Wintermint's Reviews > Just Ella

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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's review
Apr 03, 2011

it was amazing
Read in March, 2011

This is an interesting twist on the Cinderella story. Ella is a girl who had lost her father while he was crossing the border to buy a book and was put to work by her stepmother and stepsisters the moment that they found out he was gone for good, and she wanted to go to the ball so that she could find an employer so that she could run away from her step family, but she had no fairy godmother to help her, and so she took her fate into her own hands. She took her Mom's old ivory wedding gown and changed it to the current fashion, then she had to think about shoes and she was thinking about wearing her Father's combat boots when she walked past the glassblower's shop and the glassblower was arguing with another person about the fact it was impossible to make glass slippers that you could walk in, and Ella said she would walk in them to prove it can be done, but that she must get the shoes, and he said sure, so she did walk in the shoes and they lasted, so she got to keep them. The night of the ball, Ella walked to the gate and then met a coach driver, and he said that he would take her to the gate and if she came out by midnight that he would drive her out too. Ella is announced at he ball because she was beautiful, but she was called Cinderella even though she told the man to announce her as Cinders-Ella, that was the name her step family gave her even though she took more baths than they did. The Prince danced wioth heer all night long, and when midnight came, she left in a rush to get to the coach, leaving one of the glass slippers by accident. The prince searched for her, and he found her and took her back to the palace wich is where the story begins. Ella doesn't like castle life and catches on quickly that she cannot go outside, cannot light her own fire, cannot do this and that and must do needle point or otherwise remain idle, and she does not like this. One day, one of her tutors falls ill during a lesson and Ella gets in trouble because she bends down to hear if he has a heartbeat and if he is breathing. The next day, durring the lesson she was to have with her ill tutor, his son shows up to taake his place, but is very different than his father. He becomes her first friend in the palace, and he isn't like all the other people in the palace, he doesn't ask her if he may sit down, doesn't pull out her chair for her, etc. Her second friend is the servent girl whom she sent to get the doctor. Mary, the girl, tells Ella something important that just slips from her lips, "The prince wouldn't know which foot to put on the floor first to get out of bed without his advisers telling him what to do". Then she tells Ella about the whole thing where the prince was supposed to pick a girl who was very pretty at the ball. That was the only reason she was there is because she was pretty, and the lie that she was a forgein princess was just so the comeners wouldn't know that she was one of them, in Ella's words,"It is more important that they have a pretty girl over a royal one". When Ella sees the prince next, all she sees is vacency behind his big blue eyes. I highly sugggest this book to all who love a twist on fairy tales, especially if you want to see what Ella does to get away from the palace and the prince. Oh, don't lagh at one of the terms in the book. That is what they called it in a dungeon.

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