*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Just Ella is one of the sweetest romances I've read in a long time. It was amazing how quickly I fell in love with Ella's character. This is one of those books that will leave you smiling through the tears as you finish reading. Truly it's a breath of fresh air in YA or any fiction. I love fairy tales, especially when they are so human. Just Ella is a reminder how important characters are to any story. While the plot is enjoyable, Gavin and Ella make this story shine.
Ella is an amazing girl. How she can be so grounded after being raised in a royal environment is beyond me. I absolutely adored her from the very first scene. When she hurt, I cried. When she laughed, I laughed. I can't remember the last time I felt this connected to a character in a novel. The story is told from her point of view, and the experience is immersive.
Gavin should have been born royalty. I can see him being a benevolent, loved ruler. Many romantic leads aren't very developed, especially when the story is told from the female protagonist's perspective. Gavin is a definite exception. Sure the reader didn't know too much about him because we only saw him through Ella's eyes. But Ms. Larsen does a great job of portraying Gavin and Ella's feelings for him. It's easy for the reader to see just how exceptional he truly is.
There was nothing about this novel I didn't like (granted I wasn't thrilled with the waterworks it induced, but hey, I'll live). The imagery is descriptive without being tedious. It was so fun to see the world outside the castle through Ella's eyes. I enjoyed the interactions between Gavin and Ella, as well as the witty dialogue between them.
I highly recommend Just Ella to everyone middle school and up that is looking for a heartwarming romantic fairy tale. Pick this one up. I think you'll love it as much as I do. Don't forget to have some tissues handy...