4) Ella Enchanted

By: Gail Carson Levine

Re-read Finished: 02.02.14

by Gail Carson Levine

Ella is cursed.  The fairy meant well, but forced obedience is restricting at best and downright perilous at worst.  When her father remarries a horrible woman with two horrible daughters, Ella cannot save herself from becoming a slave in her own home.  And even if the prince should want to rescue her, accepting his help will only put the whole nation in danger.

I needed something simple and light after Code Name Verity.  It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but it’s an old stand-by and definitely holds up over the years.  Looking back, I think this is the book that pulled me into the world of fairy tale adaptations and made this blog what it is today.  It is charming, sassy, quirky, and absolutely delightful (my summary above does not do it justice in the least).  Most pleasingly, it addresses that sticky love-at-first-sight issue with the Disney movie, allowing Ella and Prince Char to fall in love over the course of a year through a number of marvelous encounters and regular correspondence.  Well, done, madam author.  The book also gives Ella some serious spunk; she has a loving heart at the core, but refuses to be a puppet even with a curse that controls her will.

With a delightful heroine, a fantastic world, and a playful plot, Ella Enchanted is pure magic and, well, downright enchanting.

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