ranuel (ranuel) wrote,

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

According to the cover this is now a "major motion picture" which I've somehow missed and now need to add to my Netflix list. I originally picked this up as an audio book but less than 40 pages in the reader's voice had grated on my last nerve and I returned it to the library and asked for the paper version. The reader was a soap actor in her teens but read using an annoying little girl voice that made Ella sound like a nasty brat.

The "real" Ella can be a bit bratty at times but she has a good heart and once I was allowed to read her words directly I really got to like her. This retelling of Cinderella makes a wild departure from the original. Here Ella was cursed at birth by a well-intentioned but totally clueless faerie to be always obedient. Her mother and her true faerie godmother help her to keep this a secret but once her mother dies and the wicked step sisters show up it's only a matter of time before they figure things out.

Ella's adventures as she fights the curse are original to this version of the story and it's only in the last chapters that things start to synch up with the traditional version at all. She has brains and bravery and works to save herself instead of sitting around waiting to be rescued. Prince Charming, here called Prince Charmont, even gets to be a real character and not just a plot device.

I'd really recommend this to any woman or girl who likes fantasy but I don't know if the guys would be as enamored with it.
Tags: book review
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