ARC Review: Unblemished by Sara Ella

Unblemished by Sara Ella
Series: Unblemished #1
Published by HarperCollins on October 11, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 352 : ARC edition
Source: Provided by United by Pop! for review
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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?

This review was originally posted and featured on United by Pop’s website.

Unblemished invites readers to not only question the world they live in, but also look beyond it. What’s on the other side of your reflection? Is there more here than meets the eye?

Eliyana is a timid character in Unblemished who finds solace in hiding behind the scenes or out of the way, so she’s shocked when her mother and friend, Joshua, are hiding entire worlds from her where the one thing that makes her shy, could just make her stand out and become the savior they all need.

While Unblemished has extraordinary world building and vivid imagery, the relationship between characters felt, at times, stilted. Due to Eliyana’s shy demeanor, it’s sometimes hard to relate to her, though she does develop throughout the story and stands on her own eventually. Her relationship with Joshua also gives readers someone to care for, and hold their breath each time both of them are in a perilous situation.

The pacing does speed by at a hundred miles an hour at times, others it slows down to show a more real side of life, and how Eliyana must overcome her greatest fear, to become fearsome, herself.

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