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Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

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Ella Enchanted

4.5/5 (323 peringkat)
260 pages
3 hours
Dec 26, 2012

Catatan Editor

A reimagined Cinderella…

A fun-filled adventure following a feisty heroine that reimagines Cinderella with many satisfying twists and turns. Even though she’s cursed to obey orders, Ella has a free spirit that’s impossible not to admire.


Written by Scribd Editors

As a baby, Ella of Frell's fairy godmother grants her the gift of obedience. In all the other fairy tales, the fairy godmothers give blessings. But this gift is not as wonderful as the fairy godmother seems to think. Ella can't help but obey every command given to her. This blessing soon begins to feel like a curse, and Ella is determined to break it.

To protect herself, Ella can't tell anyone about the curse. Only her family and very close friends know about it, and they also see the danger that it puts Ella in. If the wrong person were to find out about her curse, they could use Ella as a puppet and make her do terrible things. Can Ella break the curse before her secret gets out?

Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted is a winner of the Newbery Medal because of Ella's inspiring spirit and the incredible adventure that is her quest. Encountering all kinds of magic, dangerous creatures, and handsome princes, Ella learns how to stand up for herself and fights for the right to make her own choices in this treasured young adult fairy tale.

Dec 26, 2012

Tentang penulis

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

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Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine


To David. More Tunes.



A Foreword from Gail Carson Levine

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine


Extras from Ella Enchanted

Ella by Any Other Name

Elementary Ella

The Unseen Scene

Gnomic Spoken Here: The Languages of Ella Enchanted

A Sneak Peek at Gail Carson Levine’s Next Novel, A Tale of Two Castles

Back Ads

About the Author

Books by Gail Carson Levine



About the Publisher


A butterfly—just being itself, obeying no commands from a misguided fairy—flaps its wings in your backyard, and a few weeks later, a hurricane brews over a distant ocean. But no wing flap, no hurricane. It’s called chaos theory. This happens; surprise! that happens. You overhear something—say, about broccoli—when you’re three. Five years later, you stumble over an untied shoelace. Twelve years later, you pick your college major, music therapy. You can’t see how, but without those precipitating events, your major and the life that follows would be different. Maybe worse, maybe better, but different.

Same with the origins of Ella Enchanted.

I wasn’t born reading. I learned at the usual time, in first grade, and I was hooked. The butterfly flapped its wings. My grandmother warned that too much reading would ruin my eyesight, but I couldn’t hear her over the chatter of characters.

Reading became less important only than breathing. I used to ask myself odd questions, like whether I’d rather lose my hearing or my eyesight. Easy. Hearing could go—there were no audio books back then.

Or whether I’d rather be unable to speak or unable to read. I really liked to talk, so that one was unanswerable.

From my birth until my sister at long last left for college, she and I shared a bedroom (though she would much rather have had another turtle). She was five years older and could—and did—dream up tricks and tortures that inevitably took me by surprise. I was too young to retaliate, so I just endured.

Nowadays, she’s such a decent, kind person, I can hardly believe she would ever have tortured a fellow being—but I have the scars. For example, my left thumb is still a little peculiar looking.

Might she be the prototype Lucinda? She had all the power, and she was untroubled about the possible effects of her magic.

Reading was my sole privacy, because no one can join you in a book, not even a tormenting sister. In our cramped New York City apartment, the most private place was the bathroom, where I spent hours reading, to the dismay of everybody else—because we had only one!

If it had writing, I read it: cereal boxes, ads on the subway, billboards, highway signs. I don’t remember ever disliking a book. I read biographies and bible tales and realistic fiction, mostly classics by long-dead authors, like Heidi, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables. And I read the fantasy that was available then, crumbs compared with the abundance kids have now: fairy tales, myths, tall tales, and Mark Twain’s fabulous time-traveling A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

If I loved a book or a story I read it again and again, many times over. Under hypnosis, I think I could recite both Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice by heart in their entirety. The butterfly flapped its wings again and language seeped into me. Good writing, I believe, organized my thoughts. One of my worries before Ella Enchanted was released was that, without realizing, I had plagiarized whole sentences, paragraphs, and pages from my favorite books. If I did, though, I’ve never been caught!

