First of all, a series of Announcements:
1) I think I got the Rafflecopter problem fixed! The giveaway has now ended. I will announce the winner soon.
2) I got interviewed for Briana's Crazy Creatures of the Blogging World feature. *happy dance* You can check that post out here at her blog Reader, Writer, Critic.
3) I'M SO SORRY THAT I KINDA TOOK A CASUAL/UNINTENTIONAL BREAK FROM BLOGGING. Yeah...about that. Oops. Many apologies and chocolates!
Publication Date: April 25, 2013
Publisher: Playlist Fiction
Source: my pockets of change
Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.
In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.
But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.
I wasn't expecting this book to be too amazing. I mean, it sounds like a fluffy contemporary read and I don't read those a lot.
HOWEVER, this book exceeded all of my expectations. It was a really good book! Yeah, it was slightly fluffy but then it wasn't.
Because I'm a party pooper, I'm going to talk about the things I didn't like as much first, just to switch things up a bit.
There was a love triangle. When I first understood that there was going to be a love triangle, I groaned and thought, "Another one?? Really?" But as the story went on, I actually found it really interesting to read how Ellie and the two guys responded to each other. I don't know if this is a spoiler but I totally and completely ship Chase and Ellie.
There were also the stereotypical guy characters-- the popular handsome guy and the mysterious bad boy. I think that Stephanie Morrill did a fantastic job of giving these stereotypes dimension though, in that for the most part they were the stereotype and then they would surprise you.
Palmer did this a lot. I never knew what to make of him until near end. I liked him... I thought he was funny. But was he a jerk? A nice guy? >.< I was in so much turmoil over it because I genuinely wanted to like him.
Chase was literally so sweet. I mean, at first, he didn't come across as sweet, but then I got more into the book and he remembered the tiniest details about Ellie. I swear I snickered/giggled crazily at so many awkward or sweet moments between him and Ellie.
Aaaand I've somehow morphed this "con" section to the "pros". Trust me, there are a lot of them. Ellie was the best. I think she's my fictional twin because I empathized with her SO much. We have so many things in common and she was a really easy character to understand and read about. She had awesome sarcasm and great come-backs. She used words that normal teenagers don't use sometimes, which we bookworms are known for. #pride She's insecure. She's scared of what the future holds and of failure. She's a late bloomer. And yet, she is having a good life despite these things. She is accomplishing her goals. She's growing and in growing, she's having good times and bad times.
This book is so. darn. realistic.
Also, was I the only one who really appreciated that the author made it so that Bronte (Ellie's writing mentor and critique partner), now married and mother of several kids, not have gone on a date until sophomore or junior year of college?
Here's a list of many things that make Ellie and I twins:
1. She loves books.
2. She wears glasses despite having contacts (because, let's face it, contacts are soo tricky).
3. She writes (admittedly more and better than me, but who's being specific ;)).
4. She doesn't want to party. And that's great because some people don't actually want to party however unimaginable it may be.
5. She has realistic relationships with her relatives...in other words, everything's not always peachy.
My two favorite parts of The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet (besides Ellie herself) were reading Ellie's journey to becoming an author (reading about querying and revising and agents was SO awesome) and her relationships with family like her parents, grandparents, aunt, etc. I really looked forward to reading the small tidbits of Ellie's book too because I was curious as to how she would translate that day's events into her medieval world.
I felt like Stephanie Morrill really, whether intentionally or unintentionally, tackled the big questions in a teenager's life. Or at least the big questions for those of us who are scared of things or introverts or don't want things to change. I mean, if you're none of those, great for you.
Questions like-- Do I really have to wait until I'm an "adult" so that I can do my own things and be my own person?
Do I have to wait? Why isn't now just as good a time?
Why does it matter what other people think of me? Why do I have to pretend like I agree with certain people just so I can be their friend?
Those are really great questions.
Ellie's aunt said something that really struck a chord for me. She said, "Shake off your image issues as soon as you can, Ellie-girl. You can't control what people are going to say, and paying too much attention to it can cost you your dreams."
Ellie's character development was amazing. I could see how much stronger she had become at the end of the book. It doesn't mean she was invincible. It doesn't mean she was a warrior-goddess and charged fearlessly through everything. No. She was still worried, still afraid, but less afraid.
DON'T let other people form the image that you see of yourself. That is so important and I need to remind myself of that once in a while.
I recommend this book to readers who like contemporaries, writing, nerdy girls, indecision, and drinking coffee.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it lacked a tiny bit of something for me. But it was still great!