Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review: Unblemished by Sara Ella

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Title: Unblemished

Author: Sara Ella

Series: Unblemished #1

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale/Contemporary Time-Travel

Audience: Young Adult


Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that 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, 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?

**4 stars**

Oh my, Book Two please! ^_^

Unblemished by Sara Ella was complex tale with an intriguing cast of characters! In a modern-day setting, we meet Eliyana, a teenage girl with a strange birthmark on her face. She lives with her single mother in New York ... and couldn't imagine that there's another world beyond hers, and her history and destiny are intricately entwined within it.

I really enjoyed it! It's a sort of time-travel (realm-travel) speculative fiction, with a generous dash of fairy tale, where people travel from contemporary time to a fantasy realm! And I love both fairy tales and fantasy. There are several nods to Disney fairy tale classics, such as The Little MermaidCinderella, and Beauty and the Beast. One or two scenes reminded me of parts from the "Rapunzel-retelling movie", Tangled, and I adored that!

Kisses of true love. Binding of hearts and souls. Deadly deals. Shadowy lands. Unfortunate family trees. Devious plans. Deep secrets ... Unblemished was one mysterious, mind-boggling, heart-wrenching story! Sara Ella has a great writing style, and I really enjoyed her take on writing in first-person. The plot was intricate. Sometimes the pace was a little slow, but the end was definitely worth it! Seeing everything come together ... oh my stars! Nearly blew my mind! Granted, I was a little confused at points, but I loved the conclusion and can hardly wait to see what happens next! I believe the next book in this series is titled, Unraveling. Eeee!

Unblemished didn't have a clear Christian allegory. But the author is a Christian, and you could definitely see the battle of light vs. darkness and little meaningful themes and lessons. One of the themes is of self-acceptance; Eliyana sees herself as ugly and has a hard time believing she's truly loved. And so she goes on this journey of discovering that even a birthmark that people make fun of, can be beautiful and meaningful.

I did not appreciate the couple mentions of (non-sexual) nudity; nor some of the kissing.

And ... the love triangle. I don't like love triangles! Someone always gets hurt! (I get hurt too, my poor heart can't take it.) *cries* However, even though the love triangle is very evident in this book, it was handled fairly well ... for a love triangle. I didn't appreciate that their were kisses for both men; but the guy I'm rooting for got more screen time and I think his actions are pretty clear - he's noble and kind and selfless, and he loves her; without any hidden agenda. And ... I think she truly loves him. (view spoiler)

*Ahem* Anyway, I'm so glad I got a chance to read this beautiful book! The cover is gorgeous, by the way! Fairy Tale <3. I now await Unraveling!

I received a copy of Unblemished from


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one too, Shantelle. I thought it was a lovely debut (my favorite was the Beauty and the Best angles) and am most anxious so see what Sara Ella writes next. :) Great review!

    1. Yes, Rissi, I thought so too! ^_^ I'm also looking forward to her next book ... wahoo! :) Thanks!

  2. That cover is gorgeous!

    (*whispers*) I'm Team Ky, too! Him and Eliyana... So perfect. <3

    Glad you enjoyed Unblemished! :)