Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just Ella

Title: Just Ella
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Pages: 192
Cover Rating: 3/5
Character Rating: 3/5
Story Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

I really did like this book. And once again I read a book on Cinderella, but it was a very abstract take on it. It showed what it was like after Ella was whisked away to the castle. I liked that, but must confess that I did not mean to read another Cinderella book, but it just happened that I did. I thought it was good, and liked the characters. I also liked that it was not the conventional story telling of Cinderella. Funny enough, this is the same author that wrote "Double Identity", which did not get very good reviews from me, but I do like this one, and recommend it.

In Just Ella, Margaret Peterson Haddix puts a spin on the traditional tale of the glass slippers. In her version, Ella (sans "Cinder") finds her own way to the ball (there was no fairy godmother, despite the rumors) and wins the heart of the prince. But now she is finding that life at the palace as Prince Charming's betrothed is not as great as she thought it was going to be. In fact, it's downright boring for a self-reliant and active girl to do needlework all day or listen to instructions on court etiquette from the strict and cold Madame Bisset. Worst of all, Ella is beginning to suspect that Charming's beautiful blue eyes and golden hair are attached to a head with nothing in it. Her young tutor Jed, however, talks with her about serious things that really matter. Ella finally gets up the courage to announce to Charming that she doesn't want to go through with the wedding, but when she finds herself locked in the dungeon she realizes it's not that easy to walk away from a politically arranged marriage. In the end, as in all good fairy tales, our heroine and hero do manage to live happily ever after--but with a twist.