The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

This is the sequel to The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. Click here to read my review of the first book.

theunlikelydebutofelliesweetcover

She has a pen for a sword…but what can she use for a shield?

From the Back Cover:

For once, Ellie Sweet has it all together. Her hair now curls instead of fuzzes, she’s tamed the former bad-boy, Chase Cervantes (she has, right?), and her debut novel will hit shelves in less than a year. Even her ex-friends are leaving her alone. Well, except for Palmer Davis, but it can’t be helped that he works at her grandmother’s nursing home. Life should feel perfect. And yet, it’s not that easy. Ellie’s editor loves her, but the rest of the publishing biz? Not so much. And they’re not shy about sharing their distrust over Ellie’s unlikely debut. Ellie has always been able to escape reality in the pages of her novel, but with the stress of major edits and rocky relationships, her words dry up. In fiction, everything always comes together, but in real life, it seems to Ellie that hard work isn’t always enough, the people you love can’t always be trusted…and the dream-come-true of publishing her book could be the biggest mistake she’s made yet.

My Thoughts:

Ellie has changed a lot since her debut in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. Her writing life is no longer a secret (her novel is about to be published!), she’s more confident in herself, and she’s learned some valuable lessons. But along with all of the good things, Ellie also finds herself struggling to meet the demands of her editor, figure out the whole guy situation (which she thought she had under control), and learn to love her own, unique life story.

One of the hallmarks of a Stephanie Morrill novel is the authentic teenage voice. She gets it. Whether it’s parent problems, friend problems, or the myriad other problems that come with being a teen, the voice always rings true. This draws readers into the story world and, if you are or ever have been a teenager (I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and assume you’ve at least been thirteen), you’ll find yourself nodding and exclaiming, “I so get that!” while you read.

Another strength of the story is the story itself. There are no easy answers for Ellie – Just when she thinks she’s got something figured out, she’s proven otherwise. As a writer, I can totally relate to the insecurities, doubts, and questions that come with this dream, but as a human being who was a teenager until pretty recently, I can empathize with some of her other struggles.

Over all, it’s a fun story. While reading it, I often found myself laughing out loud or smiling to myself. It’s more than that, though. There are several serious circumstances the characters find themselves faced with, and they’re heartbreaking. In fact, my two favorite scenes in the story each deal with one of the two guys (Chase and Palmer). For the sake of preventing spoilers, I can’t say what they are. But I can say this: Wow. No matter how complicated those characters can be, I can’t help but feel for them. And if an author is able to make you care about even the most flawed characters, the story is a success in my book (no pun intended).

In Conclusion:

Even if you’re not a writer, you can still love this story. Ellie is a Christian, but that’s not the focus of the story. I actually wanted to see Ellie learn to surrender situations to God more, rather than constantly try to handle things on her on. And yet, she’s authentic. She’s learning, and her journey is relatable. I can’t help but believe she’s got great things ahead of her. So saying, the book definitely doesn’t preach. What it does do, though, is offer a clean read for teens. That’s really refreshing. Because the book addresses some of the real-life issues highschoolers face, I recommend it for older teens.

I don’t know if Ellie’s story is finished, but I hope not! I’m already looking forward to Stephanie Morrill’s next book.

About the Author:

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, http://www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out http://www.StephanieMorrill.com

Official Websites:

Buy the Book (available in ebook and print formats):

Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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