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Stephanie Morrill’s The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet

About

Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

Review

When I first saw what this novel was about, I was a bit hesitant. But you shouldn’t be! This is the first novel I have read by Ms. Morrill, and it won’t be my last. I found this book to be a fabulous YA novel. First off, I found Ellie to be a heroine everyone could relate to. For me in particular, when I was younger, I too wrote stories that included people who got on my nerves in high hopes of a kind of passive revenge (I was never published fortunately). So, I understood Ellie on a lot of different levels. Chase and Palmer. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t like the two guys and one girl thing. However, it totally worked here. There were a few icky moments (my stomach may have clenched a time or two), but Ms. Morrill managed to iron them out in a way that didn’t leave me frustrated. And of course, it helped that I thought the right guy was chosen in the end, even though I still liked the other guy after it was all said in done (see the dilemma with two guys?). I will say though that I wish high school (and high schoolers)  was as interesting in real life as it was in this novel. On a spiritual note, it is a bit flat in the sense that Ellie mentions she’s a Christian and she prays and goes to church, but there isn’t a lot of spiritual growth. However, if this is a series (and I hope it is!) then I think we would see her grow stronger in the Lord. So much fun and thoroughly engaging! Highly recommended!

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