Before you start a book you sometimes have certain expectations. Now I didn’t necessarily have that with Cinder & Ella, but given the title and the cover I thought of a fairytale feel-good, and in a way it is, but… In any case, I certainly did not expect that I I had to shed a tear THREE times. Wow!

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 fiancée—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.

A story that you won’t let go easily

Cinder & Ella will definitely be a story that will stay with me for a long time. Even before I was halfway through the book, I had already shed a tear twice. And that’s incredible! Because I don’t cry so easily over books. It was truly heartbreaking to read people’s perceptions of Ella, including her family/the miscommunications that come with a broken person, as she tries to bond with her father – a man she barely knows. Kelly Oram can make you empathize with the characters thanks to her pleasant writing style, even if you haven’t experienced what Ella went through. I think the intense dialogue between the characters is what struck me the most. Oram is truly a mistress in this field! Very instructive as a writer too.

Realistic, yet enchanting

What struck me most was the balance between the swoon-fairytale content and the harsh reality. On the one hand you can really scream like a teenager in love, but on the other hand I found the conversations very… real. Her stepmother and stepsisters are also portrayed very realistically, unlike many ‘Cinderella’ stories. They really have their own feelings and background, which makes you empathize with them too. After all, life is not a fairy tale. Still, it’s not all drama, and I actually laughed really hard at some scenes, and conversations between Ella and Cinder.


I had so much more to say about this book in my head, but I’ve completely lost it. This book just left me speechless in a way. I do know that this is without a doubt one of my new favorites! And I can recommend everyone to read this book and have a box of tissues ready.

Title: House of Earth and Blood – Crescent City #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: March 2020
Pages: 803
Publisher: Bloomsbury publishing
Rating: 5/5