About the Book
Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Publication Date: January 1st, 1997 by Scholastic Books
Blurb:At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read.
Gail Carson Levine’s examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him. Ella Enchanted has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor.
Just as Ella is likeable, Hattie, a girl that bullies Ella is extremely unlikeable. When Hattie figures out the curse that was bestowed upon Ella, she takes full advantage of it. Whenever she sees something that she wants but that belongs to Ella, she commands Ella to give it to her. As if that isn’t enough, she also commands Ella to do the dirty work for her. Furthermore, she never stops berating Ella and bragging to her. Throughout the whole story, I felt so bad for Ella and I loved it whenever Ella found a way to outsmart Hattie. The evil characteristic of Hattie ended up bringing me closer and more emotionally attached to Ella so that I could truly feel what Ella felt.
Another thing that I liked about the book was the unique story world that the author created. I loved reading about all the different mythical creatures and beings from ogres to elves to fairies. It was interesting to read about the unique characteristics that each species of characters had. For example, while the ogres had a way of hypnotizing their victims, the giants had a distinct jovial nature. The uniqueness that set apart all of the characters truly helped me to become immersed in the story world as I read.
My only complaint for this book is that the ending was way too rushed. Ella’s problem was resolved way too quickly and all of the loose ends were immediately tied up. Worse yet, while the rest of the story progressed with vivid details showing what was happening, the ending was mostly phrases that just told what was happening. However, the rest of the book was very enjoyable, so it still deserves a rating of four out of five butterflies.
Four out of five butterflies.
Have you read the book? How did you like it? Also, have you seen the movie? I haven’t, but I’d like to hear your opinions on it.