Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Worth the Effort: Ella's Story (Worth the Effort, #1)” as Want to Read:
Worth the Effort: Ella's Story (Worth the Effort, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Worth the Effort: Ella's Story

(Worth the Effort #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Ella Jones is a coward. There is a teen boy living in the alley behind her work and she is terrified of him.

Desperate to leave behind the stereotypical and judgmental world she was raised in, Ella forces herself to make a true connection with seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth. As their friendship grows Ayden’s quiet, gentle ways teach her true courage.

But there’s more to Ayd
ebook, 81 pages
Published May 6th 2014
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Worth the Effort, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Worth the Effort

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny HanIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsWe Were Liars by E. LockhartSince You've Been Gone by Morgan MatsonWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
2014 Contemporary YA
257 books — 1,977 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Short Reads
683 books — 467 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Worth the Effort: Ella's Story (Worth the Effort, #1)
Jenifer Gordon harris
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kai Strand is an amazing story teller! Worth the Effort: Ella's Story is heart warming and honest. Breath taking and heart wrenching. A story of two teens searching for their place in a world that they feel completely disconnected from. They find each other and in that they find themselves. I'm very much looking forward to reading Worth the Effort: Ayden's Story. ...more
Jennifer Gladen
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book! I enjoyed getting to know the characters and I was kept in suspense. Great read!
Jun 20, 2014 rated it liked it
For more visit The Sirenic Codex

Worth the Effort is a unique story. It tackles the tough topic of homelessness, something I’ve only ever come upon in one other novel. The topic is quite obviously a taboo subject and people become uncomfortable when discussing it but when has avoiding something helped solve the problem? Strand managed to give us a quick view of the life on the streets in this 78 page story and it made the novella for me.

Ella is a sweet, down to earth narrator when she comes acros
Beverly McClure
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever seen a homeless man or woman living on the street or under a bridge or in an alley? If so, what were your first thoughts? Were you afraid? Did you ignore him or her and hurry on past? Or were you curious about the person and wondered what his story was?

WORTH THE EFFORT – ELLA’S STORY, a YA novella by Author Kai Strand, is the story of seventeen-year-old Ella Jones who lives with her mother since her parents’ are divorced. She doesn’t really like her mother or father; she suspects t
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ella Jones has grown up in privilege, her parents are extraordinarily wealthy and have little time or interest in Ella. She works at a restaurant during the early shift before school. One morning she realizes there is a teenage boy living in the alley behind her work. First, being fearful, she’s desperate to get away from him and what he represents. Then she realizes she doesn’t want to be like her parents and goes out of her way to befriend him. As Ella gets to know Ayden, she sees she has much ...more
Katie Carroll
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Ella comes from privilege, so when she finds Ayden, a homeless teen, living outside the coffee shop where she works, it's an experience she's not quite sure how to handle. Both empathy and guilt drive her to help him, and this leap leads to a true friendship and maybe more. But Ayden has a secret, one that may ruin their friendship and any chance at romance. Will Ella decide that Ayden is worth the effort?

Kai Strand's story Worth the Effort: Ella's Story is a journey of friendship and love. Even
Crystal Collier
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I'll admit, I've known Kai (virtually speaking) for a while, and that always makes me hesitate to read someone's work. I want to be able to leave a fabulous review, but I have to be honest.

I shouldn't have worried.

Ella's story is a sweet tale of becoming aware of those around us and seeing the world through new eyes. The characters grow and change in ways that make you want to follow their example. This one will have you looking around and thinking deeper about the homeless and hidden struggles
Kristen Cansler
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-review, r2r
This is such a beautiful story that needed to be told. I'm so glad that Kai Strand decided to share Ella and Ayden's story. Homeless youth is a big problem in the US, but too often a blind eye is given to this plight. Kai Strand does a phenomenal job at capturing the raw reality of the issue.

Though this is just a novella, I felt like Kai Strand really captured the essence of her characters. In just a short time, she was able to show the growth and development of Ella. I definitely recommend th
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel drew me in and held me close from beginning to end. Although I struggled to accept the plot twist with Ayden towards the middle, I loved the way that Ella is developed throughout this novella. Ella is searching for purpose and place, and she finds those in her efforts to befriend a homeless boy. Her character growth makes this story an enjoyable and wonderful read.

