know what happens next also.
I liked that this book has a new "world", really just more realms of this one. Interesting characters with cool and different abilities. I also liked that there was adventure and twists throughout the story until the very end. The ending really makes you want to keep reading. In that sense this book was a fun read.
Here's why I didn't love this book or had a hard time reading it:
It was hard to follow at times because there was SO much stuffed into one book, not enough pages to truly develop each character and ability so that the reader could feel invested. I don't even remember half of it unless I reference back.
Pop culture references all over the place. I felt like there were almost too many. Some of this is okay for me, it's humorous, helps get a point across. But too much and I feel it's overdone and compensating for what might be lacking in the original story. The story is a good one, the world, the abilities, the characters.
El's constant thoughts about boys and if they like her. I get it, you're a teenager but really? Every time one of the boys touches you it has to be heart pounding I wonder if he loves me or notices? Even in the midst of a dangerous situation are we really thinking about how good a boy smells? Umm no,  everyone is just trying to stay alive. I don't know why this bugged me so much. I read romance novels. It usually doesn't bother me, but for the most part in those novels other people's lives aren't at stake. This could be an age thing? Maybe I'm too far removed, but as a 17/18 year old thing woman, I felt it was young for her character. 
I felt El was very often thinking of herself and her love interests, so much so that the author several times brings us back to what her focus truly is... by putting in a little side note "mom is what matters now, rescuing mom is all that matters".  Really? Well then let us focus on that then in the writing instead of reminding us after the fact.
Is this how teens think? Late teens, El is 17-18. Not a young teen. Maybe it just wasn't relate-able to me, like I mentioned above. Perhaps that's what it is. The ending was interesting and I so want to know what happens to Ky the only character I really liked. I do want to check out the next book in this series. At that point I might re read this book, and who knows I might feel different later. Get a better grasp on the nuances of the world and the characters.
I tagged this as a "clean read" because technically it is. There's just kissing, some violence but not graphic. 
My tween,s thoughts on this book:
Unblemished is a great action, adventure, and fantasy novel by Sara Ella. The characters were well developed and there were several twists I didn't see coming. My favorite part was the magical concept. I love reading about mythology, and this book had a fresh take on a lot of universal ideas, such as portals and shape-shifting, among other things. I also enjoyed how Sara explained the way the magic worked, and gave background stories as the novel progressed, weaving a web of interconnected pasts.
Would I read it again? Probably not.
Would I recommend it? Yes
What about to teens? Yes.

Series: The Unblemished Trilogy
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 11, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0718081013
ISBN-13: 978-0718081010

Would I read it again? Probably not, but I would read the next book.
Would I recommend it to adults?  No
What about teens? Yes, with the caveat that I didn't enjoy it as much as my tween did.

3 stars, I liked it okay.
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
 4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

Find more book reviews here under Peasreads.
Amazon reviews Katereviews.

I received this book from NetGalley. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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