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Back to basics: 'Ella Enchanted' a 'classic'

By Gillian Ponce
On April 10, 2014

So since my last review was one of those random books I enjoy that doesn’t really fit my style, I’m back to my regular style of books that I love. This time, I’m back to the rewriting of fairy tales.

It seems “Cinderella” is a really popular story to rewrite. Do you remember the book I reviewed, “Princess of the Midnight Ball”? The second book in that series is a rewriting of “Cinderella,” and the review Marissa wrote a few weeks ago was a rewriting of “Cinderella.” I could keep going because there are so many, but the point is, what am I going to review right now?

“Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine has been one of my favorite books for a while. Admittedly, this book isn’t exactly new, but it’s a classic in my opinion. Now, it doesn’t follow the “Cinderella” storyline exactly, which is nice. Different interpretations of the stories we know well are usually more fun to read, for me at least. It’s just a change from the same old thing we all know and have heard growing up.

Many of you have probably read the book or seen the movie, but here’s a quick overview of the book anyway. It follows Ella, who, as a baby, got a “gift” from the fairy Lucinda that she would always obey. You get to follow Ella as she grows up and searches for an end to this curse, naturally finding something she didn’t expect along the way.

I realize I have reviewed another book by Levine before, which was “Fairest.” I love her books because she writes in such a poetic form, and it is easy to see what she wants the reader to see. She has the plot flow very well, and it easily engulfs the reader into the story of Ella in Frell.

While I admittedly don’t feel as much emotion for the characters in this book, it doesn’t mean they didn’t touch me at all. And of course, being the romantic I am, I fell hard for the main male character in the story. I don’t know how fortunate it is for you boys that you ended up with two hopeless romantic females writing the book reviews, but I will just give it how it is. But the character development was good. You really did get to know the characters, even if it may be mostly from Ella’s point of view.

On to the movie. Was it worth it? Yes. Did I watch it before I read the book? Yes. And the most important question, did it follow the book as well as it could? No. They changed so much about it, and obviously there’s nothing you can do about it. But if you watch it as a movie without thinking about the book, it’s very good. The actors are charming and amazing. And hey, they got the main point of the book right, so it wasn’t a total disaster. For some of you, maybe you don’t care how well it follows, as long as it’s good. But for you book nerds like me, though you may scream that some parts are different, it was a good movie overall.

Why should you read the book? It’s a cute story, and it’s based off one of the most classic and popular fairy tales in existence. It’s well-written and keeps you involved the entire time. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s an easy read for those of us who are busy but still want to be able to do some reading.

Gillian Ponce is a sophomore majoring in journalism. She was an editor for her high school newspaper and received a scholarship for an article she wrote. Send comments to

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