Emilia's Reviews > Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fairy-tales
Read from July 20 to 25, 2012

I was really looking forward to this book, because I read so many good reviews of it, plus I love fairy tale retellings. However, while I loved the concept and the characters, the execution was not the greatest.

I loved the character of Ella. She was cursed with the "gift" of obedience, but at the same time, still had her own agency and was independent. I loved how she fell in love slowly with the prince and there was no "instalove" which is one of my huge pet peeves. I even liked the minor characters. At first, I was worried that the stepmother and stepsisters were really one dimensional, and in many ways they were, but they had underlying insecurities. I noticed this particularly with Olive, the youngest stepsister, who feels lonely and while she is greedy and wants money, she also wants someone to listen to her. I thought all of the characters were interesting, and I think this is the highlight of the book.

However, the execution, particularly the pacing and some plot details were confusing to me. I felt that the book jumped around in little episodes and the pacing was not as fluid as it could have been. I also felt some elements in the plot came out of nowhere, like the boarding school and the magical book that Ella's fairy godmother gives her. I felt that the boarding school didn't really add anything to the plot, except giving her a best friend, Areida, who is sadly lacking in the rest of the book. The magical book was a little creepy, and seemed to be as a crutch to move the plot forward.
I also felt the resolution, where Ella is able to stop being obedient, while it did show that Ella had the power all along, it was also fueled by the prince, which seemed a little bit like a cop out to me.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the execution, but I did like how the author used the traditional Cinderella tale and turned it upside down. Ella was obedient, but she struggled against it and had to find her own way to crush this obedience.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Ella Enchanted.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

07/22/2012 page 60
show 1 hidden update…

No comments have been added yet.