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Ella Enchanted

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  337,642 Ratings  ·  8,279 Reviews
Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE]
ACE #1

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 o
Paperback, First Scholastic Edition, 232 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Scholastic Books (first published 1997)
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Eve They kind of did, really. Her new family didn't get it, so they ordered her about as they pleased to annoy her and for their own amusement. Heddie…moreThey kind of did, really. Her new family didn't get it, so they ordered her about as they pleased to annoy her and for their own amusement. Heddie actually does say your a freak several times, right? And if they did it in the way your suggesting, it would defeat the purpose and moral of the novel. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Such a cute story, it was a lot of fun!
Feb 23, 2017 Brina rated it really liked it
My daughters have watched the Disney movie Ella Enchanted many times and loved it immensely. They are enamored by the Disney princess genre, even princesses who do not fit nicely into the company's traditional definition of princess. Until last week, I had never viewed the film with them, being that I hardly fit the definition of girly girl myself, often opting for whatever sporting event is in season. I enjoyed the concept of a medieval Cinderella who is not necessarily forced to do back breaki ...more
May 03, 2007 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Feminists often denounce traditional fairy tales because they perpetuate the ideals of a patriarchal society by encouraging girls to behave like proper princesses and wait for charming princes to take charge and save the day. In response to these traditional fairy tales, many authors have tried to reclaim the realm of fairy tales for girls. These retellings feature active protagonists who are not scared of taking charge and do not need princes to save them. One example of this new fairy tale gen ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Cara rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie (sister) and Ginny (friend)
Now I know why people made such a fuss when the movie came out. I watched the movie first, so I had no idea how utterly wrong everything was. It totally is not like the book. Just slap on the names and the curse and that's where the similarities end. I must say the book is MUCH better than the movie.

The style of the writing was kind of weird for me, but not in a bad way. It's not that it was too fast paced or anything, but I noticed there wasn't a lot of padding or fanfare before events would
Kat Kennedy
Jul 10, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teenage girls ready to "bloom"
Ella Enchanted is like a koala. A big, soft, cute koala.

And if you mess with it, it'll use it's big, sharp, not-so-cute claws to tear your face off.


It's just a cute little fairy tale for teenage girls about a silly little world. Accept it for what it is. Leave it at that. Don't delve any futher. Don't consider it from a feminine perspective, don't rationalize it from a historical stand-point, don't try to analyze is for hidden metaphors or literary value.

Just read, rinse, repeat and mo
Wren | WrensReads
WrensReads Review:

This book is so hard for me to review because I love every single thing about it, but hate every single thing about that bloody movie.

Like seriously, who decided to only use the names and the curse and rewrite everything else for the movie? Why did we need a talking snake and an evil uncle and a fan group for the prince? Wasn't evil Hattie enough?


There is no need
❌ My advice to you: The movie and the book are two very separate and different things. So when you start reading this book, don't compare it with the movie. Don't even think about the movie at all while you're reading this.

Do that, and you'll enjoy this book immensely.
On the day she was born, Ella of Frell was given the gift of obedience by the foolish and careless fairy, Lucinda. Obedience. It was a gift.

Well, for starters... Ella, Hold your tongue

Kiss me.

Erhh...well, that's not such an unpleas
April (Aprilius Maximus)
First read of the 2016 Booktube-a-thon! This completed the challenge of reading and watching a book to movie adaptation (which I am about to watch right now).
This was very meh, unfortunately. It contained my most hated trope and for some reason it took me such a long time to get through! I loved the magical world though!

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:
- 12. A childhood classic
Jun 28, 2007 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any one who likes fairytales with a twist
This still stands as one of my favorite books. The fantasy elements are clever and not too over the top. Ella is witty and pretty clever herself, not to mention strong and determined and resourceful. Mandy is just your everyday, ordinary, regular old cook/fairy. Char is, appropriately, charming. The stepsisters are deliciously evil. Lucinda is completely batty.

