Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Ella

Margaret Peterson Haddix


It's a familiar story: In spite of the obstacles put in her way by her wicked stepmother, Ella goes to the ball, sweeps Prince Charming off his feet, and is chosen to be his bride.  Now she's comfortably ensconced in the palace, awaiting marriage to the man of her dreams.  It's happily ever after time, right? 

Wrong!  Life for Ella has become an endless round of lessons and restrictions; even worse, Prince Charming turns out to be more like Prince Boring.  Why can't she talk with him the way she can Jed, her earnest young tutor? 

Slowly, Ella comes to realize she doesn't want the life she fought so hard to win.  But breaking her engagement proves more difficult--and dangerous--than escaping her step-mother's tyranny.

My Take: 

This book was wonderful, I finished it very quickly because I didn't want to put it down.  Margaret Peterson Haddix really knows how to write a page turner.  It was very exciting, and put a new fun spin on an old classic.  I'm as big of a fan of the classic Disney version of Cinderella as anyone, but, this was fun and fresh.  Ella is independent and strong-willed, something that just wasn't acceptable historically.  The characters were surprisingly well developed for a short book.  You immediately had a sure sense of who Ella was, and also the people around her.  The main villain in the book is particularly sinister behind her oh-so-proper veneer.  I would recommend this book to any young girl, it teaches them that it's okay to be an individual and voice their opinion.  It also shows them that while it's important to be independent, it's also okay to ask for help when they really need it.  I give this book a 1, Pay Full Price, it's definitely worth the price.

Thank you Alexa for recommending this book!

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love  to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If you like Margaret Peterson Haddix, make sure you also check out Running Out of Time, and The Shadow Children Series.

Looking for more teen adventures?  Check out the teen section of The Book Buff.

Or are you looking for more adventures, but for an older audience, see the Action Adventure Section, including titles such as Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code

If this book were a movie it would likely we rated PG.  It contains quite innocent almost childlike  references to sex (for example one character says "whatever adults do in bed"), and there is brief mention of the word "rape", but it is not explained further.  There is also one brief instance of minor violence.


SleightGirl said...

I love it when I can't put a book down! I'll have to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Nice reviews, I like your rating system, I also like the diversity in your books. I'm going to be doing some reviews from time to time on my blog as well. Found you through google help and I am now following you.


The Book Buff said...

Thank you, I'm glad you like the site, I'll definitely be checking your blog out too! Hope to see you around here soon!

Alexa said...

Yay! I'm glad you liked it. I have another recommendation, if you have not heard of them already, they are wonderful! They are the Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. As you can tell I have a thing for youth reads.

The Book Buff said...

Thanks for another recommendation, I'll put it on my list! So far I've loved all of your suggestions. Keep them coming!

Lisa said...

My son read a lot of Haddix when he was growing up but those were definitely not books like these!

This one makes me think of Princess Diana--and that good old saying, "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."


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