The Truth and Lies of Ella Black - Emily Barr
I'm so glad I didn't have to wait too long for this after reading the sampler. I've been a huge fan of Emily Barr ever since reading The One Memory of Flora Banks so I jumped on the sampler and absolutely loved it. The rest of the book did not disappoint and I loved it just as much.
40 days until she dies. The start of the book sounds clear enough, but as you continue to see these mysterious numbers counting down you realise the meaning is not as simple as you expect. Ella Black leads a privileged life with parents who will do anything for her. But they don't know she is hiding a secret and is not really the simple, nice girl she tries so hard to seem. When they pull her out of school for an unexpected trip to Rio, she finds out that everyone has secrets of their own and nothing about her life is as she thought.
Everything Ella goes through made me feel extremely grateful for all the simple things in life. My only slight criticism is that the explanation of Ella's secret at the end isn't very satisfying, I feel like it needed a bit more information and was almost glossed over with a fairly quick statement. Other than that, the book was well written and put you right in both Ella's and Bella's head.
Once again Emily Barr has written a wonderful character who is brave and strong but, like most people, doesn't realise her own strengths at first. Ella has to go through a lot of adventures to come to terms with herself but she comes out whole at the other end. Despite everything, Ella is a realistic character.
For Ella Black I have made the Black Raspberry Martini. Add 1 shot vanilla vodka, 1/2 shot each of Chambord, cranberry juice & lemon juice. Shake and pour into a martini glass.