I like that none of the women in the book are doormats. Good or evil, protagonist or minor background character, they have an opinion, th
Jul 10, 2009 Madeline rated it it was amazing
I never liked Cinderella as a kid. It seemed like whenever she got into trouble, her best plan was to burst into tears and wait for someone to come along and help her. I also wondered, even if she couldn't leave her stepmother's house, could she at least tell the awful woman to go make her own damn breakfast once in a while? As far as little cynical-as-hell Madeline was concerned, Cinderella was a spineless twinkie who was painfully useless.

Obviously, I am not the only girl who had a problem wi
Cait (Paper Fury)
I was nervous to read this because it's like everyone's Childhood Favourite Book. GAH! No pressure! I'm 21. So maybe a little over the age range? But I always believe a good book can be appreciated by ANYONE. And I'm right! This is a good book and I had a great time...but I don't call it a favourite. I'm sure I would've been absolutely cuddling it when I was 12.

I really liked the 2nd half. The first half? Not so much. I found it a little telling-ish and not showing-ish. That bugs me. The style i
Oct 26, 2012 Dd rated it liked it
Ah!! A FAIRY TALE after so long.Needless to say I looooveee fairy tales and this was a retelling (kind of) of Cinderella.

My first thoughts were that it was quite different from the movie.I liked the movie and was hoping to like it too.And I did!!!.Although I have to say that the movie's climax was more exciting.

Ella is a willful,kind,lovely girl who resides in an kingdom called Frell.Here humans,elves,fairies,ogres,and other such magical creatures co-exist .

A fairy named Lucinda gives Ella the
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It's a sweet, humorous book, written for a younger audience but easily enjoyed by an older one too. Based on the Cinderella story, there are a few notable differences, namely that Ella was "blessed" with the "gift" of obedience by the fairy Lucinda, who thinks all her gifts (such as turning you into a squirrel) are wonderful. Ella is the daughter of Lady Eleanor and a somewhat unscrupulous merchant, Sir Peter, whom she rarely sees. She grows up with her mother, who teaches her to slide down the ...more
Nov 13, 2008 HeavyReader rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of princess and fairy tales
Shelves: young-adult
My sister recommended this book to me and even bought me a copy at half price day at Goodwill. Now I am recommending this book to you.

The main character, Ella, is a young woman, almost 15, who is cursed with obedience as an infant. A fairy thinks she's blessing the baby by forcing her to be obedient, but that's not really how it turns out. Imagine being physically compelled to do anything that anyone tells you to do. You don't have to be an anarchist to quickly realize that would be a rotten wa
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
$1.99 on US Amazon: July 23, 2016.

I've had this on my TBR list for a couple years now and was thinking of deleting it since it's a "middle grade" book and I'm getting old, but then I read this in the blurb:

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 b
I felt like the author said to herself: "I'm going to really revamp the Cinderella classic! I'm gonna give the girl a backstory like you wouldn't believe! and it's going to be cute, and funny, and there will be all kinds of mythical creatures in it! It's going to be wholly other-worldly! And she's going to go on this awesome journey that's going to be epic and life changing!"

All that ended halfway through the book: The journey, the special creatures, the seemingly important gifts and details, th
Ok, I understand why many people love this book. It is, after all, a retelling of Cinderella. It would be hard to screw that up, right? Well, that's the point; whatever you do is not going to be as good as the original. What had me clawing to get to the end, aside from the fact that I knew how it would end, was having to endure Ella's curse and her horrible step-family every step of the way. I don't remember them being quite so bad in the original. I give it 3.5 stars, rounded up to four, althou ...more
C.B. Cook
Apr 20, 2015 C.B. Cook rated it it was amazing
Holy cow. This book was waaaaaay awesome. I sat down just wanting to enjoy it, not critique it, and... that's pretty much what happened. (And yes, I read it in one sitting. But I was on a plane...)
Feb 23, 2016 C.W. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
4.5 - I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. I read this because Giselle just reread it - it’s one of her favorites - and talked about it’s themes at length on our vlog ( I’m finding that I really like nice stories like this. Nice, sweet stories with good messages and themes. If they’re well written, at least, and this one definitely is - I’d say this is absolutely the best Cinderella retelling I’ve ever read or seen. The way Gail Carson Levine ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Janessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book gets five huge, shiny stars because of the following conversation I had with my 12 year old today:

"Mom, Kate (name changed) was teasing me at school today, but I don't think it was friendly teasing. I think it was mean."

