Just Ella Library Binding – May 16, 2008
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Paw Prints 2008-05-16; Reprint edition (May 16, 2008)
- Language : English
- Library Binding : 218 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1435279379
- ISBN-13 : 978-1435279377
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 0.75 x 5.25 x 7.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This is a really wonderful story to read, and you will not be able to put the book down until you finish it. Margaret Peterson Haddix has done a great job writing Just Ella. You will feel for Ella, as she stumbles her way to her own happily ever after. -A.M.L., age 10
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix is my kind of fairy tale. Ella is basically hardcore, and she does it on her own. This fairy tale has no magic, no helpless heroine, no overly heroic prince (although he kind of tries- creepy!) and our Ella is SMART! (Sadly, the prince does have the personality of a noodle, and a dry one at that.) Ella doesn't sit around crying into the ashes of the fire her stepsisters left for her waiting for a magical solution to her problem. She decides she wants to go to the ball, finds an old gown, alters it and goes. No magic required. Once at the ball, the prince, of course, does decide he is in love with her, cannot live without her, and must bring her to his castle immediately for their happily ever after and Ella is, of course, ecstatic. Aside from the no magic part, this book still sounds very much like the typical Cinderella story. But the brilliance of this story comes after the 'ending.' Most of Just Ella takes place after the ball but before the wedding and we get to see what happens when you commit to spend your life with someone you've known for five minutes. (Like when you buy something really pretty (Ooooh, shiny!) and then get home and realize you hate it, but the store won't take it back).
Ella tries really hard to find her happily ever after. She has what every girl in the kingdom wants (the prince to marry and a lifetime of ease and luxury in the palace ahead of her.) She thinks she should be happy but she slowly begins to realize that she is not and that she doesn't know if this life can be right for her. She sits down with the prince one night before their wedding, and tries to talk to him about her concerns, and address the problems she is facing. I won't spoil the ending for you. That's the best part of the book. You'll have to read it yourself if you want to know how that conversation goes.
I loved this story because it isn't just the traditional Cinderella story. It's more practical, more true to life and addresses the issues I've always had with the story (weak heroine, true love at first site etc.) to craft a story that goes beyond the original. It's pretty awesome, but one that is definitely geared toward younger readers. So keep that in mind when you read it.
Just Ella is a great fairy tale showing a heroine who lives the adventure of a prince using quick thinking, problem solving, sly tricks, bravery and sheer nerve to get out of a series of binds in the quest for her happily ever after. Never once does she settle, even when it becomes dangerous to not do so.
I even thought the bit of metaing thrown in was well done, where she actually talks about her situation and the misapprehension everyone is under that she only was able to get there with outside help. She doesn't understand why people would not only think that, no matter how improbable a fairy godmother or talking creatures might be, but that they would prefer it to the reality of an independent female able to achieve her dreams all by herself. This novel tells the more probable story of a female that does just that.
In this story, Ella, has already been to the ball and won the heart of the Prince and now awaits her marriage. She doesn't relate to anything going on around her and decides she doesn't want to marry boring, shallow Prince Charming and that maybe "Love at first sight" isn't really love. Everything is so obvious at what's going on that the book isn't fun to read. At first glance, yeah--Ella isn't happy. Yeah--Ella now thinks her fiancé is a nitwit. Yeah--Ella is attracted to her tutor who's character is actually developed. Yeah--Ella can do anything because she created her own destiny. BORING!
I especially didn't like the ending. I know Ella was happy with her choices, but I hated the idea of the Step-Evils believing that they "won" and didn't end up miserable in their own filth.