“Once upon a time is ne’er what it seems.
And happily ever after oft a mere device of dreams.
What wicked snares are vines, and thorns cause many throes.
But peer beyond the surface; you may there find a rose.”
Unblemished is like an untold faerie tale. Here you will find twists and turns amidst a fantasy world full of myth and mystery. You will become enchanted with this imaginative mix of realism and fantasy.
The Plot: 17 year old Eliyana has had an embarrassing birthmark covering half her face for as long as she can remember. Its kept her from truly enjoying, and fitting in to, the world. The only people she feels can truly see past it are her mother and the boy next door. The boy she is in love with. Other than the birthmark, her life seems normal, until the night her mother doesn’t come home and her world is turned upside down. With the boy she loves, Joshua, being named her new legal guardian, catastrophic events begin to unfold, leading Eliyana in to another world. This other world, a reflection of her own, is full of strange and explainable things, and a dark, powerful man, who has been hunting Eliyana and her mother since she was born. Will she find her place in this world, discover the truth of her past, and come to realize that what she once thought to be an ugly blemish is actually her greatest strength?
It took me a few chapters to get in to this and to acclimate to the writer’s style, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. Unblemished has a similar vibe, and story-line, to City of Bones, but has its own uniqueness. I enjoyed the creativity of the world in the reflection and the unusual characters found there. Though, I did feel like a lot of the major literary tropes existed in the story: Love triangle, Self Discovery, The Balance of Light and Darkness, and The Realization of the Unlikely Hero. With that said, I still felt like the story had its own originality to it. I felt like the story could have been an old faerie tale or fable.
“Trolls and sea monsters? Castles and kings? This place is nothing but a figment of some Grimm brother’s imagination.” (Ella, 230).
Eliyana, though the center of the story, was not my favorite character. I felt like she was a bit weak, and definitely blinded by love. She seemed to make rash decisions and she had such low self esteem, it killed me! Though, I do have to say, she seems to go through a story transformation that amends these unlikable qualities, so I look forward to seeing how she changes in book 2.
“No more fear. I am the rose behind the thorns.” (Ella, 270).
Ky was the character I most enjoyed. He is the conflicted bad boy of the story. Ky is the one guy you know you shouldn’t trust, but want to fall for. He has an intriguing, dark past and never really proves if he is 100% good or bad.
“Ky is a tornado–exciting and unpredictable. If I don’t ground myself, he’ll carry me away.” (Ella, 318).
Joshua was the emotionally conflicted character of the story. I could tell in the beginning that he cared for Eliyana, but was not sure why he held back. He stays mostly unchanged throughout the book, moral and caring from afar, until the very end, when we find out that he is hiding a secret from Eliyana.
I would rate this one about 3.5-4 stars. It was interesting and unique enough to keep me reading. I definitely want to know what happens next!