Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guest Review - Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Viv da Costa is the owner of Serendipity Reviews.  She pretends to be a badass but she's not really.  Instead she is lovely and kind and knows me far too well.  When I asked her to review something from her bookshelf for Under 14s Only she got a twinkle in her eye and offered me Ella Enchanted as she knows how much I love fairytale reworkings.  I have my own copy of Ella Enchanted and I know a movie was made out of the book, but I've not read it or watched the movie.  Which I will do, especially now that I've read Viv's review of the book.

Opening lines

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.’

I stopped.

If only Lucinda had not been so foolish, Ella would not be cursed with continuous obedience. Ella tries so hard to stop the curse from taking hold of her and attempts such defiance it makes her ill with each attempt. As more people surrounding her begin to realise she will do anything she is told to do, life becomes unbearable for Ella. Ella must find a way to break the curse so that she can lead a normal life again.

Ella Enchanted is a humorous and entertaining retelling of Cinderella. I almost felt like the old fairy tale and had been whipped up into a whirlwind with hilarious scenes being sucked into it, producing an adorable new version of the story to entertain the modern children of today.

Oh how I loved Ella. She is just such a wonderfully warm hearted character with the greatest sense of humour ever. Anyone else afflicted with such a curse would be fleeing to the forest in search of a new life as a recluse, yet Ella just keeps attempting to fight the curse, even though with each attempt life becomes just that little bit more unbearable. You can see straight away why the Prince would be interested in Ella, as she such a breath of fresh air, in comparison to the other girls in the court. She almost glimmers on the page with her spirited sense of adventure.

Lucinda’s continuous path of destruction had me in hysterics. She is so unaware of all the damage she causes with all her so called ‘gifts’ that it isn’t until she experiences them herself that she realises how damaging her own goodness really is.

The humorous scenes just keep on flowing throughout the story and you find yourself sniggering away at the daft incidents that occur. The quirky secondary characters make the book so entertaining. I am not sure who I loved the most – the ogres or the ugly step sisters!

Normally I don’t like to see the film version before I have read the book, however this is one of my daughter’s favourite films, so I didn’t have a choice. Though on reading the book, I found I loved the printed version of the story so much more and I wished they had not changed it so drastically for the film.

I loved this book and would highly recommend it to adults and children to read. By the end of the book, I can guarantee that you come away feeling so happy and contended at such an adorable read. This book definitely brightened my day. This book is a comfort read that will be enjoyed over and over again for years to come.

I would recommend this to readers aged 9+.

What a fab write-up! I also realised that I've got a copy of Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine...I feel a fairy tale readathon coming on.  Thanks Viv for visiting us at MFB.


Jenni @ Juniper's Jungle said...

Other than being aware of the existence of both versions I didn't really know anything about them. Think I'll be giving at least the book version of this a go.

Unknown said...

Oh Viv I love the way you review. I havent read the book but adore the movie :D

Raimy from Readaraptor Hatchling said...

awww I really want to read this one now! I've seen the movie before and loved it but didn't realise it was a book until recently!

Alex @ The Blethering Bookworm said...

I loved Ella Enchanted and I was so excited about the film. IMHO it murdered the book and turned it into some kind of...of...there isn't even a word.

But the book is brilliant. :)