Review Briefs: Cinder & Ella, Adrenaline Rush, and Spell Check

Cinder & EllaCinder & Ella
by Kelly Oram
YA Contemporary Romance, Fairy Tale
ebook275 Pages
October 1st 2014 by Bluefields


It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancĂ©e—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

My Review

I have a couple of this author's books, but this is the first one I've actually read of hers. I was expecting a fun and cute romance and that's definitely what I got, but I also got so much more. There were some very bittersweet moments that actually made me tear up. I just really felt for Ella. She lost everything and then had to deal with a less-than-ideal situation. Her family was also forced into the same situation and that made things rough for everyone all around. I really liked how honest and rough the characters came across in parts of the story. It felt raw in places, as it should have, and was balanced with friendship and a sweet romance.

I loved Ella. She was a girl who was scarred after a terrible accident, had a rough go of things, pulled herself back together, stuck through living with strangers, loved books and bloged about them, and was genuinely nice. Yeah. I got sucked right in into wanting a happily-ever-after ending for her. I also loved her friends and how they supported her.

Then there was Cinder/Brian. He wasn't my favorite character all the time. He definitely was over confident, spoiled, and arrogant. At the same time, he was real and much more down to earth with Ella. She brought out the good in him and I admired that. He really was a great guy when she was in his life. They made a good match.

There were definitely some parts that were unrealistic. One of Ella's friends (Chris - her brief boyfriend) felt unrealistic to me and then some of the other character's reactions were a little dramatic in places. I also didn't care for the swearing and innuendo.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It made me laugh, cry, and left a smile on my face in the end. Now I just need to read the author's other books.

Content: Swearing, some making out, and fairly strong innuendo.

Source: From eBooksforReview, which did not affect my review in any way.

Adrenaline Rush (A Christy Novel)Adrenaline Rush
(Christy #1)
by Cindy M. Hogan
YA Suspense
ebook360 Pages
October 19th 2013 by O'neal Publishing


A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it’s up to Christy to stop him.

To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it’s too late.

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target—with no guarantee that she’ll get out alive.

My Review

I was looking forward to reading Adrenaline Rush as I'll be reading the second book in this series soon and I really loved the cover and synopsis. Unfortunately, this book just didn't connect well with me. I liked the beginning and I liked the ending okay. The middle just really dragged for me. It didn't feel like a whole lot was going on and I really felt like I was in high school again with lots of drama, over-stimulation, high emotions, cliques, and immaturity. Of course all the kids are teens to young adults, so some of this would be expected. I think for me it felt overdone. I also felt like Christy didn't show her training very well during most of the book. She trusted and gave information away too easily, made lots of mistakes. The romance was also too much for me. Then the violence and the psychotic leader of the group Christy was inserting herself into was really violent and really crazy. I think others may really like this one, but for me it was just too crazy and dramatic. I'm hoping I'll like the second book better.

Content: This had some serious, psychotic violence. Otherwise, clean.

SourceFrom eBooksforReview, which did not affect my review in any way.

Spell CheckSpell Check
by Julie Wright
YA Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
ebook218 Pages
June 30th 2014 by Heart Stone Press

A skeleton is rattling its way out of the closet marked

Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that
can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the
trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she
realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries.

Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all—surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations.

The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.

My Review

I've read a couple of this author's other books and really enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to seeing what I thought of Spell Check. I ended up liking the characters and the way the story involved Ally's family and her frustrations with being bullied, with her parents being separating, and crushing on the popular guy at school. It was cute and fun in places, while also having a feel of danger mystery. I really liked Ally, her family, her friend Kristin, and her crush Jake. My favorite parts were the beginning and the very sweet ending of the story.

I do tend to have an issue with books when there is a character who will be coming into some powers of some sort and hasn't been told a thing or prepared and then when it happens, is pretty lost and left to fend for him/herself, which is pretty much what happens in this story. There was so little communication, especially where there should have been. I also wanted Ally to figure things out quicker. With what she was told, what she'd read, and what she'd seen it just seemed to take a while for things to click for her. I also missed the interaction between her and her friend Kristin in the second half of the book. It seemed like she was such a huge part of Ally's life and then she completely disappeared until the very end while Jake seemed to come to the forefront.

Overall, this was just okay for me. I wanted a lot more from the story. I do plan on continuing to read this author's books. This one just didn't quite work for me.

Content: Clean

SourceFrom eBooksforReview, which did not affect my review in any way.

Have you read any of these or do you plan too?

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