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3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,406 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
A modern-day fairytale--a major motion picture starring Christina Ricci, Catherine O'Hara, James McAvoy, and Reese Witherspoon.

Penelope Wilhern has everything a girl could want: A wealthy, socialite family, an enchanted bedroom and some of the coolest clothes around. There is only one problem: She was born into a cursed family and has the face of a pig.
Hidden away from th
Paperback, 1st Edition, Media-Tie, 230 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 21, 2008 Beth added it
I love this movie so I wanted to read the book based on the screenplay. I've finished it now and I did not like it. The story felt clunky and a bit all over the place and the writing was often rather awkward. It gave me a few chuckles (what with its over-the-top descriptions) but overall it was not a book I'd recommend.
Feb 05, 2016 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
First off I should say that I really like the story line, with the curse and all that. However, the author doesn't really go into depth with the characters. It's not that the characters are unlikeable, you just don't get the full idea of who they are.

I probably would've liked the book more if I hadn't watched the movie already. There were no surprises and the book pretty much follows the movie.

I liked the book, but if you already watched the movie you aren't missing out on much.
This is an interesting twist because the book was written off the screenplay for the movie PENELOPE (instead of the other way around).

PENELOPE is a really cute modern-day fairy tale about a girl who learns to love herself for who she is instead of living the "when _____ happens to me, then I will be happy" myth.

If you have seen the movie then the story won't be a surprise to you. But there are several scenes from the movie that are expanded a bit more in the book to show you more of what was goi
Heather Hamilton
Mar 20, 2010 Heather Hamilton rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club, year-2010
I gave Penelope only two stars because of the complete lack of originality in the book. I am probably being harsh.

On one hand, if the author's motivation was simply to put into purchasable print a modern day fairy tale, then congratulations! It is definitely a pleasant and appropriate book for pre-teens.

On the other hand, the fact that the book came after the screenplay presented an opportunity to the author that she did not take advantage of. My hope was that I would get expanded history and m
Jan 09, 2014 Heather rated it liked it
This was a fun, entertaining adaptation. It was different enough from the film that it felt more like a book that was adapted into a film than a novelization. There weren't any overwhelming changes. Even though I liked the film versions better (if only slightly) in those cases, the differences made sense. They were either things that simply couldn't be done as well in a book as a film or, in one case, it smoothed over an awkward moment in the film. (view spoiler) ...more
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 Reading Vacation rated it it was amazing
Penelope was an incredibly cute story. I loved reading about Penelope’s childhood as a girl with the face of a pig. It was such an emotional story that I felt very strongly connected to Penelope. Caveny did such a great job of drawing me into Penelope’s unusual world.
All of the characters were so well written. I fell in love with sweet Max and don’t even get me started on Penelope’s mother. I felt sorry for her and I was frustrated with her at the same time! Every character added their own
May 25, 2016 Adrienne rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, romance
Penelope Wilhern was born with a pig's snout instead of a nose, as a result of a curse placed on her family many generations before when a wealthy ancestor scorned a serving girl. Penelope's mother Jessica has hidden her away in their home, even faking Penelope's death to divert media attention. At the same time she's pretending Penelope is dead, Jessica is trying to break the curse placed on her daughter by finding a blue blood who will accept Penelope. When a potential suitor ends up running a ...more
Carol Hardesty
Apr 20, 2013 Carol Hardesty rated it it was amazing
As I'm sure many of you are aware by now, I love fairy tales. They're so simple yet so resonant. They show us how to be better people and encourage us to follow our dreams, no matter what the odds. So it's a rare and wonderful thing when a new, original fairy tale enters the world. As such, "Penelope" shows the right way to tell a modern-day fairy tale. Firstly, it's subtle in its storytelling; "Penelope" just sort of goes with the flow and lets you enjoy the story without bashing you on the hea ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Kylene rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to reading this book...until I read the cover and realized that the book was based on the screenplay (ie the movie). I'm actually more fond of books that were written first... but I thought the movie was cute, and I thought perhaps this would give more depth to the characters. Nope. Naddah. Nil. Nothing. I felt like I was reading the movie...almost word for word, and it took me longer than just watching it.

