shaolina: (Default)
[personal profile] shaolina
O'kay, how come nobody told me the YA section had good books? I don't know if it is my horrendous bad luck in this department that makes me like this book so much, but I do. It's not the best book out there, trust me, but it has many good qualities.

1) The main character is blessed with suck. I LOVE that trope. Unlike other female characters, she has something to overcome. She's not super girl, it is hard for her and we get to see the difficulties in full display instead of never addressing them or just glossing over them.

2) I don't want to punch Ella in the face. She's not perfect, but neither is she bitchy. Her voice is pretty normal and a nice change from the purple prose. Plus I love that when she met the prince she didn't drescribe him as a ¨smoldering adonis with a velvet walk that calls to the inner longings of her heart¨ Nope, we got freckles and curly hair. Although by his behavior I got that he was a very friendly fellow too (which is better than mysterious prick if you ask me)

3) The fact that magic is not to be used. I love it when a book describes the problems of using magic at leisure, it seems like most books need to think about that. Magic, like anything else, is something that should be use thoughtfully. That's Ella's problem: her fairy was not very thoughtful.

So far this book has been very cute and likeable. I don't like the route it's taking with the step family (not all steps- are evil, but oh well. Here's to hoping it's not so bad.

on 2010-09-09 02:05 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Oh, Ella Enchanted! :D I LOVE that book!

It's been out for quite awhile, so you might have missed it because it probably wouldn't have been put with the new stuff. But yeah, Gail Carson Levine's works are very good. Ella's not a doormat, but she's still a great friend and actually is clever. And you're right about the prince. He's no Edward, he actually is a guy you could understand falling in love with. (On a side note though, if you decide to see the movie, just be warned that while it has its merits, it's very little like the book)

If you like Ella, you should check out some of Levine's other works. I really liked "The Two Princesses of Bamarre", which deals with growing up and gaining courage. And another really good YA fairy tale adaptation is "Beastly", which is pretty much Beauty and the Beast in modern times, with the narration provided by the guy/beast. It's very cool and not as angsty as you might think.

on 2010-09-09 02:15 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Ah, I haven't read Beastly... *puts down on to-read list*
Have you read Fairest? It's an adaption of Snow White and my favourite of her books :)

on 2010-09-09 02:22 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
No, not yet. I've heard of it though. ^^

on 2010-09-09 03:30 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
To be honest, I just started cruising the YA section and have had terrible luck with the books I've been reccommended. This book, so far, is adorable and I want to pinch its cheeks.

I'll keep Beastly in mind, me being a fairytale geek and all. XD

on 2010-09-09 09:38 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I really liked "Ella Enchanted" too (and was very surprised by how different the movie was). I also liked "The Two Princesses of Bamarre."

One thing to note about "Ella Enchanted" is that Levine makes absolutely no excuses for Ella's father. He isn't dead; he's alive for the entire book and he's portrayed as a greedy, callous person and a poor excuse for a father (hence why her stepmother and stepsisters is able to freely abuse Ella).

For those of us who are tired of Edward and Bella's controlling relationship and constant needs to be with each other 24/7, there's a neat scene between Lucinda and two other fairies where they argue about the nature of love. They're attending a giant's wedding and Lucinda has just given the seemingly benevolent wedding gift of the couple never being able to leave each other. The other two fairies argue that the gift, far from being beneficial, will actually cause the couple to hate each other since they'll never be able to be independent of each other, will never be able to leave each other alone to cool down after an argument, and the minor faults that they'll notice in each other will become magnified to the point where they won't be able to stand each other. I thought that Meyer could learn a lesson or two from that conversation.

on 2010-09-09 10:48 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Ella's father is also a pimp. XD

And there are so many conversations here I want to frame for posterity. Especially considering what I'm sporking are romances. This book treats love the way it should be treated: with time, friendship, and understanding. The author presents love ina higher level than most YA authors I've seen.

on 2010-09-10 12:36 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
There's also the later fairy gift, in which Lucinda "blesses" the couple to always love each other. When you read that part, you'll see exactly why that's a bad thing.

on 2010-09-10 12:42 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Or the fact the prince pursues friendship above shallow feelings making me feel he really loves and gets Ella.. (He's a man modeled after my own heart)

on 2010-09-10 12:51 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Right. The two actually have things in common and spend time together. I loved when he sees her dressed like a servant at the end and even though Hattie tries to pretend she's no one, he doesn't care and asks her to marry him anyway. D'aw! :')

on 2010-09-10 01:01 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I liked their letters, it showed a very good dynamic in their relationship. Also when they talk abou finishing school making fun of what Ella learned. And hen he was indignant she was at finishing school since there was nothing wrong with her.


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