Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Review: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Publication Date: January 1st, 1997
Genre: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
When Ella was just a baby the fairy Lucinda gave her the gift of obedience. While Lucinda meant this to be a blessing, it has only proven to be a curse for Ella. She has to obey any direct command no matter how much she wishes otherwise. If someone were to tell her to kill herself she would have to do it. The curse some how turned Ella into a rebel, even if she has to do what others wish. She has been forbidden from telling anyone about the curse, in fear that they would use it to their own advantage. When Ella’s mother dies, it feels like the only person she has left is her family’s cook, Mandy. When her absentee father decides to send her to finishing school, she meets the horrid Hattie, who discovers Ella’s obedience on her own. When Ella’s father marries Hattie’s mother, it doesn’t appear that things could be worst for Ella. But when she has to end her blooming romance with Prince Char to protect him, Ella hates the curse more than ever. If Ella wants to break the curse to live freely and with her true love, then she will have to search within herself to set herself free.
Have you ever had a craving for a book? I first read this book when I was twelve, but lately I haven’t been able to help thinking about it. Thankfully, it was still on my bookshelf, even ten years later. This book is an adaptation of Cinderella, with a bit of a twist. The story is set in the land of Frell, which is full of fairies, gnomes, ogres, fairy godmothers and giants. The world that Levine created in this book is a magical combination of originality and the story everyone knows. The world building and the magic featured in the story was wonderful, as were the characters. I loved Ella and Char’s relationship, and how Levine adapted the original story into this one. The movie adaptation, which came out in 2004, is a horrible example of a book turned into a movie. If you have seen the movie, don’t hold it against the book. The movie added a lot of things, including the Uncle, and to me it felt like it was trying to be like a live-action Shrek. The book was delightful, full of everything I love about fairy tales. The best way to describe this book is a word that’s found right in the title: enchanting. I loved reading this original fairy tale featuring a feisty heroine that, in the end, saves herself.
“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”