Also, I really appreciated the way that Kai Strand handled some of the grittiness of the background situations for her cha
Mary Waibel
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kai Strand takes you an incredible journey in the page turning read. Follow Ella as she struggles against her upbringing and tries to befriend Ayden, a teen living on the streets. Ayden isn't all he appears, and when Ella learns his secret, she's shocked and slightly betrayed. It really will take all Ayden can do to prove he's Worth the Effort. ...more
Rose Killion
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kai Strand has released a another page turner!
Ella is a seventeen year old struggling to find her courage and follow her own path. Ayden is also a teen struggling to find himself and survive living on the streets. When the two teens meet behind the cafe Ella works at, both of their lives are changed. That is a great story of friendship and I wasn't ready for it to be over !
Erynn Newman
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: erynn-has-edited
This story broke my heart more than once. Raw and real and full of life. It doesn't shy away from the messy stuff but celebrates the beauty in the midst of brokenness. Be prepared to have all your stereotypes torn down. Best 99 cents you'll spend today. ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Michael  Thal
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, romance, ya
Ella Jones has rejected the values of her wealthy parents. She insists on attending public high school and holds down a waitressing job that starts at 4:00 AM. One morning, while opening up the Read Between the Beans coffee house, she meets a seventeen-year old homeless boy sleeping near the restaurant’s dumpster.

The morning Ella met Ayden Worth she writes, “My heart accelerated to a terrifying pace as my unwanted visitor stepped into the light—rumpled, dirty clothing, shaggy hair, head down, c
Medeia Sharif
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ella works at a restaurant where a homeless boy sits in the alley. At first she’s afraid since she doesn’t know him and she’s a young lady by herself when she steps into that area. It’s freezing outside and she can’t help but feel sorry for him, so she brings him food and drinks.

His name is Ayden and they fall into a relationship that's both natural and beautiful. There’s Ella’s home life, which she detests, since her wealthy father is so fake and her parents pressure her to be a certain kind of
S.J. Henderson
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet story about unlikely romance. Ella is a thoughtful girl who makes it her mission to care for a young homeless man she almost literally stumbles over in the alley outside the coffee shop she works at. It was a light read and full of emotion. I gave this book four stars because I found it a bit melodramatic, at times.

Nice job, Kai!
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-2
I really liked this. It was nice to see Ella fall for someone outside her class. Ayden was really sweet too even if he does seem shy and socially awkward.
The twist and their shared past was a little unexpected.
Wish it had been longer
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2014
Katie Jensen
rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2014
C.M. Savage
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2016
Maria Patenaude
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2014
rated it liked it
Dec 23, 2015
Kai Strand
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: read-in-2014
rated it did not like it
Mar 04, 2015
Barbara Rich
rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2019
rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2016
Kathleen Downey
rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2019
Meg Gray
rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2014
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Author Read Book Club 1 1 May 06, 2018 10:06AM  
Free WtE Short Story (Giveaway ends 12/31) 1 1 Dec 15, 2014 07:25AM  
99 cent Bestsellers: Contemporary Romance 1 6 Aug 13, 2014 08:24AM  
Kids/Teens Book Club: Requesting Reviews for YA Romance 1 12 Jun 01, 2014 08:54PM  
Young Adult Conte...: New Release and Giveaways! 1 8 May 06, 2014 07:09AM  
Pick the Blurb Giveaway 1 1 Apr 13, 2014 07:47AM  
Thanks for your interest in my books and me. I love talking books with readers and hope you’ll share your thoughts on my books by leaving a review and/or dropping me an email. It’s easiest to get a hold of me through my website ( Perhaps you clicked on my bio to find out things about me, such as I hate to handle raw meat, I’m a wife and mother of four, a compulsive walker, and a Moz ...more

Other books in the series

Worth the Effort (2 books)
  • Worth the Effort: Ayden's Story (Worth the Effort, #2)

Related Articles

Angeline Boulley set out over a decade ago to write the story she wanted to read as a young Ojibwe teenager. The result is Firekeeper's Daughter,...
3 likes · 0 comments