One more butterfly flap that I’m aware of is my luck in parents and even in having a sister. My dad, though smart, never finished high school, while my mother graduated from college at sixteen. My mom was the first in my father’s family, by birth or marriage, to finish or even attend college. Dad, who was humble about himself, was crazy proud of her excellent brain, and our brains, too. It would never have occurred to either of my parents that their daughters couldn’t do anything we set our minds to. They wouldn’t have thought to put it this way, but they believed in girl power.

Girl power zooms straight to Ella, who has the confidence to rebel and keep rebelling, using her brain and her ingenuity, until she earns her—happy? Well, I won’t give it away—ending.


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.

Father was away on a trading expedition as usual, but our cook, Mandy, was there. She and Mother were horrified, but no matter how they explained it to Lucinda, they couldn’t make her understand the terrible thing she’d done to me. I could picture the argument: Mandy’s freckles standing out sharper than usual, her frizzy gray hair in disarray, and her double chin shaking with anger; Mother still and intense, her brown curls damp from labor, the laughter gone from her eyes.

I couldn’t imagine Lucinda. I didn’t know what she looked like.

She wouldn’t undo the curse.

My first awareness of it came on my fifth birthday. I seem to remember that day perfectly, perhaps because Mandy told the tale so often.

For your birthday, she’d start, I baked a beautiful cake. Six layers.

Bertha, our head maid, had sewn a special gown for me. Blue as midnight with a white sash. You were small for your age even then, and you looked like a china doll, with a white ribbon in your black hair and your cheeks red from excitement.

In the middle of the table was a vase filled with flowers that Nathan, our manservant, had picked.

We all sat around the table. (Father was away again.) I was thrilled. I had watched Mandy bake the cake and Bertha sew the gown and Nathan pick the flowers.

Mandy cut the cake. When she handed me my piece, she said without thinking, Eat.

The first bite was delicious. I finished the slice happily. When it was gone, Mandy cut another. That one was harder. When it was gone, no one gave me more, but I knew I had to keep eating. I moved my fork into the cake itself.

Ella, what are you doing? Mother said.

Little piggy. Mandy laughed. It’s her birthday, Lady. Let her have as much as she wants. She put another slice on my plate.

I felt sick, and frightened. Why couldn’t I stop eating?

Swallowing was a struggle. Each bite weighed on my tongue and felt like a sticky mass of glue as I fought to get it down. I started crying while I ate.

Mother realized first. Stop eating, Ella, she commanded.

I stopped.

Anyone could control me with an order. It had to be a direct command, such as Put on a shawl, or You must go to bed now. A wish or a request had no effect. I was free to ignore I wish you would put on a shawl, or Why don’t you go to bed now? But against an order I was powerless.

If someone told me to hop on one foot for a day and a half, I’d have to do it. And hopping on one foot wasn’t the worst order I could be given. If you commanded me to cut off my own head, I’d have to do it.

I was in danger at every moment.

As I grew older, I learned to delay my obedience, but each moment cost me dear—in breathlessness, nausea, dizziness, and other complaints. I could never hold out for long. Even a few minutes were a desperate struggle.

I had a fairy godmother, and Mother asked her to take the curse away. But my fairy godmother said Lucinda was the only one who could remove it. However, she also said it might be broken someday without Lucinda’s help.

But I didn’t know how. I didn’t even know who my fairy godmother was.

Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.

Mother rarely insisted I do anything. Father knew nothing of the curse and saw me too infrequently to issue many commands. But Mandy was bossy, giving orders almost as often as she drew breath. Kind orders or for-your-own-good orders. Bundle up, Ella. Or Hold this bowl while I beat the eggs, sweet.

I disliked these commands, harmless as they were. I’d hold the bowl, but move my feet so she would have to follow me around the kitchen. She’d call me minx and try to hem me in with more specific instructions, which I would find new ways to evade. Often, it was a long business to get anything done between us, with Mother laughing and egging each of us on by turn.

We’d end happily—with me finally choosing to do what Mandy wanted, or with Mandy changing her order to a request.

When Mandy would absentmindedly give me an order I knew she didn’t mean, I’d say, Do I have to? And she’d reconsider.

