Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine
***** (5 stars) from KATIE
I have a lot of favorite books but this one is definitely in my top ten. At least. Maybe top five? Unlike Princess Academy this IS a Cinderella story, but with an awesome, really creative spin on it. The main character is Ella of Frell, who lives in an fantasy world (with gnomes, ogres, giants and best of all fairy godmothers).
On the day Ella was born, a fairy, Lucinda, visited her and her mother with the intention of giving her a gift (Sleeping Beauty, too?). Lucinda's gifts are notorious for being absolutely horrifying and this one was no different. She gave Ella the gift of "obedience" which, as you can imagine, was quite the opposite. To quote the book, "If you commanded me to cut off my own head, I'd have to do it. I was in danger at every moment."
But Ella wasn't about to leave her life up to fate. Ella goes on a dangerous quest, determined to break the curse and live happily ever after.
Grace and I were talking about it and we both agree that we love it because no matter how hard and unfair things get (and it gets pretty bad), she stays strong and refuses to let others overpower her.
This book is also a Newbery Award winner.
I recommend this book for girls 8+.