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Ella Enchanted

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  273,126 ratings  ·  6,914 reviews
This refreshing take on one of the world's most popular fairy tales preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous twists and a spunky, intelligent female lead. The heroine is a real live girl: spunky, funny, assertive, and confused like all the rest of us.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published 1998 by Scholastic Inc. (first published January 1st 1997)
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Sinead It wasn't just that she was mad about being given an order; it was that she was being forced to marry Char when she feared her curse would make his…moreIt wasn't just that she was mad about being given an order; it was that she was being forced to marry Char when she feared her curse would make his life dangerous. Her curse broke because she refused to obey an order not because she didn't want to do it but because she feared for the life of the man she loved.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Emily Savage What a silly question! That would defeat the purpose of the entire novel, it would be but one chapter long! Also, the fairy Lucinda I'm sure is smart…moreWhat a silly question! That would defeat the purpose of the entire novel, it would be but one chapter long! Also, the fairy Lucinda I'm sure is smart enough to make it so that wouldn't be possible. The book said they tried everything, I'm sure it included your idea.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emma (Miss Print)
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
Cara
Jul 14, 2014 Cara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kat Kennedy
Jul 14, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.

Seriously.

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
...more
Chelsea
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
...more
Dd
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
...more
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
HeavyReader
Nov 14, 2008 HeavyReader rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Madeline
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
...more
Cait Grace
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
...more
Jacki
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
...more
Veronica
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
Huda Aweys
A nice story to read to children before bedtime :)
Janessa
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
...more
Jasmin
Jul 10, 2010 Jasmin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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.
Lola
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
...more
Kendra
If you've seen the movie without reading the book, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! If you haven't seen the movie, make sure you read the book before you do, and I hope you do (well, at least read the book). The book explores the life of a girl growing up in the times of fairies and ogres, giants and elves, and let's not forget the evil stepmother and stepsister! Ella is a smart girl with a curse. At her birth a fairy gave Ella the "gift" of obedience. Immediately, this proves to be a bad gift. If someone w ...more
Laura Spaulding
This was my absolute favorite book when I was a kid. I still have my first copy of it; the poor thing is so tattered and yellowed. It's a story about a girl placed under a spell by a fairy at birth and the journey she goes on to rid herself of the curse. Fairies, trolls, evil step mothers, magic-you name it, this book has it. I refuse to see the disney movie version. The book (although a fairy tale) was rather dark (death, curses, evil people, ect), and i'm sure disney completely butchered that.
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.
Ash
Apr 12, 2009 Ash rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ash by: Cara and Valerie
This was a very sweet and funny book. The movie version really doesn't do it justice and is almost a different story all together. I'd always heard about this book when I was in elementary and middle school, but back then I thought reading a book was punishment. Now though, I see that books are our friends and not just good paper weights. I'm glad that I had a chance to read this book before I got too old to actually enjoy it. Though I think that I would've still liked it anyway. Ella is funny ...more
Sally
Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! I have a new favourite now, oh my. :D Why did it take me so long to read this?! Maybe because the book itself is a falling-apart ex-library hardcover, that just looks so unappealing. Tch. :P Each time Solyndra has mentioned it I've thought I should really read it at last, so good thing THIS time I finally DID.

SO MUCH LOVE. The whole story is just marvellous and wonderful. I was so invested in the Ella/Char romance and it takes a lot for me to actually, seriously, deeply CARE
...more
Salymar
How can a fairy’s blessing be such a pain in the ass?

On a wonderful morning in a land of Frell, a beautiful baby was born, her name's Ella. Having been born that beautiful morning became a disaster to Ella and her mother as a foolish fairy gave Ella the gift of "obedience". Well, that doesn't sound bad, doesn't it? The twist is, having the gift of "obedience" means that she has to do whatever a random person tells her to do, like chopping her head for instance! Ella, on the other hand, does not
...more
~Tina~
TBR Reduce Challenge #24- 2011 (Morgan)

And so, with laugher and love, we lived happily ever after

...it's been a long time since I've read this kind of ending;) lol

I really wish I was into book when I was younger. I think this book would have been one of my all time favorites growing up. At last, I've seen the movie before even knowing this was a book so I missed out. I can see what everyone is on about. This was so much better then the movie!

Ella Enchanted is what fairy tales are made of and I t
...more
Joyzi
Dec 27, 2010 Joyzi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls
Recommended to Joyzi by: Just pick it on booksale
ella Pictures, Images and Photos

I didn't really know what's wrong with this book since I really love the movie version of this one undoubtedly. Of course the movie has Anne Hathaway and it has a musical/fairy tale theme but the book is really boring IMO and the exposition just bored me to death.

The book sucks I didn't even finish it.
...more
Sella Malin
This book was so good that I literally couldn't put it down- I read it all in one evening. The story and plot is so captivating, and Levine has an amazing writing style. Every page I turned, I needed to know more. And the beginning was so intriguing, it drew me right in! The ending made me smile. Levine knows how to grab you and hold you steadfast, and she has a way of words. This was very creative!

I especially love how Arieida, a character from Levine's Fairest, was in here. And it's so cool th
...more
payasa213
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruchama Feuerman
One of the reviewers on GR said, (sort of): "Don't look for hidden meaning or depth,just read it for what it is, a cute fairy tale." But re-reading this book, what I loved most were the witty letters exchanged between Ella and Prince Char, which captured the excitement and thrill of an old-fashioned courtship, the peeling off of mental layers, the wonderful exchange of inquiring (and kind) minds. And when that kiss finally comes, it's obvious that it celebrates this wonderful intimacy between th ...more
Julie
And thus, my last read of 2014 (with just half an hour to spare before 2015!): revisiting a childhood favourite that I'm happy to report still holds up. It's so freaking cute and well-written, and Ella is a strong, plucky protagonist wrestling with such a unique dilemma/curse. Her escapades are great, and her relationship with Prince Charmont is pitch-perfect -- their evolving dynamic still gives me little butterflies in my chest by proxy, just, ugh, absolute childhood OTP. Even her father and s ...more
Nicole
Mar 01, 2015 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicole by: Erika
An enjoyable story and a very high three stars. More than a simple retelling of Cinderella, Ella Enchanted is a lovely contemporary fairytale which sees the protagonist who, despite the added difficulty of her affliction/gift/curse of mandatory obedience, is a strong-willed girl with an agency uncommon in other fairytale retellings for children.
Ella's adventures are fun and her quest is for herself, not the prince. He's just a side story for most of the novel. Prince Charmant is also made more h
...more
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hollywood ruined the movie 243 883 Mar 23, 2015 07:18PM  
Why didn't someone order her to stop obeying? 18 249 Jan 29, 2015 02:57PM  
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13677
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
More about Gail Carson Levine...
The Two Princesses of Bamarre Fairest Ever The Fairy's Mistake (The Princess Tales, #1) The Princess Test (The Princess Tales, #2)

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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.” 326 likes
“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.” 279 likes
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