Why i chose it: The book I chose to read was “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine. To be completely honest, I chose this book because I still remember the Disney Channel movie based off of it, and I wanted to see how different they were from each other. The idea that Ella is given a “gift” by a fairy named Lucinda that causes her to be obedient was very interesting to me. I found that when I read the book, I was always thinking of ways that she would be mistreated and i was always on my feet wanting to read more. Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was that it was based off of a Cinderella story, yet the majority of the book was actually a completely different backstory, which made it very unique.
What i didn’t like: While I loved the fact that this was in a magical world with many different species and “tongues”, I found myself a little annoyed at how often they spoke these languages. At times, it seemed like it was being overused, and in my opinion became stale. What made it worse was that half of them were mostly just “ssSSss” sounds. Because of that, I caught myself often skimming around those areas. I was fine with them at the beginning, but it eventually became something that just made me a little angry.
What i loved: I loved how relatable Ella was, she was quite different form the normal “Cinderella” character, which made it much more enjoyable. While Ella had to be obedient, we often see her try to fight it/ delay it, which is a cool contrast for a character like her. Instead of being super kind like other Cinderella-like characters, she was very opinionated, funny, sarcastic, and just the right amount of “feisty” for a reader to come to like. Without spoiling anything, the one flaw that I saw was a letter that she wrote. While she meant the best, I thought she could have handled it in other ways that would have been “nicer?” to say the least? I also liked the contrast between her stepsisters, Hattie and Olive. While Hattie was a character that got on my nerves, it was still interesting to see how she used Ella. Compared to her sister, Olive, she was a genius. I also liked the idea that Olive liked Ella, and because of her stupidity, did not notice Hattie using Ella’s curse against her. When Hattie finally tells Olive about this, I found it quite funny (and a little bit irritating, but in a good way…if that makes sense) that her commands were often non-cruel, but just very annoying, I.E- “talk to me.” It was funny to see how entertained having power over another made her. Another thing that I liked was the group of characters that Ella actually liked, such as Mandy, Char, Arieda, and even her dad near the end.
Overall, i think this is a great book to pick up and read. Like i said before, i couldn’t put it down! I think what made it even more interesting was actually seeing the Disney movie when i was younger, and seeing what the real story is.
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