I wanted to like it, so as I read, I thought that maybe this
Alice Radwell
Aug 19, 2011 Alice Radwell rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who have seen the film, Anyone who loves a modern fairytale
Not a very faithful retelling of the film (which I adore), but does expand on some details not established in the movie. In fact, the book gives a rather drastically altered sequence of events, apparently adapted from the original script. A lot of the aesthetic is lost, and the characters are different and less vibrant. Also, the dialogue is forced and only a few lines resonate from the original motion picture. It's a very quick read, with a sweet message, and a gentle humour. The writing is a l ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: wishlist, reviewed
Oh, the pain of disillusionment!

So this is just about my favorite movie of all time. Ever. I'm not going to claim that it's anything groundbreaking or world-changing like Star Wars or Breakfast at Tiffany's, but it's one of those movies that feels self-created and effortless; it wasn't written and cast and soundtracked and produced and acted out and recorded, it just grew out of the ground. (When something man-made seems natural, that is a very strong indicator that it was meticulously planned
Ariana Lane
Nov 15, 2011 Ariana Lane rated it liked it
I liked the book because it was like a fairy tale you read when you were younger, but it wasn't old fashioned like most fairy tales. The story was happening now. Also, I really liked the way Penelope handled the situation her mom put her in. Penelope had a curse on her. She was born looking like a pig and her family thought that if a "blue-blood" married Penelope, the curse would be broken. Because of that, her mom hired a matchmaker and kept bringing guys to the house to talk to Penelope and ho ...more

So, if you read the description of the book, it's pretty much spot on. It's about a girl with a pig's nose (not the entire face, only the nose because the rest was removed) who has been hidden away in her home for all of her life, meeting wealthy, blue-blooded men in order to find one to marry. The family interpreted the cure for the curse as this: it can only my lifted if she marries another blue blood. Along the way, she end up falling for a man trying to expose her, but he finds he has simil

Jan 03, 2012 Veronica rated it liked it
I absolutely love the originality of the story. Surprisingly, this is one of the few modern fairytales that managed to pull at my heartstrings, making Penelope one of my favorite movies. Which is why I understand that the book might not have aligned with my secret fixation with the movie the way I would've liked. This project must have been a challenge for Marilyn Kaye--the rendering of a pre-made story into unique, believable words that wouldn't sound too much like an monotonously parallel echo ...more
Feb 11, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Didn't get a chance to see the movie, so I got the book for three dollars at Half Price Books.

Definitely enjoyed reading it. I thought the plot was a clever inversion of the typical fairy tale story, and the twists and turns felt very natural (such as the reporter posing as her suitor, and the way Penelope becomes a celebrity just because she has a pig nose.) The plot didn't go that deep into the human psyche (you could do a lot more with questions about to what extent our appearance defines us,
Apr 11, 2012 Alyssa rated it really liked it
I'm always picky about books that come out after a movie, so the fact that I gave this four stars is completely indicative of the fact that it does the movie justice.
This book is about a girl who has the face of a pig. Or, rather, the nose of a pig, because she is really very pretty in spite of it. The only way she can get rid of her pig-nose is by breaking the curse that put it there, and the curse requires that she be loved by "one of her own kind."
So number one on my list of things-I-love-
Andreia Silva
Este não é, como normalmente, um livro em que um determinado filme se baseou, mas sim um livro que nasceu do roteiro do próprio filme. Nunca tinha lido nenhum e por isso a impressão que tive durante a leitura é que estava a ver passar o filme à frente dos olhos, mas em modo escrito. Mas tal como o filme gostei da história. É inspirada na lenda antiga / conto de fadas que uma menina nasceu com cara de porco devido a uma antiga maldição que só um príncipe a poderia desfazer. E como todos os contos ...more
Blablabla Aleatório
Todo leitor um pouquinho mais devotado sempre acaba implicando com algo quando um livro que já leu é adaptado para um filme ou série. E em grande parte das vezes, essas reclamações repousam no fato de que o filme ficou muito superficial e que os roteiristas não conseguiram passar para a tela as características mais marcantes de um determinado personagem. E quando é o contrário? Quando a adaptação parte do filme para o livro? Isso não é muito comum, mas vez ou outra acaba surgindo uma novelização ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Angelie rated it liked it
I read this book way back in the past, when I was still a lot younger in comparison to today. This was the first book that I read and it opened my eyes to an interesting world of fiction novels. The book itself was not that good, according to my current standards but I held such emotional attachments toward this book that I could never forget the memories of a new unexplained feelings.

