Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Unraveling" by Sara Ella

About this book:

  “What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?
  Eliyana Ember doesn't believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what's right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she's trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about--like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.
  Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua's finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something--or someone--is missing?
  When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections--and keep herself from falling for him in the process?”

Series: Book #2 in the “Unblemished” trilogy. Review of Book #1 Here!

Spiritual Content- This is a Good (Light, “the Verity”) vs Evil (Darkness, “the Void”) storyline and El is trying to destroy the Void; A mention of a miracle; A mention of Queen Vashti from the book of Esther;
*Note: Eliyana says she hasn’t given much thought to life after death because it always seemed impossible; A man says he can raise someone back from the dead if he wanted; One of the male leads has a lot of the [Darkness] in him and acts completely different from his normal self and cruel; Mentions of sorcery; Mentions of the First Reflection where someone-who-has-died’s soul can survive without their physical vessel [their body]; Many mentions of people having the [Darkness] in them & it affecting them; A few mentions of those who worship the [Darkness]; A mention of Hercules; A mention of Medusa; “Thank the Verity”, “Holy Verity”, “for Verity’s sake”, “scared the living Void right out of me”, “oh my Void”, “Crowe!”, “a crowe of a lot easier”, “where the crowe”, “for the love of crowe”, “get the crowe out of here”, “oh my chronicles”, and “Son of a Soulless” are said in place of other phrases many times.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bleep’, a ‘darn’, a ‘flippin’’, a ‘fudge everything up’, a ‘gah’, a ‘oh my word’, a ‘rats’, a ‘witch’, two ‘drat’s, two ‘dumb’s, two ‘what the bleep’s, three ‘blasted’s, three ‘drat’s, three ‘moron’s, three ‘sheesh’s, three forms of ‘shut up’, four ‘duh’s, four forms of ‘idiot’, four forms of ‘screw’, four forms ‘suck’, four ‘wretched’s, eight ‘crud’s, and eight ‘stupid’s; Second Reflection curses are said & written (words in place of what would be normally used); Mentions of curses (said, not written); Eye rolling, Sarcasm, & Sass; Lies & Lying; Lots of Pain, being shot, shooting someone, cutting someone, threatening, falling, nearly passing out, nearly drowning, poisons, explosions, earthquakes, blood/bleeding, dead bodies (semi-detailed); One of the male leads murders someone (it’s the Void that convinced him to do it, up to semi-detailed); Fighting, a child is run through with a sword, hitting/beating someone up, injuries/wounds, blood/bleeding, the scent of blood, & dead bodies (semi-detailed);  Many, many mentions of fighting, pain, injuries/wounds, blood/bleeding, coughing up blood, the scent of blood, cutting one’s self (not in a suicidal sense, though), dead bodies, screams/sobs, explosions, earthquakes, attacks, seeing people shot, bullets, arrows, guns/swords/knifes/weapons & weapons aimed/threatened (semi-detailed); Mentions of murders, deaths, & murderers (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of attacks, attackers, & injuring someone bad (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of pain from torture, poisons/drugs, scars, bruises, burns, beatings, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of kidnappings; Mentions of traitors, betrayals, & deceit; Mentions of stealing an item; Mentions of dungeons; Mentions of alcohol, champagne, drinking, drunks, & bar fights; Mentions of throwing up & vomit (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of bullies & their mean words; Mentions of tattoos; A few mentions of seeing a monster/woman/troll eating a small fairy whole; A few mentions of an attempted kidnapping and abduction; A few mentions of wanting to punch someone in their face; A few mentions of betting; A few mentions of acne; A couple mentions of almost becoming someone’s slave; A couple mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of tobacco; A couple mentions of manure; A couple mentions of chamber pots;A mention of the smell of urine; A mention of peeing in a pair of pants; A mention of BO; A mention of poker;
            *Notes: Mentions of brands (Converse and Coach); Mentions of movies, TV shows, fiction characters, actors/directors, (Elsa, Tangled, Pocahontas, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Annie (& Miss Hannigan), Pirates of the Caribbean (& Elizabeth Swan), The Titanic, The Princess Bride, Freaky Friday, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, BBC’s Sherlock, Wonder Woman, Ali, Million Dollar Baby, Princess Leia, Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo, Humphrey Bogart, and Ingmar Bergman); Mentions of singers and their songs (Taylor Swift, Christina Perri, Alicia Keys, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Mumford & Sons, Switchfoot, Passenger, and Zedd); Mentions of Broadway shows & characters (Wicked, Elphaba, Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, and Rent); A few mentions of vampires, Twilight, & Edward Cullen; A couple mentions of Starbucks; A mention of Barbie; A mention of the game The Legend of Zelda; A mention of walking like a zombie; A mention of an 80s slasher flick.

