Book Review: Ella Enchanted

This was a last minute addition to my What’s in a Name? Reading Challenge list. I started reading it on Google books, but some of the pages were missing. I decided to buy the book on Saturday and read the whole thing that day.

I did this backwards. I watched the movie first; but, in my defense, I didn’t know there was a book.

Ella Enchanted is delightful. It was fun to read and the book was much better than the movie (big shock, right?). The movie changes some points that I think are key to the story.

Gail Carson Levine, it turns out, was inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien. Although she did not go into as much detail as Tolkien, she did manage to create a different language for each people group, as Tolkien would have done.

The one complaint I had was the lack of detail. I felt there were some things missing from the story that could have added a lot of depth. Of course, it was written for younger readers, which explains the simplicity. Still, I wanted more from some of the characters. There were back stories that could have enhanced the present situation. There were moments where I felt that Levine could have gone to the next level, but didn’t for either length or simplicity’s sake. It felt that she was reaching for more, but just couldn’t get there.

Still, it was a delightful story, and I really do want to read more of her works.

Overall, it was a pretty good book. I’d say it deserves 4 out of 5 stars.

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