Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine

86%

12 Critic Reviews

Levine plays her debut expansion of the Cinderella story as a straight...romance, sloughing off its layers of Freudian symbolism and creating a lively, stubborn heroine to keep the action tumbling along...This refreshing take on one of the world's most popular fairy tales preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous twist...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift -- the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse -- once and for all.

In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or 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 quest to break the curse once and for all and discover who she really is is as sharply funny as Catherine, Called Birdy and as richly poignant as Beauty, and has all the marks of a classic in the making.

 

About Gail Levine

See more books from this Author
Gail Carson Levine is the author of the Newbery Honor Book Ella Enchanted; New York Times bestsellers Ever and Fairest; ALA Notable Book Dave At Night; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; the six Princess Tales books; the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly; and a companion to this picture book, Betsy Who Cried Wolf! She lives with her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, in the Hudson Valley of New York State, in a farmhouse that was built more than two hundred years ago.
 
Published May 30, 1997 by HarperCollins. 240 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Ella Enchanted
All: 12 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Levine plays her debut expansion of the Cinderella story as a straight...romance, sloughing off its layers of Freudian symbolism and creating a lively, stubborn heroine to keep the action tumbling along...This refreshing take on one of the world's most popular fairy tales preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous twist...

Read Full Review of Ella Enchanted | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jun 04 2015

Levine ably creates tension between the good and evil characters, throwing in an assortment of ogres, elves and gnomes. Young readers will be charmed by the budding romance between Ella and her prince and touched by her crippling fear of hurting the prince via the curse.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Kelly Atwood on Nov 12 2010

The story of Cinderella has been told and retold many times over the ages, but Gail Carson Levine has imagined yet another way of telling the fairy tale to a new audience.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Ilene Cooper on Apr 15 1997

As finely designed as a tapestry, Ella’s story both neatly incorporates elements of the original tale and mightily expands them, not only with the myriad consequences of the curse but also with a heroine so spirited that she wins readers’ hearts.

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BellaOnline

Above average
Reviewed by Taisha Turner on May 30 2015

Ella is not your typical fairy tale girl. She thinks for herself. She does not wait for the arrival of the fairy godmother to save the day. She takes matters into her own two hands. Ella Enchanted is a chapter book for tween and teen readers. It is a fast-paced, adventure book.

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BellaOnline

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Lehman on May 30 2015

Like the movie, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is a wonderful book for kids and adults. The story has a definite fairy tale feel, but it goes beyond the original Cinderella story with quirky characters and a strong female lead, one who doesn't wait for her prince to save her. If you're a fantasy or fairy tale reader, this one is a must!

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Floresiensis on May 31 2015

Ella Enchanted is an enchanting re-telling of the Cinderella fairy tale. It has been written for modern youngsters and features easily relatable and energetic characters, magic, romance, humour and expertly-timed twists. An enthralling read and perfectly suited for ages 9-15.

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Things Mean a Lot

Good
Reviewed by Ana S on Jul 01 2009

Above all, though, what I loved about this book was Ella herself. She’s smart, determined, extremely funny, sensible, and not at all willing to be manipulated...I was especially happy that even though the story has a so-called traditional fairy tale ending, things happen in a way that very much allows Ella to remain her own person.

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Reading for Sanity

Good
Reviewed by MindySue on Feb 09 2012

I read this book several years ago, and thought it was a very clever retelling of Cinderella...my favorite part of this fairytale retelling was Ella herself – the smart, spirited and stubborn heroine, who puts the needs of others before her own and rescues herself in the process.

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Helen's Book Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Sophie on Nov 15 2009

I liked this book because I could really understand which characters were saying what... My favorite character is Olive because she is really funny. In the end of the book it was a lot like the Cinderella story; I wish wasn't, but I still liked the book. I saw the movie Ella Enchanted and thought the book was much better.

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Miss Print

Good
Reviewed by missprint on Dec 05 2007

There are several reasons that I love this novel and recommend it to everyone. The first is that it’s an imaginative retelling of Cinderella...The story is an immensely entertaining page-turner that will (even better) leave readers feeling satisfied when they reach the final scene...

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Cels Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Joelene on Apr 24 2014

The novel is probably aimed at a slightly younger age group than I usually read...but it is every bit as enchanting as I had been promised...it touches on some moral themes that are complicated enough to keep older readers engaged. Sacrifice, love, and determination are all recurring threads that hold the story together.

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Reader Rating for Ella Enchanted
92%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1632 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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