When I was eight, I had a friend, Pamela, the daughter of one of the servants. One day she and I were in the kitchen, watching Mandy make marchpane. When Mandy sent me to the pantry for more almonds, I returned with only two. She ordered me back with more exact instructions, which I followed exactly, while still managing to frustrate her true wishes.

Later, when Pamela and I retreated to the garden to devour the candy, she asked why I hadn’t done what Mandy wanted straight off.

I hate when she’s bossy, I answered.

Pamela said smugly, I always obey my elders.

That’s because you don’t have to.

I do have to, or Father will slap me.

It’s not the same as for me. I’m under a spell. I enjoyed the importance of the words. Spells were rare. Lucinda was the only fairy rash enough to cast them on people.

Like Sleeping Beauty?

Except I won’t have to sleep for a hundred years.

What’s your spell?

I told her.

If anybody gives you an order, you have to obey? Including me?

I nodded.

Can I try it?

No. I hadn’t anticipated this. I changed the subject. I’ll race you to the gate.

All right, but I command you to lose the race.

Then I don’t want to race.

I command you to race, and I command you to lose.

We raced. I lost.

We picked berries. I had to give Pamela the sweetest, ripest ones. We played princesses and ogres. I had to be the ogre.

An hour after my admission, I punched her. She screamed, and blood poured from her nose.

Our friendship ended that day. Mother found Pamela’s mother a new situation far from our town of Frell.

After punishing me for using my fist, Mother issued one of her infrequent commands: never to tell anyone about my curse. But I wouldn’t have anyway. I had learned caution.

When I was almost fifteen, Mother and I caught cold. Mandy dosed us with her curing soup, made with carrots, leeks, celery, and hair from a unicorn’s tail. It was delicious, but we both hated to see those long yellow-white hairs floating around the vegetables.

Since Father was away from Frell, we drank the soup sitting up in Mother’s bed. If he had been home, I wouldn’t have been in her room at all. He didn’t like me to be anywhere near him, getting underfoot, as he said.

I sipped my soup with the hairs in it because Mandy had said to, even though I grimaced at the soup and at Mandy’s retreating back.

I’ll wait for mine to cool, Mother said. Then, after Mandy left, she took the hairs out while she ate and put them back in the empty bowl when she was done.

The next day I was well and Mother was much worse, too sick to drink or eat anything. She said there was a knife in her throat and a battering ram at her head. To make her feel better, I put cool cloths on her forehead and told her stories. They were only old, familiar tales about the fairies that I changed here and there, but sometimes I made Mother laugh. Except the laugh would turn into a cough.

Before Mandy sent me off for the night, Mother kissed me. Good night. I love you, precious.

They were her last words to me. As I left the room, I heard her last words to Mandy. I’m not very sick. Don’t send for Sir Peter.

Sir Peter was Father.

The next morning, she was awake, but dreaming. With wide-open eyes, she chattered to invisible courtiers and plucked nervously at her silver necklace. To Mandy and me, there in the room with her, she said nothing.

Nathan, the manservant, got the physician, who hurried me away from Mother’s side.

Our hallway was empty. I followed it to the spiral staircase and walked down, remembering the times Mother and I had slid down the banister.

We didn’t do it when people were around. We have to be dignified, she would whisper then, stepping down the stairs in an especially stately way. And I would follow, mimicking her and fighting my natural clumsiness, pleased to be part of her game.

But when we were alone, we preferred to slide and yell all the way down. And run back up for another ride, and a third, and a fourth.

When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I pulled our heavy front door open and slipped out into bright sunshine.

It was a long walk to the old castle, but I wanted to make a wish, and I wanted to make it in the place where it would have the best chance of being granted.

The castle had been abandoned when King Jerrold was a boy, although it was reopened on special occasions, for private balls, weddings, and the like. Even so, Bertha said it was haunted, and Nathan said it was infested with mice. Its gardens were overgrown, but Bertha swore the candle trees had power.

I went straight to the candle grove. The candles were small trees that had been pruned and tied to wires to make them grow in the shape of candelabra.

For wishes you need trading material. I closed my eyes and thought.

