Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (movie review)

Genre: Fairytale (MG/YA)

Publication Date: January 1997

One Word Review: Enchanting

Author Website:

First Line: “That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me.”

GoodReads Synopsis: At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way.

Kathy’s Review: My friend Deb was shocked to see that I hadn’t read Ella Enchanted yet, knowing how much I love fairytales. Cinderella is actually my favorite fairytale and I’ve had my eye on Ella Enchanted for awhile, but never got around to reading it. I think part of the reason was because I didn’t really like the movie version, with Anne Hathaway. Deb assured me the book was much better, and since I trust her judgment I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed.

Ella Enchanted was a very fun read. It had the fairytale feel to it throughout and was a great retelling of Cinderella. It had some of the traditional aspects of the original Cinderella, but was also very unique. I liked the idea that Ella had been “cursed” with obedience. What an awful gift to receive, it could really get you into some tough situations. Although, in some ways I think the gift also gave Ella a lot of blessings. She was able to learn things rather quickly, helped her enhance her natural talents and while it would be a burden it probably taught her a lot about compassion and eventually help her to be a better Queen. I liked Ella’s character as well as the Prince (although, I didn’t like his name). I thought they had a cute relationship. I liked that they were friends first and built on that friendship until they were both in love. The story was really sweet and well written. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairytales. I’m even tempted to re-watch the movie, although if I remember right they made quite a few changes from the book.

Cover Comments: I have not been able to find a cover that I really like. I chose this one because its cute, although I think the girl looks a lot younger than Ella (who is around 15-16).

Bookworm Rating: 5

(Updated) Movie Review: I just got done watching the movie version of Ella Enchanted and thought I’d add it to the Read a Book See a Movie Challenge.

Three words come to mind when I think of the movie: Cheesy, Disappointing, and as my friend Janssen said Lame. I’m used to books being better than the movie; Hollywood tends to make changes to characters or plot lines and in this case they went WAY overboard with this one and the end result was just ridiculous. I remember now why I hated the movie so much and was reluctant to read the book. They try and mix too much modern elements with a fairytale setting. The music was awful, the script (and re-written plot) was dumb, and the acting and dialog were also poorly done. If you couldn’t tell by now, I didn’t like the movie. The book was so cute and the story was great, I can understand if some things need to be changed for a movie, but again they went OVERBOARD. I was hoping for another Ever After (great movie) and I guess I set my expectations too high. So, I would recommend the book and skip the movie.


  1. Nice review! I liked this book, too. I'd seen the movie first, and I was struck by how different the book was. So different, really, that they're not really comparable. I like both; they each have their good points.

    If you liked this one, you might like Gail Carson Levine's other fairy tale books: The Two Princesses of Bamarre and Fairest. The first is an original story (as far as I can tell); the second is based on Snow White.

  2. This is one of my very favorite books. . . . I made my husband read it and he loved it too. Tragically, the movie is insanely lame.

  3. I LOVE this book. It's honestly one of my absolute favourites and I've read it so many times. What I really enjoyed was how Levine took the Cinderella fairy tale and really put a spin on it and even created her own fairy tale-ish world where anything was possible.
    I completely agree, too, that the movie was horrible. I could understand why someone would like it if they had never read the book before and if they were young, but it just has absolutely no appeal and the plot filled with song and dance was pitiful.
    Levine's other fairy tale books are good too; I really enjoyed Fairest.

  4. I totally agree about the movie. It was so bad and they really did a disservice to the characters from the book.

    The book is one of my favorites. I especially like to listen to it on audio.

  5. KATH!!!!!!!!! YOU READ IT!!!!!!!! Most importantly...YOU LOVED IT!!!!!! If you can't tell I am so excited! Truly if you love fairy tales as you and I do, then this is a book you cannot miss. This book made me read almost everything this author has written. "Fairest" is good, not as good as this one though. Also I agree with one of your other commenters "The Two Princesses of Bamarre" is pretty good. I would recommend that one. However, don't waste your time on a book called "Ever." Its horrible and not worth the read. Happy reading twin...


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate hearing from you!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Beautiful Words kit by NewLifeDreams Designs and the Story Book Castle kit by Lorie Davison