Review| Ellie Engle Saves Herself – Leah Johnson

I’ve said it before, but I really need to read more middle grade. Ellie Engle Saves Herself was one of the books that caught my eye. I started my eARC quite awhile ago, but finally say down and finished it. So today I want to tell you about this book and what I thought!

A big thank you to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for providing me with an eARC to read and review.

From award-winning YA author Leah Johnson comes her magical middle grade a laugh-until-you-cry, cry-until-you-laugh story about an ordinary girl whose life is turned upside down by some extraordinary powers.

Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she’s alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock . Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.” To someone else, a life in the shadows might seem boring, or lonely. But not to Ellie. As long as she has Abby by her side and a comic book in her hand, she’s quite content.

Too bad life didn’t bother checking in with Ellie. Because when a freak earthquake hits her small town, Ellie wakes up with fantastical powers that allow her to bring anything back to life with just her touch. And when a video of her using her powers suddenly goes viral, Ellie’s life goes somewhere she never imagined—or straight into the spotlight.

Surviving middle school is hard enough. Surviving middle school when paparazzi are camped out on your front lawn and an international pop singer wants you to use your powers on live tv and you might be in love with your best friend but she doesn’t know it? Absolutely impossible.


Starting junior high is already a challenge when you’re that young, but add in superpowers and things get a little bit complicated. Leah Johnson gave us this heartwarming and cute story about learning that you’re more remarkable than you think you are, that friendships change, that you’re allowed to be yourself, and that change isn’t always a bad thing.

Our main character Ellie’s world changes when she wakes up after an earthquake and her senses are stronger and she can bring things back from the dad (her fish coming back to life was quite the surprise). Add in the start of middle school and her friendship with her best friend (and crush) starts to change and Ellie is having a hard time.

I loved how we started seeing her powers and what she could do. Help came from a place she wasn’t expecting and going viral wasn’t exactly easy. I loved that the author included an influencer and how much the really do influence us. It was definitely an interesting take.

Besides the fun adventure of Ellie figuring out what she’s able to do, I loved the friendship aspect of this story. Ellie learned that friends do accept you for who you are and that you don’t have to accept everything from someone just because you’re close. Seeing Ellie grow and also accept herself even more was very heartwarming. I would love to see more books about Ellie and her group of friends.

Leah Johnson is an author that has now written a middle grade and a young adult book (You Should See Me in a Crown) and I definitely recommend her books. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more books by this author. What would you do if you woke up with super powers? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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