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Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

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Book Review || Unblemished

Unblemished trilogy #1
Sara Ella

Thomas Nelson | November 12, 2019
Faerietales, Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

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?

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers!

{The Basics}
Why hadn't I picked up these books sooner??  I SO enjoyed this book.  Having reading Sara Ella's Coral, I knew I had to get into her debut trilogy---and WOW.  I loved this even more than I thought I would!  Eliyana's character was so real---her struggles as a teen girl, the overwhelming love she has for her mother, and the sacrifices she's willing to make in the midst of a wild journey in worlds she had no idea ever existed.  It was a captivating & thrilling ride!

I was blown away by the story & world building.  The Reflections & the Callings (unique abilities) were amazing!! And I loved how music was woven in, however subtly, into these pages.  This is MY kind of portal fantasy with the modern mashed into medieval living, bows & arrows, swords, & castles---and now I NEED the sequel!!

Eliyana grew up in our New York as we know it, but in the Second Reflection---which is basically a teeny reflection of our world but totally different---the people live in a more Medieval-y realm.  But even then, there's places with electricity, guns, & some other modern things.  It was such a neat twist!  Usually, I find books like this where the MC is transported to a different world, that world is literally the opposite of their own in regards to technological advancements and old-fashioned living---basically, it's present day and BAM! Medieval era.  But this story meshes the best of both worlds into one, and it was such a refreshing take!

{Spiritual Content}
In the Second, the people are governed by the vessel of the Verity, which I took to be the entity of God.  The Void, on the other hand is the form of all evil & darkness.  Whoever possesses the Verity, as the vessel, reigns as king or queen of the Second---and it is always someone pure of heart & soul.

The rebels in this story give their all for the Verity and the promise that one day all things will be made right.  Thresholds are portals that lead to various places in the seven Reflections.

The Void also has a vessel of sorts.  As long as the Verity's vessel lives, the Void is imprisoned & can do no harm.  But in this case, our bad guy used the Void to exploit his power.  He created minions to do his bidding, using a syringe to withdraw not blood, but a smoky substance from his veins and injecting it into his soldiers.  They were then overcome & became known as the mindless beings called Soulless, with blackened veins visible on their skin & clouded eyes.

Callings are special abilities gifted to the people of the Reflections as children.  Shapeshifters, healers, guardians, etc.

A girl evades a stalker, who attempts to kidnap her.  She knees him in the groin area and manages to get away.  At the gate of a Threshold a battle ensues with offscreen fights that our characters doesn't quite see everything that happens.  Arrows fly, one catches her arm, grazing it & drawing blood.

A girl is shot.  A man uses his Calling, causing extreme pain to his victims & internal bleeding.  A boy's eyes causes temporary paralysis.  Lots of cuts, bruises, knife-stabbing, arrows, etc.  A sea-monster nearly takes out a boat.

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}
None, other than several uses of "crud," "oh my gosh," "crowe," and the like.

Two girls enter a party with wasted teens & college kids drinking beer & other forms of alcohol.  We observe some people smoking cigarettes or snuffing them out (one was quite obviously illegal weed).

{Romantic Content}
El has had a crush on Joshua for at least three years.  He does not reciprocate her feelings & tells her so quite adamantly, though you kinda have the feel he's lying. . . They have an almost kiss.  After Joshua's rejection, El is thrown under the guardianship of Ky and though she hates him for REASONS, she comes to care for him & maybe even love him. . . (GAHHHHH.  Lots of spoilers here that I won't reveal! I'm totally #teamKy though)

El & Ky share at least one kiss at one point.

I LOOOOOOVED this book.  SO MUCH.  It was a clean, contemporary/fantasy, wild, romancy kind of story & I loved the world building!  I would heartily recommend if you, dear reader, even THINK you'd like to read it.  There's many, many great things out there in regards to these books, and there's a reason!!

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Ages: 14+


  1. Oh my goodness, I've been dying to read this one foreverrrr! I actually do own it, I just...haven't found time to read it. *hangs head in shame* But I WILL! And now reading your raving review makes me even MORE excited. It just sounds so fun! :D

    1. I was the same, girl! No worries. ;D I had it on my shelves for a couple months or more before I got to it (which is actually quite good considering I've got other books that's been on my TBR for YEARS...). I think you'll like this one. :] Would love to know what you think!!

  2. I read this book a few months ago and loved it SO MUCH. (I've actually been meaning to do a review on my blog 😂, I just haven't had time) Your review was amazing, and I can't wait to see what you think of the other books.

    1. It's SO GOOD. I can't believe I hadn't gotten to it sooner! (I understand about no time to post ;D) Awww, thank you, Emily! *^ - ^* My reviews can be quite---er, thorough xD I can't wait to jump in on the other books---but I still have to GET MY HANDS ON THEM...


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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
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