Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted
Cover Source:
Title:  Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Series: Enchanted Collection #1
Version Reviewed: Finished, Paperback
I purchased this book myself.

GoodReads Synopsis:
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.
I was super excited when I found Ella Enchanted sitting on children's shelf at the thrift store.  This book has been on my list of books to buy for quite some time and I've wanted to read it for even longer.  I remember how much I loved the movie when it came out and I've seen it so many times that I've kind of lost count.  It was always one of those silly movies that I couldn't help but love.

So I was super excited to read this story to my daughter before bed each night but as soon as we began reading, we had some travelling come up and now my three year old wants to read nothing but The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom at night. So, I decided to read Ella Enchanted on my own.

I must admit that, though there's a lot of action with ogres, elves, giants, and other mythical creatures, I found myself extremely bored a little over half the book. I'm not even sure how many times I wanted to to put the book down and read something else.  It was a great story but wasn't nearly as entertaining as I thought it would be.

And, unfortunately for me (but really, I should have known), the book is insanely different from the movie. I have no idea why I was expecting them to be so much a like but they were hardly similar at all. The entire movie is pretty much just the last 1/4 of the book and a lot of stuff was changed. Although I was bored through most of it, I do have to say that I liked the book much better. I liked the story and the character better and I loved how Ella and Char were actually very good friends for quite a long time. Unlike the movie (and most movies), it wasn't an insta-love type thing where they meet and then shortly after they're each others happily ever afters. Ella and Char actually knew each other for quite some time and were friends first.  They went through a lot together and it was interesting to read their growing friendship and romantic relationship.

Overall, the story was great. It was a little boring in the beginning, but that was mainly my own personal issue because I was expecting it to have a lot more in common with the movie.

Rating: 3 Stars.

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