Anyway, enough about me. As far as I can remember, the romantic content of this book is satisfyingly enough for
Feb 08, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
One of the most disturbing things I find in fairy tales of the Disney variety is that there is always a damsel in some sort of distress waiting for a male to come and rescue her; ending in Happily Ever After. Whatever that means. Penelope finds herself put in this situation by her deformity, the family curse, and her mother's own persistence that she cannot have the happiness or adventure she so desperately craves without a man to break the curse; therefore revealing Penelope's "real" self. Fina ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Marie rated it liked it
Fun easy read. Nice book for middle-school age kids.
Nov 22, 2013 SarahC rated it liked it
I am not sure how to judge novels adapted from screenplays, but this one I could not resist due to the movie being a great favorite of mine. It was a pleasant read bringing back so much of what I love of this story of a girl trying to find herself. It is an entertaining story with a really important message -- true parallels to everyday life actually. If nothing else, I will say go see the film - it is great.
Jan 14, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2014 Fatma rated it it was amazing
Penelope is a fantasy ,romantic, comedy story . It was released on 2006 .The directer of this book is Mark Palansky . It talk about a young women her name is Penelope she was from a wealthy family .She born with a curse that her nose will be like a big nose, her parents were very upset they did every thing to break the curse but they could not and the solution to break this curse was to find someone to except her as she is . One day she went outside to play with the kids but when they saw her th ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Robin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young people
Oh God! I wish there was 3.5! Because 3 stars do not feel right as well as 4 stars but I think 3 stars is more like it.

So! The book was kind of magical! I mean who dislikes a romantic fairy tail? I don't!

Penelope: She is a girl who wants to break free, free from everything! Her mother, her house, her pig like nose and the torture of rejection over and over again! Sometimes I felt she was being a little bit harsh towards Edward! For sure he was annoying and shallow most of the times but I felt
Feb 04, 2015 Lindsay rated it it was ok
Penelope is one of my favourite films and when I discovered that the screenplay had been adapted into a novel I was ecstatic but I was quickly let down once I realized a few pages into the book that the whimsy and beautiful world of the film was no where to be seen in the novel. I found the writing to be weak, especially by someone that apparently teaches/taught children's literature. Her writing was empty, lacking in all the vivid imagery that appears in the film. It scarcely felt like the fair ...more
I admit I have actually read this one in 2009 but...I forgot to add it on Goodreads and I desperately need to catch up on my 2015 reading I thought I would give Penelope another chance and I reread it today.

Unfortunately as far as movie novelizations go, Penelope doesn't do very well. It lacks charm, magic, depth and the worst of all - chemistry between the main couple. Many little moments were simply lost in translation, e.g. the cute scene of Johnny making Penelope guess which m
Sep 02, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of the movie Penelope
Shelves: tie-ins
So, I was slightly worried on the first few pages that this would end up being a slightly easy, grade-school type of adaptation that I would end up putting down and abandoning halfway through. That was so not the case and I'm glad I picked it up at the library.

The plot was very well fleshed out, with adorable added little details. The same could be said for the characters. The insight into everyone's minds at play during the action of the movie was extremely entertaining and I laughed out loud n
Aug 28, 2016 Julia rated it it was ok
Possibly I am one of the few people here who read the book, then saw the movie, and did not realize that this was a very strange case where the book came after the movie...
Anyway, I reread this book a few days ago and while I still like it I do have some criticisms.
First off, I do like the story line and the very clear moral: You need to love yourself in order to be your best self. You see the effects of Penelope's parents fear clearly (view spoiler)
Oct 06, 2016 Meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Quick, simple read.
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I was born in New Britain, Connecticut, and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I also spent a year (5th grade) in Montgomery, Alabama, and a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan(8th grade). As a child, I always wanted to be a writer, but I had lots of other ambitions too. I wanted to be a teacher, a librarian, a movie star, the president of the United States, and a ballerina.

I didn't achieve all my goals. I nev
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