If Mother gets well quick, I’ll be good, not just obedient. I’ll try harder not to be clumsy and I won’t tease Mandy so much.

I didn’t bargain for Mother’s life, because I didn’t believe she was in danger of dying.


Leaving behind a grieving husband and child. We must comfort them. High Chancellor Thomas wound down after droning on for almost an hour. Some of his speech had been about Mother. At least, the words Lady Eleanor" were spoken often, but the person they described—dutiful parent, loyal citizen, steadfast spouse—sounded more like the high chancellor than like my mother. Part of the speech had been about dying, but more was about giving allegiance to Kyrria and its rulers, King Jerrold, Prince Charmont, and the entire royal family.

Father reached for my hand. His palm was moist and hot as a hydra’s swamp. I wished I had been allowed to stand with Mandy and the other servants.

I pulled out of his grasp and moved a step away. He closed the distance between us and took my hand again.

Mother’s casket was made of gleaming mahogany carved with designs of fairies and elves. If only the fairies could leap out of the wood and cast a spell to bring her back to life. And another one to send Father away. Or maybe my fairy godmother would do it, if I knew where to find her.

When the high chancellor finished, it was my task to close the casket so Mother could be lowered into her grave. Father put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me forward.

Mother’s mouth was stern, the opposite of its look in life. And her face was empty, which was awful. But worse was the creak as the coffin lid went down and the dry click when it closed. And the thought of Mother packed away in a box.

The tears I had swallowed all day erupted. I stood there before the whole court, crying in an infant’s endless wail, unable to stop myself.

Father pressed my face into his chest. Perhaps he appeared to be comforting me, but he was only trying to muffle my noise, which couldn’t be muffled. He let me go. In a sharp whisper, he said, Get away from here. Come back when you can be quiet.

For once I was glad to obey. I ran.

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  • (4/5)
    I'm not a fan of fairy tales, so I put off reading this book for a long time. I am a reader who picks up every Newbery Honor and Winning book when I can, so I knew that eventually I would have to end up with this book in my hands.Why did I wait so long? I mean sure, there are some fairy tale like parts that drove me nuts, but I simply loved this story. Ella was so intelligent and resourceful and held relationships with characters that you don't normally expect in a fairy tale type setting, and the cultures were amazingly thought out and well depicted in such a short space of text that it blew my mind, especially when it comes to knowing younger readers are the target audience, not adults.I have not seen the movie, but I have heard the book is much better. I can believe it with all my heart.
  • (4/5)
    Spoiler alert???I feel silly, but I didn't realize until quite late in the book that this is a retelling of "Cinderella"! I think it was that late realization that was most enjoyable to me, so perhaps if you knew it ahead of time it wouldn't have that pleasant surprise.As a retelling I found this to be very creative and imaginative. I liked the protagonist, who was a princess of sorts, yet still a strong character. To be honest, as an adult I felt a little uneasy with the thought of a young girl who was cursed to always be obedient, since such a girl in the real world would be taken advantage of in terrible ways. But I'm guessing most young readers won't "go there," so it's perhaps not an issue.The curse in this story is a unique premise, making it quite an original story even with its Cinderella roots.Probably would appeal more to girls, even though some good adventure and even peril is included. There is a mix of good and bad characters, and I found it interesting that Ella's father is portrayed negatively. In fact, it is interesting that there are a number of "bad" characters, but they are negative for different reasons.Ideas for writing: - Thinking through the consequences of decisions before you act on them. - What "wrinkle" could you add to or change in a familiar story to make something new out of something old? - Which characters were good and which were bad? Why? Are there some who are hard to define as good or bad?
  • (4/5)
    In Ella Enchanted, Ella has the gift (or curse) of obedience. She is the major character in the story. She is a dynamic character. She has her curse lifted from her because she tells her self that she will not be obedient. She is the protagonist in the story because she does everything that everyone says and people find out about the curse and use it against her. She is a round character because her personality is huge she is very kind and loving and has power that she doesn't know about.
  • (5/5)
    Ella Enchanted, a book by Gail Carson Levine, is quite an interesting book. Physically, it is attractive and appealing to young readers. The book cover is of a young vibrant girl staring straight ahead with a determination in her eyes. The title is written in an elegant font. The font of the text is adequate and easy to read. The writer’s style of writing and language in the novel are outstanding for the audience. At Ella of Frell’s birth, she is bestowed with the gift of obedience by the fairy Lucinda. Anything anyone demands her to do, she must comply. But following her mother‘s order, Ella is forbidden to reveal her secret to anyone. Her neglectful father remarries a greedy woman with two equally wicked daughters, Hattie and Olive, whom Ella is forced to attend finishing school with. However once Hattie discovers Ella’s secret, Ella had only one option. She escaped from boarding school and found Lucinda in order to remove the curse. Ella befriends Char, prince of the kingdom and finds herself falling in love. However, frightened by the danger she might put the kingdom in; she suppresses her feelings in the hope that the spell can be undone. With the help of her cook and fairy godmother, Mandy, Ella is finally able to locate Lucinda; unfortunately the fairy refuses to take back her gift. A distraught Ella is forced to become a servant in her own household. Nevertheless, when the prince demands her hand in marriage, Ella is conflicted until her abrupt refusal of his offer. This breaks the curse and allows young Ella to move away from her horrid family, and finally marry the man she loves. I immensely enjoyed this novel. I found it to be a colourful and original retelling of the beloved classic Cinderella. The author, Gail Carson Levine, creates a strong intelligent protagonist, who doesn’t simply accept her tragic fate but ventures on her own to find the fairy hoping that the curse will be broken. Levine weaves a story compiled of rich dynamic characters, in a retelling filled with twists and turns. This tale is filled with suspense and is sure to captivate the reader’s interest from beginning to end. It is suitable for young adults and can be appreciated by many readers. This was an excellent novel with an everlasting and meaningful message the resonates throughout the story.
  • (5/5)

