Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating : Adore
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. When I cried inconsolably through my first hour of life, my tears were her inspiration. Shaking her head sympathetically at Mother, the fairy touched my nose. 'My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying, child.' I stopped. So begins this richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who wants nothing more than to be free of Lucinda's gift and feel that she belongs to herself. For how can she truly belong to herself if she knows that at any time, anyone can order her to hop on one foot, cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom and she'll have to obey? Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella's spirited account of her quest to break the curse is a funny, poignant, and enchanting tale about an unforgettable heroine who is determined to be herself." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This book is a brilliant retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella, but in the truly masterful way of author Gail Carson Levine. This book has all the main characteristics of the original fairytale, but with humor, strong female characters, and unusual twists and turns. One of my favorite characters is the fairy cook, Mandy. She is brilliantly written and uniquely done. Then there is Ella, who strives to be strong and defy her curse in anyway she can. I love that she becomes friends with Prince Char first and they get to know each other rather than instantly falling in love. I love that Ella has the ability to mimic languages and voices, which helps her out of more than one tough situation. I also love that she takes it upon herself to find Lucinda and/or the cure to the curse instead of just mopping around bemoaning her fate. Though I love the movie staring Anne Hathaway, the movie can never touch the beauty and the details of the original novel. Filled with magic, fantasy, love, and humor, it is no wonder that this story received a Newberry Honor.

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