Aug 9, 2011

About Books Blog 46: Ella Enchanted


Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Favorite Line

“Love shouldn’t be dictated.”

Summary (from Goodreads)

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. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read.

My Thoughts

Ella Enchanted is my favorite book of all time. I’ve loved it since I read it for the first time as a child. I actually read my first copy so many times that I had to get a new one. Then I read the new copy so many times I decided to get it in hard back. When that wares out I guess I’ll have to get it on e-book. Ha ha!

The author created a totally new world in which to set her re-telling of Cinderella. It’s fun to discover the various creatures, giants, and fairies that the book has to ofter, and how the author put her own spin on the mythology. In many ways Ella Enchanted mixes genres by mixing fantasy, adventure, and romance so that there is always something interesting for the reader to enjoy. The book explores thoroughly what I would be like if someone had to always do what ever they were told. The idea sounds amusing at first, but the book makes you see how potentially disastrous it can be. I love the spirit of the protagonist Ella. She always finds entertaining ways to work around her “gift” of obedience. She doesn’t take things lying down, and always takes action. This means that she’s the one the saves the day more often than the prince instead of the other way around.

It’s quite obvious that I love this book to pieces. It’s a wonderful tale about discovering who you are, and learning new ways to work with what you’re given. If you chose to read Ella Enchanted I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.

Facts I Found Interesting

Author Gail Lavine wrote a book entitled Fairest in 2006. It is a re-telling of Snow White set in the same world as Ella Enchanted. Gosh, I just realized I’ve owned Fairest for years and haven’t read it yet. I must get on that A.S.A.P.

The Movie

I’ve been reading this book since I was about ten or eleven years of age. You can imagine that after reading the book for that many years I had a excellent picture in my head of what the movie of Ella Enchanted should be like. This movie is not it in the slightest. I can sum up all the reasons why I think this movie is so wrong in one sentence. The film’s story and happenings are so unbelievably silly (not in a good way) that want to roll my eyes just thinking about it. Despite my impression of strong dislike on my first viewing of the film I decided to give it a second chance. It’s one of those adaptations that is loosely based on the book. In other words very little of what is actually in the novel ended up in the movie. That approach to adaptation is not always a bad thing. I thought perhaps if I viewed it as a separate entity from the novel maybe I could like it. Unfortunately, I still found it too ridiculous to enjoy. Apparently my dislike had nothing to do with the fact that it is nothing like the book, and everything to do with it being a overly wacky movie in general.

I do have to commend the film for a few things though. The film makers did create a cohesive story. Each scene does propel from one to the next no matter how incredibly daft the elements of the scenes are. They picked a vision and followed through with it. I might not personally like the vision, but at least it had one. Lastly they casted some very good actors, who managed to save this mess of a film from being a total mess. The actors at least make the movie engaging on an emotional level. Bottom line the movie version of Ella Enchanted is mildly entertaining, but I don’t think it’s good. It left me thinking: What were they thinking?! I doesn’t help that it’s based on my favorite book ever. Sigh...So disappointing.

Music To Read By

The albums I enjoyed listening to the most were Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles and Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson. Two artist that are kind of calming and a little bit girl power at the same time, very Ella if you ask me. Gosh, I feel like the playlist is missing something. Yet I couldn't figure out what the missing songs could possibly be. Oh well, I like what I've got so far. I'll just add on later when I discover what the missing element is. I just know that the music that is missing going to occur to me tomorrow long after this has been posted. Ha ha!

Ella Enchanted Playlist

Fairytale - Sara Bareilles
Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson
Enchanted - Taylor Swift
New Heights - A Fine Frenzy
Uncharted - Sara Bareilles
Can't Help Falling In Love - Ingrid Michaelson
Darling I Do - Lucy Schwartz and Landon Pigg
A Movie Script Ending - Vitamin String Quartet
Real Life Fairy Tale - Plumb

That's all my darlings. Between this review and the last you're probably thinking I'm a movie hater. I guess I'm just really picky about movies. I promise there are some adaptations that I like out there. Ha ha! See you all later. Keep it shiny!


Anonymous said...

I just picked this book up at a library sale! Now I really want to read it again!

Nina said...

Shame on me, for never read this book. I know, right! I did watched the movie and thought it was blah. ;) It's okay, but I don't have to watch it again. ;) I should get a copy of this! Great review.

Rachel Brooks said...

I read Ella Enchanted years ago. Now this post makes me want to read it again. What a fun story!

Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)

LoriStrongin said...

Agreed that the movie didn't quite live up to the book's magic. Though I do love Anne Hathaway! But yeah, I oftentimes find that movies, while enjoyable, tend to fail in bringing what we love about certain books to the screen.