    I loved this book! What a charming, engaging, and funny read!

    Originally I'd seen the movie, and it wasn't only my sister that often quipped that the book was much better than the movie version (a rule that I live by regardless) but my best friend too supported my sister's words, telling me she'd really enjoyed the book herself. When my sister took this one out of the library, I eventually lifted it from her pile to check it out, and I am not disappointed.

    This is a book that basically slaps the movie version in the face and sends it to the dark side of the moon where no one should look for it, or even give a second thought to it. How much more would I have enjoyed this book if the movie's bullcrap didn't keep popping into my head! Thankfully I was able to shove aside the movie in general and read without trying to assume anything.

    And man was this a good read! Let me talk about Ella for a second, our main character. She is strong, passionate, intelligent, and quirky! She has such a quick wit and half the time I'm either smirking because of the inventive ways she gets back at people for the situations they put her into, or I'm laughing and smiling because she's confidant and bold, but considerate! I don't think I've ever been more amazed at the number of times that a character has looked at their own curse and thought of how it would affect other people. Ella, time and time again, saw the way her curse would affect those she cared about and made heart-wrenching sacrifices in order to protect both friends and loved ones from the horrors that could have been dealt had her curse been used against those she found dear. There were moments that had me close to tears because the things she willingly gave up were the deepest and most innocent desires of her heart. Yet she did it of her own free will, to legitimately protect these people. And not in the way that some girls do when they say they're doing it for someone else's benefit and they're actually just twisting people's arms and making their lives difficult so they'll have to pay attention to them. -_- ...ANYWAY~!

    Char's wonderful as well! Towards one part at the near end of the book he authentically made me fall for him, and yet just like in one of his letters, I loved the fact that he had faults, and that he was upset about things, just like normal people. He was a great character, but he wasn't even trying to be anything close to a perfect guy. I love that quality in any potential love interests a book or story might have. Mandy was also fantastic, and for the short time that she was alive, Ella's mother and namesake Eleanor was also wonderful. There's an entire cast of loveable characters here, and you've got the bad ones that do nothing but wreck vengeance on others through their own selfish desires. However this mix makes it all an exciting read in the end.

