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Ella Enchanted (1997)

by Gail Carson Levine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Enchanted (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,817397454 (4.09)243
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.
  1. 130
    Beauty by Robin McKinley (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Beauty and the Beast rather than Cinderella, but another enchanting retelling of a fairy tale with a strong female protagonist.
  2. 90
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (infiniteletters)
  3. 30
    The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (infiniteletters)
  4. 30
    The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (Maiasaura)
  5. 10
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy tale retelling set in an India-like world.
  6. 10
    The Extra-Ordinary Princess by Carolyn Q. Ebbitt (jfoster_sf)
    jfoster_sf: This book is a wonderful book for Ella Enchanted fans-richly told fairytale with a touch of romance that isn't cheesy.
  7. 10
    Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley (Bonzer)
  8. 00
    A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Paratore (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: These two books have a very similar fairy tale feel with strong female characters fighting against what has been pre-ordained for them. Both emphasize the importance of considering the greater good - even in romantic relationships.
  9. 00
    Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (infiniteletters)
  10. 00
    The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (infiniteletters)
  11. 00
    13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  12. 00
    A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde (amanda4242)
  13. 00
    The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy (wordcauldron)
  14. 00
    The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (wordcauldron)
  15. 00
    The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (wordcauldron)
  16. 00
    Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson (wordcauldron)
  17. 00
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Sammelsurium)
  18. 01
    Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman (meggyweg)

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» See also 243 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. When I cried inconsolably through my first hour of life, my tears were her inspiration. Shaking her head sympathetically at Mother, the fairy touched my nose. "My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying child."So begins this richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell who wants nothing more than to be free of Lucinda's gift and feel that she belongs to herself. For how can she truly belong to herself if she knows that at any time, anyone can order her to hop on one foot, cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom - and she'll have to obey?

Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella's spirited account of her quest to break the curse is a funny, poignant, and enchanting tale about an unforgettable heroine who is determined to be herself.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 22, 2023 |
I've watched the film adaptation of Ella Enchanted many, many times. For years, I've been wanting to read this book but had never managed to find it in my book search. Then, one day, I managed to pick this book up at a charity event! It was an exciting day for me!

What I discovered as I read this book was that the movie and the book are WILDLY different. Seriously, it's like night and day.

Because of that little fact, I was disappointed in this book. I found that I wasn't interested in this plot (but this book was written for middle grade and young YA, so it's not FOR me).

This book seems to be an adaptation of Cinderella - a young, little potential princess who's mother has passed and she's stuck with her Dad. Her Dad isn't the best parental figure to begin with, but then marries a wicked step-mother and along come the wicked step-sisters. To spice things up, Ella has to be obedient due to some crazy fairy who gave her a gift (it kind of reminds me of Disney's Sleeping Beauty). As she gets older, Ella meets a Prince (because this is a fairy tale and that's super important).

This is where I am convinced the movie out does the book - Hugh Dancy is definitely a way better Prince visually than what was described. That is not a hit against the book, but... come on, Hugh Dancy.

Anywho, back to the book - Prince Char is romantic, charming and the ideal Prince, especially for a sassy and headstrong girl like Ella! The two mesh very well, and seem like the ideal pair. Throughout the book, Ella is determined to meet the fairy who gave her this awful gift that forces her to do anything people tell her to, and she will find a way to be normal one way or another.

This book screams strong women and I am totally here for it. I think it's nice to see a fairy tale where the girl doesn't necessarily need the boy to win. There were times my heart hurt for Ella - the cruelty of forcing her to do something... - but the end justified the rest. I also totally enjoyed how smart Ella is - she knows languages so well and seems like a self-sufficient lead. As a re-telling of Cinderella, I think this one hits well.

I did find it a little boring and slow, but I'm convinced it's due to two reasons: I was expecting the book and the movie to be similar (my bad!) and it's not written with me in mind.

I'd recommend reading this book if you love fairy tale adaptations (with a cool twist!), are enjoying middle grade and younger YA reads or just want a sweet, fast tale in your life.

Three out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Aug 4, 2023 |
This seems to be one of those Young Adult books that doesn't really work once you are no longer young. A major pet peeve: the use of exotic languages was overdone; instead of writing things in Gnomic or Elvish and then translating, it would have been a much easier read if it was just "XXXXXXX" Slannen said in Elvish. I had to do some heavy skimming to make it through the book, and even with that it felt like a waste of time. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
A re-read of one of my favorites. Such a good book! ( )
  MandyPS | May 13, 2023 |
I loved this book..The book was way better than the movie :) ( )
  GouriReads | Mar 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Levine, Gail Carsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cetta, AlTypographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elliott, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riegel, EdenReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed



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To David, more tunes.
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That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to put a curse on me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

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Average: (4.09)
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