I feel awful for admitting this but I completely judged this book by its cover. I love the story of Cinderella but I thought the cover was awful so I was just expecting a really bad modern day rewrite of Cinderella. How surprised was I that this wasn't the case when I read the book and even more surprised at how much I enjoyed reading it. Despite expecting a Cinderella remake from the start when reading the book I didn't make the connections at all which is definitely a good thing as I'm sure all I would’ve spent the time I spent reading it comparing the book to the fairy tale. However, now I'm writing this blog I can see the connections more and more, Ella's mum died, her dad doesn't love her, she has two wicked stepsisters and of course her very own Prince Charming. Now, it seems that obvious that the story was in fact Cinderella that I feel silly for missing it when reading.
Ella had a great life living with her mother in Boston but then thanks to a car accident her life changes. The car accident kills her mother and leaves Ella with horrific injuries. Her mother’s death leads onto her having to move in with her father, his new wife and their two children in LA. As with the Cinderella tale we know so well, Ella doesn’t fit in so well with her new family and is even made an outcast at school. The only thing that is keeping Ella sane during all this is her best friend Cinder, who she has never met but had the best online relationship with before and after her accident. Fittingly with the Cinderella story, Cinder is Hollywood's bad boy Brian Oliver. Ella doesn't want to ruin their friendship by meeting in real life but as expected they end up meeting after Ella's new step family get her tickets to meet him at a fan convention.
I really did enjoy the story and the romance between Ella and Brian but what I didn't like was how horrible some of the characters were particular Ella's sister. However, on reflection this is obviously to fit in with the Cinderella story. I think perhaps if I'd let myself be more aware of the fact it was based on Cinderella I would've found the bad guy characters easier to read. Interestingly what I liked about this book is that I could imagine it easily being turned into a film, I already know exactly who I want to play Brian. Cinder & Ella reminded me a lot of books I used to read when I was younger which I think it part of the reason I ended up reading it in one night. Yes, it's not the best book I've read and the story isn’t anything new but I loved it. If you want a book with a familiar story but with a unique take I would highly recommend Cinder & Ella.