    If you want a fun, exciting, enjoyable story to read, this is definitely one you should pick up. It's got plenty of delights and a lot reasonable antagonists to supply the chaotic element that makes all the good parts really come to light. It's a quick and easy read, and it's one you'll love to go back to for seconds. I actually recommend buying this book right off if you enjoy fantasy, and fairytale stories. And for those who are particular fans of Cinderella and retellings, this is definitely a buy for you.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite books as a child. Cinderella is set in a different world, where giants and fairies roam, and even Ella herself is enchanted. The movie really puts this wonderful book to shame, so give it another try and read the real story!
  • (3/5)
    Twist on the classic story of Cinderella involving a godmother who places an unintentional curse of obedience on Ella. Ella has to try to break the curse so she may marry her true love.
  • (4/5)
    A magical tale! This is a great retelling of a fairy tale.
  • (4/5)
    Newbery Honor-winning Ella Enchanted is a charming fairy tale about a young woman who finds herself and romance as she seeks to undo a curse that has plagued her since she was a young girl. Because of the curse Ella always does what anyone tellers to do eventually Ella tries to break away the curse but her life gets more awful when her father marries a horrible woman who has equally horrible daughters. Ella Enchanted stuck to the original story Cinderella but had twists and turns in it. I thought the emotion in the book was handled nicely. Overall I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. It’s great for young children aged 8-12.
  • (3/5)
    Fun playing the spot the fairy tale in this one. Mostly a Cinderella story.
  • (5/5)
    Ella Enchanted is the story of a young girl with a curse: she has to obey any order she is given. She loses her mother and encounters all sorts of peril, ranging from jealous stepsisters to finishing school, to greasy, bloodthirsty ogres, to love. Will she find the strength within herself to break the curse?The book is a wonderful revival of the classic story of Cinderella. I found the characters to be fairly well developed but a tad hyperbolic. The writing is at times a bit sophomoric as well, but the plot is complex and witty. I enjoyed the book immensely as a child and still appreciate it as an adult. Definitely a good read for children 8-13.
  • (3/5)
    This is a clever take on the classic Cinderella story that will have readers wondering where the next plot part they remember comes in. The prince and Ella fall in love before the ball. I would recommend this to any student.
  • (4/5)
    Ella was given "the gift" of obedience at birth by a fairy. But as Ella grows up, she realizes how much of a curse this is, anyone could order her to do anything! She decides to go on a quest to break the spell once and for all, and on the way, she begins finding out who she really is. This is a great book about a spunky young girl looking for independence!
  • (4/5)
    What a lovely little book. And a perfect idea to make the curse one of obedience... It's the perfect way to make Cinderella come out of the story spunky instead of sacchrine while still being completely under the thumb of her stepmother and stepsisters.Almost every book I think worthwhile (fiction... emotionally worthwhile) has some section I find painful and difficult to read. In this it was the bit where Ella is ordered to be happy, and that funny dreadful scene following where she happily tries to love the awful old man.I wonder, though: why couldn't someone order her to not be obedient?
  • (3/5)
    Retelling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Here, our heroine, Ella, is mischievous, funny, and adventurous. She is given the "gift" of obedience when she is born which turns out to be a curse that she fights against her whole life. Her relationship with her Prince is a much more realistic one than that of the fairy tale. She and Char meet much earlier than the fated ball and develop a friendship first from which a love grows. Funny, charming, and slightly more realistic than the original, if fantastical creatures can be accepted as realistic.
  • (4/5)
    A cute youth fantasy / fairytale story. Ella was enchanted by a fairy at birth - cursed is more like it. She HAS TO obey any and every command she is given. Her mother tries to shield her but after she dies, Ella is at the mercy of her selfish father. The ending very much reads like Cinderella - with the glass slipper, fairy godmother, and pumpkin coach with mice horses. I would have liked more originality - considering how Ella herself was so unique. The extra fairy tale creatures were a nice touch. All in all - I really liked this story. 4 stars.
  • (4/5)
    This is a rather free adaptation of Cinderella, free enough that much of the time it's hard to recognize the original fairy tale underpinning the story. It attempts to explain Ella's almost psychotically obedient behavior through most of the tale, and in the process produces an interesting and charming story.

    When Ella was born, a more than usually disconnected fairy godmother gave her the "gift" of obedience, and not all the pleading and explanations of Ella's mother or other fairies could persuade her to remove this terrible gift. Over the course of her childhood, Ella gets very good at manipulating the limits of the curse, but when directly ordered to do something specific, she has to do it. This includes handing over her most treasured possessions to her hated new stepsisters after her father remarries, or hopping on one foot for an entire day, or cutting her own head off.

