Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted
by  Gail Carson Levine
Date Read:  2/7/17
Rating: ★ ★ 

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a review! It took me a LONG time to get through The School of Good and Evil #3. In the meantime, I've listened and completed Ella Enchanted too. Here is the review for the latter.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It took a while to get used to the narrator – she sounds like a 12 year old girl!  But once I got used to it, it worked and I was able to get in to the story.

I’ve seen the movie several times and enjoyed it. But the book is really different than the movie. The main character names and the obedience curse are about all that they kept for the movie. I really liked that Ella and Char knew each other for a long time and were good friends. You could really see how their feelings grew for each other. No insta-love here.

The one thing that I didn’t think the book captured was just how horrible being obedient could be – in the movie, someone tried to use her to harm another person. That never happens in the book – she just considers it when she’s contemplating making a move on her feelings for Char.  I think the book should have capitalized on that more. And it made more sense in the movie how she was able to break the curse herself. In the book, she broke it on the THOUGHT of someone using her in that way, so it just didn’t feel as strong enough a reason to break the curse.

The other languages were odd as well. I couldn’t keep straight which was which. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as strange if I was reading the physical book, but listening to it just kind of jarred me out of the story.

The parts with her step-sisters and step-mom are believable. I liked how much time the story took to build all of these relationships, whether love or disgust. I noticed the Cinderella elements more toward the end of the story.  This was a fun, easy to read (listen) fairy-tale retelling. I’m looking forward to reading the book with my daughter one day and then watching the movie with her to identify the differences.
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