Are you a fan of YA fiction and a teen writer? If so, the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill is just for you! Last week, I reviewed the first book in the series, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, and today I’ll be reviewing the second and (so far) final book in the series, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet.
Gah, this book! ❤ After my second read, it’s still one of my favorites.
PERFECT Portrayal of Writer/Author Anxieties and the Writing Community
I’ve read a few other books and have watched movies that feature a writer as the main character, but they never quite capture the rawness of “author freakouts” as Ellie calls them. Whether you’re indie or traditionally published, Ellie’s anxieties over her debut novel are 100% relatable. The book also mentions how cut-throat the writing industry can be and how it sometimes changes people who were once sweet and humble into prima donnas. Being an indie author for two years, I can attest that the portrayal of the cut-throat side of the writing community is spot-on, as I’ve seen first hand how the thought of success can change people.
Mrs. Morrill also perfectly describes how sweet fellow writers can be in the writing community, through Ellie’s writing friend Betsy Ann. I’m glad she was included in the series to show both sides of the writing community and show young, unpublished writers that there are always other writers who will support you.
Improvement Upon the Love Triangle
Per my updated review of book one, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, the only complaint I had was that the love triangle between Ellie, Palmer, and Chase wasn’t convincing enough. Mrs. Morrill stepped her game up in book two and delivered more realistic circumstances that leave readers at the edge of their seats to see who Ellie will end up with. Though I rooted for Chase in book one, book two convinced me to switch to Team Palmer. ❤
Respect for Ellie’s Decisions with Chase
I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible here, but I ADORE that Ellie is willing to show Chase grace for his past mistakes in this installment and shows patience while he works through them rather than condemning him. We need more of this in Christian fiction, especially YA, as it mirrors the grace God shows us when we mess up and repent.
Better Development of Secondary Characters
Though all of the characters in book one popped from the pages, they shined even brighter in book two. I really liked Lucy’s character arc, and my favorite secondary characters were Karen and Betsy Ann. They seemed like people I’d like to hang out with in real life.
Overall, as both a writer and lover of contemporary YA romance, I highly enjoy this series and recommend it to writers of all ages.
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