Ella Enchanted

By Gail Carson Levine,

Book cover of Ella Enchanted

Book description

ELLA ENCHANTED is a witty, refreshing take on the popular fairytale, Cinderella which preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous twists and a spunky, intelligent female protagonist. "If you've read HARRY POTTER, try ELLA ENCHANTED" Publishers Weekly

Ella is given a blessing at birth by a…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked Ella Enchanted as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This classic retelling of Cinderella is the one that first got me into fairytale retellings. We see El as a young woman living with her stepmother, stepsisters, and godmother who can only do small magic. El is cursed with a spell of obedience, and she must do anything if someone else commands it. She keeps her curse a secret to the best of her ability, with only the aid of her godmother to keep her safe. The story spans several years of El’s life and features a slow, sweet romance with the prince, whom she gets to know throughout the…

I found this book to be an exciting YA fantasy where the princess actually does more than wait to be rescued. The main character is under a curse, loses her mother, and faces so many trials. She finds powerful allies, and of course the prince. I love how confident, strong, and capable Ella is despite all the challenges that face her. Once I finished the book, it made me wish there were more books like this one. The friends she meets along the way add a lot of charm to this tale. 

Ella Enchanted is a reimagining of Cinderella that expanded her world and filled in the gaps of her story, so to speak and inspired my approach to my own series

Everything from how Ella’s lot in life was explained, to the ‘anachronistic’ setting, how her world connects her to later spins on fairy tales, and her relationship with her prince opened my mind to the directions I could take my work in. Adapting these tales didn’t need to be beat-by-beat the version we knew and loved, it could go in many different directions as long as it reached that…

From the moment I picked up this book, I was quite literally enchanted—or perhaps it was spellbound. I absolutely adore the quirky style, the banter, and the magical setting, not to mention the very powerful message about breaking away from the control of others, particularly social pressures, to think and choose for oneself. I also love the inventiveness of this Cinderella retelling, which gives you all the events of the original fairytale, but presented in a way that is so utterly new and different.

From Astrid's list on nostalgic books that hit the spot.

Ella Enchanted is a loose retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but Ella is not your typical fairytale damsel. She’s clumsy, stubborn, and very clever—not to mention cursed with the “gift” of obedience and determined to break it. As a young girl, this book introduced me to core ideas of how I wanted to move through the world. It showed me that adventures are not just for boys and that true power comes from believing in yourself rather than fitting into other people’s expectations.

Ella Enchanted was my introduction to fairy tale retellings. I clearly remember loving it so much that I took it to school one day, and when I pulled it out of my locker at the end of the day, the paperback cover caught and ripped. I was devastated. But I kept that copy and still have it today, well-worn and later signed by the author. It’s a charming story about Ella, a girl cursed with the gift of obedience, who falls in love with her prince. The story culminates with the classic three masquerade balls that Ella attends in secret,…

From Lauren's list on masks and masquerades.

I should begin by confessing that, way deep down, I’m a sappy romantic. This is a love story and a Cinderella retelling. I don’t typically read romance nor am I a big fan of the Cinderella story, but I adored this book! The interactions between Ella and Char are heartwarming and delightful. The storyline veers far enough from the Disney and storybook versions that I’ve read a thousand times, so things stay interesting. This book showed me that there is definitely room for fairy tale retellings as long as the characters stay strong, funny, and likable! Pretty darn sure that…

Who doesn’t love a fractured fairy tale, and this quirky, clever story with its brave, big-hearted heroine is one of my favorites. When Ella is born a foolish fairy “blesses” her with the gift of obedience so poor Ella has to do whatever she is told. Desperate to break the curse, Ella takes matters into her own hands, setting off on a wild adventure full of giants, ogres, and elves. I love Ella because, not only is she strong-willed and resilient, she’s also clumsy, (like me!) has a great sense of humor, and refuses to give up until she gets…

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