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Just Ella

(The Palace Chronicles #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  33,398 ratings  ·  1,671 reviews
It's a familiar story: In spite of the obstacles put in her way by her wicked stepmother, Ella goes to the ball, sweeps Prince Charming off his feet, and is chosen to be his bride. Now she's comfortably ensconced in the palace, awaiting marriage to the man of her dreams. It's happily ever after time, right?
Wrong! Life for Ella has become an endless round of lessons and r
...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published August 28th 1999)
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Chilazon I liked The Selection, but it's nothing like Just Ella, really. …moreI liked The Selection, but it's nothing like Just Ella, really. (less)
Jennifer Daniels She isn't queen yet, just engaged to Prince Charming. But the palace is oppressive in a different way, and she actually ends up losing some freedoms s…moreShe isn't queen yet, just engaged to Prince Charming. But the palace is oppressive in a different way, and she actually ends up losing some freedoms she had, like doing anything she is good at. She also realizes that the prince is really not so great. He's just a nice facade with no ability to make even the most trivial decisions. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,398 ratings  ·  1,671 reviews


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Mariah Roze
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all know the classical tale of Cinderella (or in this book Cinders-Ella), so I'm not going to restate it for you. This book takes place as an after-telling of what happens.

There was no "fairy godmother or magic. It was a fifteen-year-old girl in charge of her own future. She went to the ball not to meet her future husband but to get a break from the hard life she had. However rumors spread that she used magic because it is easier to believe than the prince falling in love with a commoner. "P
...more
Merphy Napier
I'll never get tired of rereading this book ...more
Taylor Knight

When I read the synopsis, I thought this book sounded kind of like The Princess Diaries, which I love, so I was pretty excited to read Just Ella. Sadly, it became pretty clear after the first few pages that this book wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

This book had one of the most annoying main characters that I've ever read. She was whiny and dumb. As the reader I picked up on things way quicker than Ella did and I had to wait pages for her to catch up.

The other characters were so poorly writ
...more
Sheri
Dec 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a twelve year old wrote it. Inconsistent, whiny, and altogether unlikeable main character.
Cara
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
Don't let the cover mislead you. This book is not set in modern times. What I liked so much about the book was that Ella had a lot more "umph" to her than the other Cinderellas I've encountered in other books. ...more
Jess
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Readaholic Jenn
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A new twist to an old tale.
V.E.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started out in the middle of the traditional Cinderella story. Ella is engaged to the prince. However, she soon finds out that her "fairytale ending" may not be what she really wants.
At first I tried to like this book. But it was so obvious with the character cliche. I quote a review on amazon:

"Even the "I am woman, hear me roar" attitude might have been tolerable if the other characters weren't so obvious! Charming, being a handsome member of the upper-class, is an airhead. Jed, bein
...more
Weezie
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*sighs*

You can't call a book feminist if the MC regularly shames fat women.

Get your shit together.
...more
Duffy Pratt
This book purports to take place after the close of the fairy tale, but it doesn't. At the end of the fairy tale, at least the Grimm version, Cinderella gets married, and at the wedding a pair of birds pluck out the eyes of her stepsisters, leaving them blind. And don't forget that one of the had already chopped off her toes, and the other had chopped off a heel.

Here, the book takes up two weeks after the Prince has retrieved Ella. She's ensconced in the castle and in training for her upcoming w
...more
Sylvia
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Athena Archeron
"People would rather believe in fairy godmothers and... divine intervention, if you will- than to think that you took charge of your own destiny. "

Just Ella turns the classic Cinderella fairy-tale on its head. Taking place after the original tale has ended, the book follows Ella as she learns of her distaste for the palace and the life that comes with it. This story is that of girl figuring out who she is and what she wants to become, even when society expects her to be something complete differ
...more
Mel
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie
Oct 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ella enchanted lovers; bella at mignight
Shelves: teen
Like it, but wasn't blown away. Would recommend to 7th grade and up... dies talk about periods, sex, death. In Just Ella, Margaret Peterson Haddix puts a spin on the traditional tale of the glass slippers. In her version, Ella (sans "Cinder") finds her own way to the ball (there was no fairy godmother, despite the rumors) and wins the heart of the prince. But now she is finding that life at the palace as Prince Charming's betrothed is not as great as she thought it was going to be. In fact, it's ...more
Debbie
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I can't help comparing this book to Ella Enchanted. Both are YA retellings of the Cinderella story. While I prefer Gail Levine Carson's version, I have to appreciate Margaret Peterson Haddix's injection of reality into the traditional fairy tale. No magic, no fairy godmothers, no magic pumpkins. Rather, this is the story of Ella who got to the ball under her own perseverance, and then gets herself out of the palace the same way. It was enjoyable and a good read for all ages. However, I would hav ...more
Emily Michelle
Mar 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sierra Abrams
5th read update:
GUYS THIS BOOOOK. It resonates so well. As a child and as an adult. Well done, Haddix!!! Now I'm off to find my Jed....



This book is an all-time favorite. I’ve read it four times, and each time it gets better and better. I love retellings of fairytales – especially when the author completely renovates the story, and the characters. Instead of being the usual Happily Ever After, this book comes down to a Happily NEVER After.

The story doesn’t begin at the “beginning”. The story open
...more
Rachel
4 stars.