"It probably was mean." (We've had a lot of problems with Kate bossing and teasing lately, but my daughter is always anxious to give Kate the benefit of the doubt).

After a moment's thought, my daughter said, "It's like Ella Enchanted - how she has to listen to mean peo
May 02, 2011 Veronica rated it really liked it
When some of my friends learned I was reading Ella Enchanted for the very first time, the first thing they told me was, "What! I read that book, like, when I was in fifth grade!" Well, let me just say, I wouldn't have enjoyed this book in fifth grade as I have enjoyed it now. It's exactly what one of my bookworm friends would have described as a "cookie read": short, sweet, and satisfactory. It was a truly well-woven, fanciful tale with just the right pint of humor, a delightful sprinkling of r ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
This book is truly amazing, in my opinion. A clever retelling of Cinderella, this book was one of my favorites when I was younger, and I still look back at it with fondness today. It is definitely one of the best juvenile fantasy books out there, and I highly recommend it.
Huda Aweys
Aug 25, 2013 Huda Aweys rated it it was ok
A nice story to read to children before bedtime :)
Lola  Reviewer
Baby Rapunzel

Well, I thought this was a delightful fairy tale retelling filled with endearing, despicable and unique unforgettable characters! When you open this book, you don't simply start reading a story, but embark on a journey instead. It is past-paced and well-written. Levine tells the story of a child who unfortunately lacked of chance and has been spelled to always obey when given an order. Ella is a strong female character as I like them.

You will have the opportunity and chance to discover the true
Taylor Caitlin
One of my favorite quotes about books, from the movie You've Got Mail, says, "When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity, in a way that no other reading in your whole life does..." This book was my absolute favorite growing up and no matter how many times I re-read it as an adult it never gets old. I hope every reader has a comfort book as great as this one.
Rating: 5/5

"Stejar, granit,
Crini pe marginea drumului
Îți aminești de mine?
Eu îmi amintesc de tine.
Nori în zbor,
Dealuri cu trifoi,
Îmi amintești de mine?
Soră, copilă,
Ai crescut, te-ai înălțat,
Îți amintești de mine?
Eu îmi amintesc de tine." (p.224)

Când simțiți nevoia să vă amintiți de poveștile clasice pe care le știți din copilărie, o bună idee ar fi să le recitiți sau să lecturați variante asemănătoare, care să vă poarte în lumi fantastice.

Un exemplu de acest fel este și Povestea Ellei de Gai
Jul 08, 2010 Jasmin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All the little girls and the little girls at heart
Unicorns. Fairies. Castles. Most of all, Prince Charming.

Ella Enchanted made me want to revert back to being a little girl, where it's easy to believe that happily ever afters do exist. And yes, it reminded me that, despite my bitter self now, I at one point, believed in happily ever afters.

Who doesn't know Ella? I sure caught the craze when this was a movie with Anne Hathaway as Ella. The movie was spectacular, and the book was just as good.

Ella was bestowed the gift of obedience. Well, to the
Jan 21, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book when I read it about a year ago. The story is interesting and keeps you entertained. I feel as the the "Cinderella story" is REALLY over-used but this book has a very original and cool spin on things.
Re-read 6/30/16 Loved it just as much if not more than first time
Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
May 11, 2014 Maddie (Heart Full Of Books) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stand-alones
Such an enriched Cinderella retelling, that made me love the character even more!
Aug 10, 2015 Meli rated it really liked it
¡Ayyyy, me gustó mucho!
Era una de mis pelis favoritas de más chica y llevaba años en mis pendientes el libro.¡Fue el primer tbr que agregué acá en gr!
Muy divertido.Muy ocurrente.
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Around the Year i...: Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine 5 20 Oct 21, 2016 11:57AM  
For Love of a Book: Ella Enchanted Buddy Read - September 9 11 Oct 13, 2016 08:16PM  
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Just letting you all know: I'm only going to review books I love. There's enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Yo
More about Gail Carson Levine...

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“I wished she’d never stop squeezing me. I wished I could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me.” 395 likes
“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.” 336 likes
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