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Ella Enchanted (1997)

by Gail Carson Levine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Enchanted (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,717386454 (4.09)234
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 Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (Maiasaura)
  4. 30
    The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (infiniteletters)
  5. 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.
  6. 10
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy tale retelling set in an India-like world.
  7. 10
    Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley (Bonzer)
  8. 00
    The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (wordcauldron)
  9. 00
    The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy (wordcauldron)
  10. 00
    The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (wordcauldron)
  11. 00
    Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson (wordcauldron)
  12. 00
    A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde (amanda4242)
  13. 00
    13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  14. 00
    Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (infiniteletters)
  15. 00
    The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (infiniteletters)
  16. 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.
  17. 01
    Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman (meggyweg)
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» See also 234 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)
For a week when I was eleven maybe, when adults would ask me what my favorite book was, I'd proudly announce, "Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine." I liked the author's name the most. I'd rattle on about the summary, not caring if the adult listened. Even back then, I recognized it as a Cinderella remake. When I was fifteen, I was four years into a semi-professional musical theater career that would last another four years until I aged out. A friend of mine had written a play at nineteen, and the theater was backing it. I, along with seven teen girls, was cast as a faery. We noticed right off that the play was "Ella Enchanted" fanfiction. It was super different than the book, but Lucinda the faery had given the human princess the gift-curse of obedience because a younger faery barged in and ruined the ceremony. It's complicated. So anyway, clearly fanfiction, but one that focused heavily on the faeries, even had a faery villain, the humans were just kinda there, and the curse was lifted because the younger faery gave up her immortality for a human man. As an adult, to that I say "...". As a teen, I thought it was a super-cool story, especially since they remained happily married until their deaths. Fast forward fifteen years, and it was against such background that I reread the original book.

I still think this was a clever Cinderella remake. Before I checked this book out from the library, I walked toward a table with new books, thinking, "I have to stop seeing (certain family dynamics) everywhere. I have to stop judging books clearly intended for children against my thoughts as an adult. I need to acknowledge fluff is fluff, and read the fluff to lighten up a little." This book fit all of that quite neatly, and I laughed. It's cute. Mandy was my favorite character. I was delighted that Ella was quite the rebel considering her time, her position, and her curse. I found her clever and resourceful. This book is squarely middle grade, with no real deep messages, which I think is good. "The Hunger Games," in comparison, is YA but easily accessible and interesting to adults, and is quite dark. That's what I mean. I guess one deep message from the book could easily be, 'Be careful what you wish for," but not even that. Reversed, since people are so upset to receive a gift-curse from Lucinda. "Find your way around the curse," I guess, which several of the gift-cursed people did. The ending line was cheesy but final, and I was happy. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 28, 2022 |
Oh I liked it, make no mistake. But it didn't quite manage to grip me all the way through to my bones.

A gutsy protagonist, some lovely humour, nice twists to usual fairy tales. A lot of heart and people being, well, people.

This book was simply lovely.
And had I encountered it when I was younger perhaps it would have had my unwavering devotion. But ALAS! I simply enjoyed myself immensely.

FINAL VERDICT: Recommended ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
Not my kind of book. ( )
  Bookslesstravelled | Apr 15, 2022 |
This is a retelling of Cinderella targeted at middle graders. My daughter really enjoyed it and asked me to read it too. I loved it! I think the most compelling element of the book is the magical world setting. I enjoyed reading about the magical creatures, some are more animal-like and kept in a menagerie, while others have their own colony and habitat. There are fairies, spells, foreign languages, and a magic book. It's also interesting to see how the main character Ella managed her curse, which required her to obey any command she received. She came up with some ingenious ways to get out of undesirable predicaments. And the end of the book is a total page turner, with the three nights of dancing ball at the castle, and the revelation of her identity, and the glass slipper, and other spoiler-alert events that lead to the ending, all happening directly one after another. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
This is a fantasy novel based on the Cinderella Story. This novel has some added mythical creatures that promote students to use their imagination while reading this story. I would use this book with 4th through 8th grade students to promote the love for reading. The vocabulary is easy to understand, and the story is engaging and easy to follow. In this story, Ella, the main character, received a curse by a fairy. when she was a baby, she would always cry, so the spell was for Ella to be obedient. The first command was to stop crying and she did. But when Ella was growing up, she noticed how the simplest commands started to bother her and annoy her because she couldn't refuse to obey. With this book, students will learn that although we want to do something good for someone, sometimes our choices are not the right choices for the other person. And also, it is important to make our own choices. ( )
  karlah1 | Feb 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 385 (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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