This was better than expected. It was quite humorous and a well done modern retelling of a sequel to the classic Cinderella. I liked that Ella stood up for what she believed in.
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
This story begins at the end of Cinderella's fairy tale, when Ella is engaged to marry Prince Charming. With the wedding only two months away, Ella is forced to learn restrictive palace protocol, sit through endless embroidery lessons, and learn the boring history of the royal family. Her meetings with the Prince are awkward and silent, and her only friends are the poor serving child, Mary, and the philosophy tutor, Jed. Ella begins to wonder if she really loves the Prince at all, and if she can ...more
Jeness
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeness by: Me
Actually, I'd give it a four and three quarters, if it's possible.

Well, to start, this is the very first M. Haddix novel I've ever read, and already I know she is one of the best writers in the world. Not her writing, which isn't as impressive as some writers; not her characters, who are not diverse; not her plot, which is quite predictable; but the way she expressed her opinions about some world-issue through her stories.

Her novels are gripping from the first page. I finished the novel in les
...more
Jerry
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the years, I've seen many princess/fairy tale stories with a twist in celluloid form: Ella Enchanted, The Princess Diaries and its sequel, The Princess Bride, and all three of the Cinderella Story films. (Did you even know there was more than one?) This, however, is my first time reading one in quite a while. Though I enjoyed the spin on the classic fairy tale and how they empowered the heroine in a way that would make Anne McCaffrey (who once said, "Cinderella was a wimp!") proud, it was e ...more
Nafiza
Ostensibly and really, unless you think about it, Just Ella is a re-telling of the Cinderella. However, as one of my fellow seminar participants pointed out, when a tale has done away with everything that has to do with fairies and all other things that make up a fairy tale (for reference purposes, consult Propp's Fairy Tale morphology) does it still remain a fairy tale? Or has it somehow transcended mediums to become just a tale. Just Ella.

We read this after we read Ella Enchanted so there were
...more
Reggie
Aug 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I have to be honest. . .the only thing great in this book was the plot. . .it stops there. Don't get me wrong, I hate writing bad reviews. That's why my lowest rating is going to be a 'D'. No author deserves an 'F'.

Haddix's writing was the most boring I've read. It was dull and unexciting. I was snoring by the time I got to page 3. . . literally. I've looked at what others thought about this book and surprisingly, Just Ella elicited almost-perfect reviews. Maybe it's just me then.

Haddix ju
...more
Emma Anderson
Just Ella by Margret Haddix is a great book that takes place in the time of kings and queens. It is like the cinderella story but, after the part where the prince asks her to marry him and shes says yes it has a little twist. Ella was just an ordinary girl ,but her life changed when she went to the ball (of course without her step mother or step sisters knowing) danced with the prince all night raced out ay midnight left her shoe and whenthe prince found and asked her to marry him. Ella thinks t ...more
Kathy
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
4 stars because I liked the message of this story. I didn't really connect to the characters and there are other Cinderella retellings I like better but I liked the storyline. ...more
Agnė
Royal reality is no fairy tale, just ask Ella Brown, aka Cinders-Ella.

Just Ella is a smart, sobering, gritty, and entertaining retelling/continuation of a traditional fairy tale.
Susan
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever wonder what happened after the prince put that glass slipper on Cinderella's foot? Did you ever think if they really did live happily ever after? As a kid I never questioned it or even as an adult but this book helped answer those questions that you might have been wondering.

I couldn't believe someone wrote a book about what happened after the Prince and Cinderella rode off in the carriage and it was AMAZING. Now it wasn't the fairy tale we all thought, far from it, but I loved the story t
...more
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
"I'd done something everybody had told me I couldn't. I'd changed my life all by myself. Having a fairy godmother would have ruined everything." - Ella Brown

Everyone knows the story about Cinderella. She was a beautiful orphan in the care of her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and her fairy godmother helped her get ready for the Prince's ball. There she winds up meeting the Prince, they fall in love after dancing the night away, only to have her run back home when the clock strikes midnight.
...more
Anne Osterlund
Ella is stuck. As in stuck in the latest fashions. In the palace. Surrounded by royal advisers trying to teach her all the rules she will be strangled by for rest of her life, once she marries Prince Charming.

At least there’s Mary, the young servant girl who tells Ella the truth.

And Jedd, the passionate young man who’s been instructed to teach her about religion but would much prefer running a refugee camp for the victims of the Sualan War.

So maybe the palace would be OK if Ella ever had a momen
...more
Kirstysbookishworld
Happiness is in the eye of beholder. Being a princess isn’t everyone’s dream and being loved for your beauty can lead to a cruel and lonely existence.

Ella is just a girl who was trying to escape her horrible living conditions and marrying the Prince seems like the way out, but marrying a man you barely know and who barely knows you can lead to all sorts of feelings.

Ella is entirely relatable and confident in who she is. To me she’s a princess in her own right. She’s what a princess should be -
...more
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Teen Girl Clean B...: Great Book!!! 1 15 Nov 07, 2017 09:25AM  
Amazing Heroines ...: Just Ella 1 20 Apr 01, 2012 05:38AM  

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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil ...more

Other books in the series

The Palace Chronicles (3 books)
  • Palace of Mirrors (The Palace Chronicles, #2)
  • Palace of Lies (The Palace Chronicles, #3)

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