Sexual Content- a fingers-to-lips touch, nine hand/finger kisses, two forehead kisses, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, a semi-detailed kiss, and a detailed kiss that alludes to them going father (but not actually said); Wanting to kiss/be kissed; Remembering kisses (barely-above-not-detailed); Many talks about kissing & kisses; One of the male leads looks at Eliyana with a hunger in his eyes; He also mentions craving her & that he won’t be keep his distance anymore; Lots of Touches, Embraces, Warmth, Heat, Hand Holding, Flutters, Nearness, & Smelling (semi-detailed); Flirting, Bushes, & Winks; Noticing & noticing a shirtless guy’s chest (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of kisses, kissing, enjoying being kissed, wanting to kiss/be kissed, & staring at lips; Mentions of PDA; Mentions of touches & nearness; Mentions of dating, girlfriends, boyfriends, & being in love with someone; Mentions of flirting, winks, & blushes; Mentions of crushes & falling in love; A few mentions of a married woman sitting on her husband’s lap & them kissing (barely-above-not-detailed); A few mentions of a girl being in-like with a guy; Love, being/falling in love & the emotions;
           *Note: Mentions of a mother who died right after childbirth; A few mentions of men’s naked chests; A couple mentions of a woman’s tight shirt & her more-than-adequate bosom bouncing; A mention of a woman (okay, she’s called a Troll)’s dress revealing a lot of her skin; A mention of a bra strap; A mention of freezing a behind off; A mention of someone acting like they have a stick-up-her-rear.

-Eliyana “El” Ember, age 18
                                         1st person P.O.V. of Eliyana, Joshua/Josh (18x), Ky (6x)
                                                        356 pages

Pre Teens-

New Teens-

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-

My personal Rating-

While this book has been on my anticipated books list for 2017, I wouldn’t say I’ve been highly waiting for this sequel like others have been. I just plain was curious.
Unfortunately, I ended up disappointed.
As I said in the Spoiler section of my final thoughts of the first book: “I frankly don't care much who El ends up with.” I’d like to confirm that opinion right now. I honestly don’t like Joshua or Ky. They both seem creepy to me and I’d like to tell El to “run for the hills, girl!” One of them became obsessive about her. Eliyana’s dependence on having whichever guy she liked in that chapter was honestly sad to me. That she needed a guy to feel complete and better about herself. But, then again, there’s no mentions of God for her to find her worth in His love for her.
Compared to the first book, this novel has four maps in the beginning. Slightly neat, but also overwhelming. I jumped into reading this one. I didn’t reread the first book—which I probably should have, but I dislike rereading books I didn’t really enjoy—because I wanted to see how well it would remind the reader of the important events that happened in the first book. There were many parts I didn’t understand, some that slowly came back to me…mainly how everyone is related and to whom they’re related to. More birth secrets are added in this one and it honesty didn’t shock me at all.  
Reading other reviews, I can understand why some find this writing style annoying, though. The sound effects are a bit much. There’s no real separation when we’re reading a flashback, so it can be confusing. A few flashbacks have a decent intro into the memory, but most felt choppy.
Some bothersome parts to me were all the fake cussing. When El “curses” in Second Reflection-ese, you can easy put an actual curse in its place and its basically means the same. It doesn’t actually cover the fact that they’re cursing.
Like I said in my review of the first book: this is not an allegory. I’ve tried to think and stretch my brain to how it could be one. But, with every new information on the Verity and Void I came across that thought as a no. The Verity (the light, or the good, in this fight) is said to be the most powerful entity in the Seven Reflections, but also that it can die. So, no, it’s not supposed to be God. There’s also The Fairy Queen who is said to be immortal and older than the Verity itself.
I admit the seeing hashtags in like a conversation threw me for a loop. Do teens still do that? Talking to a follow teen or yourself and then tacking on “#nojoke” is their conversation? That kind of gives the book an expiration date of contemporariness.  
The most disappointing part of this 356-paged book, though, was the detailed kiss that alludes into them going father and being on top of the other. Olivia over at Olivia Rose in Bloom summed up the sexual mentions perfectly by saying “There is so much sexual tension in this book it could light up New York City.” That’s pretty true, unfortunately so.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Thomas Nelson) for this honest review.

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