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The Truth and Lies of Ella Black Paperback – 2 January 2018
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- ASIN : 0141367008
- Publisher : Puffin; 1st edition (2 January 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780141367002
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141367002
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 414,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Barr is superb at evoking the heightened emotions of adolescence: the exhilarating thrill of first love, the intensity of fear and rage at adults' deception and the need to discover one's own identity.
With disturbing undertones, vivid characters and authentic dialogue, this is a worthy successor to her wonderful debut, The One Memory of Flora Banks
Evoking Ella's intoxicating new surroundings while skewering the facile assumptions of "poverty tourism", Barr's second YA novel is a fast-paced, dramatic search for answers to the secrets of the self ― Guardian
Colourful setting and pacy plot. If you like dark fiction you'll devour it ― Heat
Emily Barr already proved she could hit all the right teen-fiction notes in last year's The One Memory of Flora Banks. This taps the same vein. Ella's parents are doting to the point of smothering but they don't know about the dark and twisty part of her that threatens to destroy everything ― i
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Beyond falling massively short of my expectations, I had some other issues with this book.
The main character, Ella, was almost entirely unlikeable and unrelatable. She was short tempered, overreacted easily, callous to her parents and incredibly reckless. After discovering something personal about her past, she decides to just run off in Brazil and live on the streets. It was the biggest overreaction I have ever read about.
There was some ridiculous instalove in here too (I think this author must really like the instalove trope, because her other book – The One Memory of Flora Banks – was also heavy in this area) and I couldn’t even enjoy the romance because we know literally nothing about Christian except for a sad story about his sister, but after only one meeting she is completely and utterly in love with him.
Her ‘adventure’ into Brazil was choppy and rushed. We don’t learn much about Brazilian culture and honestly, I found most of this quite dull and her ridiculous reckless behaviour had me rolling my eyes.
As for Ella’s darker, evil persona – Bella – this seemed to just be a side story thrown in to make the book sound more gripping and intriguing. We learn virtually nothing about Bella and there is no explanation for this other side of her personality or even what happens with it at the end. So that was a massive let down also.
For me, the whole book was unrealistic and not at all what the blurb suggested. Ella was a terrible main character and I disliked her almost from the start, she irritated me hugely throughout the whole book. And the plot was just random and seemed to have absolutely no point to it.
I think, generally, this book just wasn’t suited to me at all. I can see that others have really enjoyed it but sadly I did not.