Thursday, 14 December 2017

Review: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

The Truth and Lies of Ella BlackElla Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren't hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

Shona's review 4 of  stars

I had previously read and loved (or rather had my heart ripped, put back together again and ugly cried) The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, so when I saw this book I jumped at the chance to read it. I suppose in some ways its similar to Floras story in the sense that both girls have this journey of self discovery, where they learn to take care of themselves, but that's where the similarities end.

It's true that Ella's parents are hiding something from her, but Ella is hiding something from them too. Its clear from the blurb that Ella's parents aren't her real parents, and when Ella finds out she is devastated, not just because they aren't her real parents but the truth about her birth parents is devastating. Meanwhile Ella is battling her own own demons, or rather a Demon Bella, her "evil" alter ego. Bella has a habit of coming out when someone or something happens to upset Ella, and she ekes out her own punishments as Ella tries to keep her at bay.

The descriptions of the places Ella visits are so clear you can almost imagine yourself there with her.
This was an easy and comfortable read and it kept me interested from start to finish. I may not have sobbed my eyes out whilst reading Ella's story but once I hit the final few chapters I was unable to put it down long enough to make my kids their dinner

My only real issue with this book was the repetitiveness. Some lines were repeated over and over. And I know some of that was for emphasis, but there were other lines that just seemed to be repeated unnecessarily. 

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