    The foolish fairy, Lucinda, continues to pop in at inopportune moments, giving the very practical and money-minded Sir Peter (Ella's father) and his new wife Olga the "gift" of always loving each other, and very loving giant couple the "gift" of always being together, and other benignly-intended curses. Meanwhile, since Ms. Levine doesn't buy the idea of Ella and Prince Charming falling in love at first sight across a crowded dance floor, they meet for the first time at Ella's mother's funeral, and build a closer acquaintance over several years. And Ella, being a decent, kindly, friendly girl, makes other friends, at the boarding school she and her hated stepsisters are sent to (where the elder stepsister makes a virtual slave of Ella, having accidentally discovered her secret,) and among the elves and the giants when in desperation she runs away from school, hoping that her father, who doesn't love her, but does grudgingly admire her strength of character, will help her find the fairy and get the curse lifted, or at least not send her back to school.

    It's a pleasant and interesting variation on Cinderella, with a serious attempt at making the courtship between the merchant's daughter and the prince somewhat plausible.
  • (5/5)
    One of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE books as a child. So much better than the movie, don't even compare it to that, as the only things they had in common were the characters names and the basic idea of an obedience curse. Even though I'm older now, I still go back and read this at least once a year.
  • (3/5)
    I always heard of Ella Enchanted. My sister got me to watch the movie with her recently and I loved the movie! I decided to borrow the book from the library. I have to say, the book is nothing like the movie! The movie is so different and better. I think I hated the book because I saw the movie first. I don't get the hype. Why does everyone think the book is amazing? The book was boring. I friend told me the book was amazing. I liked the fairytale genre of the book. The book was cool because the main character is under a curse and has to obey everyone. It sounded like a good book but I just didn't like it. As soon as I read the first page, there was something about the writing style that I didn't like. Maybe I'm too old for the book because the book was meant for younger kids to read. There was also a different language used in the book and I didn't get it. The other thing that bugged me was, people said the book is too much like Cinderella and I agree. I also thought the book was depressing. Throughout the whole book Ella is being tortured by her evil stepsister. Her Dad wasn't around much and Char wasn't with Ella that much either. There's supposed to be a romance between Char and Ella but it didn't seem real to me. They were more like friends than lovers. When Char was gone him and Ella wrote each other letters back and forth. I also feel this book was more tell than show. The author is supposed to show the readers what happens instead of telling you everything. I did like some parts of the book. I liked it once I got to page 200. I liked how the author wrote in first person. I'm the only one who didn't like this book. The movie was so much better! I recommend anyone to read this but beware, if you're older this book may be boring. I recommend watching the movie instead. Anne Hathaway did a great job as Ella. I give this book 3 stars because I'm not harsh.
  • (4/5)

    This was a really cute young adult twist on the Cinderella fairy tale. Ella was a feisty character even in the worst circumstances. The narrator for this audiobook (Eden Riegel) did an excellent job narrating the story. She captured the characters perfectly. She played the stepsisters so well, I actually had to stop myself from throwing my phone in exasperation at Hattie. I'm definitely sharing this with the girls in my classroom. They'll love Ella fighting back against her obedience curse. I just hope they don't get any ideas to use against me.

