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Ella Enchanted

(Ella Enchanted #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  379,930 ratings  ·  10,141 reviews
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 of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mot ...more
Paperback, First Scholastic Edition, 232 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Scholastic Books (first published April 25th 1997)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jessica It was because she was making an intentional sacrifice in order to protect the safety of her country. She was willing to sacrifice what she really wan…moreIt was because she was making an intentional sacrifice in order to protect the safety of her country. She was willing to sacrifice what she really wanted (to marry Char) because of the danger it could put so many people in.(less)
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Jana Also, we see in the book multiple times that orders override each other if they are contradicting, so if someone said, "Quit being so obedient, Ella!"…moreAlso, we see in the book multiple times that orders override each other if they are contradicting, so if someone said, "Quit being so obedient, Ella!" and then someone else said, "Ella, do this thing," I think the more current order is what she would have to do, because she isn't obedient due to an order, but to a curse. I think the curse would trump that order.(less)

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just as good on the 800th read


i will reread this book infinity times.


Have I mentioned I love middle grade? Because hey, guess what, I absolutely goddamn love middle grade. (I feel like I shouldn’t say “goddamn” in a review of a children’s book, but also I am still me. I still have my brand to look out for, regardless of target audiences.)

A n y w a y. This book rules.

I have a kind of complicated relationship with the movie. It has a reputation for b
May 03, 2007 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
Feb 23, 2017 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
Caz (littlebookowl)
Such a cute story, it was a lot of fun!
Wren (fablesandwren)
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
Apr 02, 2009 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1), Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted published in 1997, has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor.

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 of me. Or perhaps I was that way natural
Kat Kennedy
Jul 10, 2010 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
❌ 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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale
$1.99 Kindle sale, Dec. 24, 2017. Charming YA retelling of Cinderella, with some imaginative twists. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


GR Ultimate Reading Challenge: My, What Big Teeth You Have.

As a child I thoroughly enjoyed Ella Enchanted (the movie)! I decided to give the book a go. Unfortunately it didn't work for me.

I was actually enjoying it in the beginning. Once the step-sisters were introduced the writing style changed dramatically. I'm not exactly sure why this happened. I found myself losing interest in the book.

This was definitely a personal thing. I do still recommend.
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”

I feel like this is a confession that I will regret making. I was a fan of the movie *hides* This is my first time reading Ella Enchanted and now I understand why everyone hates the film!

Ella Enchantedis what every great middle-grade novel should be. Great adventures, obstacles to over-come, engaging characters and a little magic. This book pulled all of these things well. Ella Enchanted i
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
C.B. Cook
Apr 20, 2015 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...)
Jun 28, 2007 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
Allison Tebo
A unique retelling with some truly surprising plot twists. Quite different from the other Gail Carson Levine’s fairy tale retellings that I have read. Ella Enchanted and more lush writing style and less deliberately comical and stilted interactions and it possessed quite an enjoyable style.

Shock of all shocks - my favorite part of the book was undoubtedly the romance (I know. You don’t see me say that in a review very often!). The relationship between Char and Ella was sweet and well developed
Jul 10, 2009 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
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, favorites
This is a long time favorite of mine. I first read it when I was about 10 and I still love it. The movie adaptation was a travesty I don’t like to talk about.
Jan 05, 2015 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
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is such a cozy, happy, safe favorite to come back to again and again and again. Bless Levine for writing it.
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
Fun, clean, age appropriate, fantasy retelling of Cinderella. I will be passing this one on to my 10 year old daughter. She will love it.
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
Oct 26, 2012 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
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
Ella Enchanted is my favorite Cinderella retelling! It's so creative and fun, and the skillful storytelling really brings the characters to life. The friendship and romance that develops is sweet and compelling.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2008 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
Robin (Bridge Four)
Ella Enchanted is a cute fairytale. I saw the movie years ago and thought I’d give the book a try. They don’t seem to follow each other too closely but both are fun for different reasons.

The premise is the same, a good meaning fairy bestowed a terrible gift on a child to be ever obedient. Sure it seems like a good idea except there is no single person that Ella has to be obedient to, anyone can give a command and she has to follow. It wasn’t too bad growing up, since she was treated well but af
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. But what if she had been cursed with the “gift” of obedience at her birth, thus explaining her subservience to her step-family? That’s the premise of this middle grade novel. I somehow missed this book as a kid. However, it was just exactly what I needed after having my heart ripped out by Fredrik Backman’s Beartown. Ella Enchanted is light and sweet and funny, and you know before you finish the first chapter that there’s going to be a happily ever after. ...more
$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
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Madison County NC...: Ella Enchanted 1 1 Aug 11, 2020 01:26PM  
Clean Romance Boo...: Gail Carson Levine 8 13 Jun 11, 2020 10:30AM  
Are you KIDDING me?? *Spoilers about the movie* 74 535 May 05, 2020 12:08PM  
Nancy De La Cruz Review #7 1 1 Apr 17, 2020 08:39PM  

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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

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