  • (5/5)
    This is what young adults should be reading! Not that trashy, empty stuff with main characters too pathetic to call heroines. This was an adorable book and a unique take on Cinderella. Ella was cursed at birth--she has to follow any orders given her. When people find out about the curse, they quickly learn to use it to their advantage. She's either rebellious by nature or because she needed to rebel against the curse to prevent feeling like a puppet, but her refreshing sass shines throughout the book. It had many of the elements that other YA fiction has these days: magic, adventure, and young love. But it contained so much that those other books don't: a coherent story, a creative world, actual character development, and a strong, willful heroine. Ella thinks for herself, she looks out for herself, and she cares about doing the right thing.This is a high caliber book written for high caliber young people.
  • (5/5)
    I truly enjoyed reading this book. I really liked that the whole story was about an adventure to find the person who put this curse on Ella. I also liked that there was a romantic aspect to this book. The one thing i didn't like about this book was the cover of this book. It made me feel like Ella was much younger than she was supposed to be. The main idea of this book is to overcome obstacles that you have been faced with and rise above it.
  • (5/5)
    My favorite book!
  • (4/5)
    Ella is a girl who has to do everything she's told. So, when she goes to try and break this "gift" she has some very interesting adventures.i liked this book a lot better than the movie and I really felt that I knew the characters.
  • (4/5)
    Ella Enchanted is the story of a girl living in the kingdom of Frell who was blessed (or rather cursed) by the fairy Lucinda with the "gift" of obedience when she was an infant. As a result, she must obey any direct order given to her, which proves to be a significant handicap, especially when dealing with hungry ogres (who apparently can read one's mind), nasty stepsisters, or evil stepmothers.Despite her handicap, Ella manages to be rebellious and strong-willed, concealing her weakness as best she can, and figuring out how to pervert the intent of orders given to her that she doesn't want to obey. On the way, she wins the heart of the prince of Frell (although she has to give him up, for fear that her curse will cause him trouble should htey get married), lives through many adventures and escapes, and generally makes her way in a world that isn't very kind to her.As this is a fairy tale, in the end, Lucinda gets her comeuppance, and Ella's step-relatives are left behind when she breaks her curse. On the other hand, Lucinda's reform leaves the people she inflicted her "blessings" on as bad off as they were before, which is somehwat disturbing. Ella manages to break her curse in the end. The story does a good job of showing just how scary a world in which magic worked could be, even if that magic is well-intentioned.The book is fairly linear, following Ella about - and at some points highlights the usefulness of Ella's curse: she is able to learn things quite quickly, provided someone tells her to do so. Being a teenager, she hates even this benefit, which makes her character feel all the more real, although she avoids becoming bitter or angry as a result of her condition. In Ella, one finds a heroine that is both admirable and relatable. Overall, this is one of the best books aimed at young girls that I have read. Recommended for any preteen girl.
  • (4/5)
    My review contains some spoilers.I read this book because a friend of mine promised it was nothing like the film. I'm very glad she convinced me. Ella Enchanted is a charming tale with just enough action and adventure to balance the gooey bits. Ella is one of the most well-developed and realistic female protagonists I have encountered in fiction. I especially love her linguistic prowess. While I thoroughly enjoyed the tale, I can't give it a higher rating because I felt the author did herself a disservice by coloring within the lines too often. Readers could have done without the Cinderella tropes and story line and the marriage of a fifteen year-old girl is unsettling. However, the reference to characters being non-white was definitely a positive attribute, although it would have been even better if Ella herself had been a PoC. I also praise Levine for her portrayal of the father as being the not-at-all storybook hero we expect. My biggest complaint, though... why the plot hole with the mother's death? Logistically she needed to die in order to advance the plot, but not letting readers know why she did not eat the unicorn hair in order to recover from her illness seems rather sloppy or, at least, needlessly vague. Overall, I intend to hand this book down to any young girls I may encounter who enjoy fantasy.My younger brother was assigned this book in school and I can now understand why he didn't enjoy it. While the story itself is enjoyable, it would be hard for boys to understand the limitations and expectations of a young woman and it definitely would be hard for most young boys to identify with the patriarchal issues Ella faces.
  • (4/5)
    The book was great; avoid the terrible movie adaptation.
  • (3/5)
    Cute story.
  • (4/5)
    Because this book deals with languages and is a fairy-tale at heart, I highly recommend the audio version. I heard it before I read it, and I really think that helped me to love it all the more.
  • (5/5)
    Ella Enchanted deals with fairies and magic, so it is a fantasy. The character of Ella develops thoughout the story. She is cursed by always having to obey commands she is given. She fights the urge to obey through the whole story, but always begins to feel sick and obeys. Finally she is ordered to marry the prince with whom she has fallen in love. She is conflicted between her love for him and the danger she would put him and her country in by marrying him. Ella says no and finally breaks the spell of obedience. She had to find something she loved enough to break the horrible spell, and she did-- the prince and her city.