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Just Ella Paperback – Jun 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks (Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689851979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689851971
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,481,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The fire had gone out, and I didn't know what to do. Read the first page
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "fictionfan-fantasy" on 16 Jun 2002
Format: Hardcover
I really loved this book. Apart from having the best front cover in th world(get the hardback copy-nicer front cover) it had a really great storyline, completely changing the original fairytale. The main character Ella was a really intelligent and spunky lead. I thought that how she escaped was absolubtley brilliant and also really funny. I also thought that the villainous characters in the book were really 'good' villains-not just her step family but her teachers too. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger romance wise but I wont say any more about that or I'll spoil the book. Even if you aren't that interested in the book, get it anyway just for the front cover. I did and then discovered that the actual book was really really good too!
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Stoneham on 11 Nov 2003
Format: Paperback
'Just Ella' was an excellent twist on the superficial reality of the Cinderella story - when Ella begins to doubt her love for Charm, the reader cheers; and when she makes her great escape, we cheer some more.
The end was a little off, I thought; but otherwise, an excellent thought-provoking insight into the fairy tale.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 233 reviews
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
An entertaining retelling of Cinderella 15 Jan 2000
By Jennifer Mo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
More adult and reality-driven than Ella Enchanted, Just Ella is an interesting look at the "happily-ever-after" ending of the original fairy tale. Ella Brown in this story is fleshed out to become a realistic heroine forced to fit into the fragile and uncomfortable glass slippers of a princess. She shows herself to be resourceful and clever; however, for some reason, I never liked her as much as Ella of Frell from Ella Enchanted. Haddix, while very cleverly explaining the matters of the glass slippers and dress (think Ever After for the dress), never develops the characters enough to make them anything more than sketches of potential never fully realized. And I agree with a previous reviewer that the romance seemed a little predictable. (One of two eligible male characters in the book, the other of which is the insipid prince.) An interesting undercurrent in Just Ella was the true meaning of True Love, often mentioned so flippantly in fairy tales.
Just Ella didn't quite satisfy me-- it was neither as charming as Ella Enchanted, nor as psychologically intense as Donna Jo Napoli's retellings. What it did provide was an often ironic, imaginative and creatively rewritten Cinderella that was a definite departure from the usual fairy tale. For another Cinderella retelling, I highly recommend Silver Woven in my Hair, in which magic is inherent, though not implicitly stated. If you liked the court setting, The Crown and Court Duet by Sherwood Smith provides a more realistic (and less mocking) description of court life.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A little twist 26 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fairy godmothers, Prince charming, midnight magic, its all a fairy tale. But this book gives this tale a little twist. It tells the story of how Ella realy came to the ball; under her own determination not with magic help. I loved this book and could not put it down! It is a great way to show girl power and how you can take charge of your own destiny. And with Ellas determination and will she finds her true "Prince Charming" on her own.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A lesson in gender equality 14 July 2004
By Tom Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
So many fairytales end with a simple "happily ever after" ... but is it ever really so simple?
Just Ella, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, turns the Cinderella story on its ear by exploring the young girl's motivations and examining gender roles that apply, honestly, more to modern times than they did in the medieval setting of the book. Still, young readers (and adults, too!) will enjoy this fractured version, which starts with Ella enduring lessons in etiquette, needlepoint and other princessly duties in the castle of her betrothed, Prince Charming. But, while the prince is, of course, charming and quite handsome to boot, Ella begins to wonder if that's a suitable foundation for lifelong romance.
Of note, this book gives us a Cinderella who does not rely on fairy godmothers, talking mice or convertible pumpkins to make her way to and from the prince's ball. Determined to go despite the scorn of the "step-evils" who plague her life, Ella uses the resources at hand and no small amount of ingenuity to get herself where she wants to be (as explained in a brief but entertaining flashback, in which we learn that glass slippers hurt).
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Disappointment 22 Sep 2001
By Julie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Before I write this, I have a few things to say; 1. I did NOT think it was a sequel to Ella Enchanted, a mistake many seem to have made. 2. I am 14, but have been reading adult novels since third grade, so I would appreciate not being stereotyped as a young idealistic believer of fairy tales(and back off the others, too. So they like fiction, big deal, it's their opinion. Don't belittle their understanding or intelligence.) 3. I LOVE books with tough fem chicks most of the time. I dislike books sometimes just because they have wimpy female characters.
That said, I have to say, I didn't like this book very much at all. As many have said, it is amazingly predictable. There was no character developement(besides learning the "truth" about the prince, but by paying attention from the beginning, when she mentions that he wouldn't be interested in her day, you know he's a loser.). Ella started uncomfortable with castle life, and stayed that way. Every chapter ended with her reiterating the question,"Am I really happy?" Sorry Ella, but no, things aren't all roses, and if you had stopped to think before you showed your stepmother up, you wouldn't have to dig out of a "crap hole" as you so nicely put it.
Oh, hey, was it just me, or does the mention of French(or any other real language) in a completely made up world seem strange? If you're coming up with new countries and cultures, come up with a new language. Not so hard, right? Just what I think though, it's not a huge problem.
Speaking of new cultures, the castle life seemed absolutely ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that Anyone is as airheaded as those ladies-in-waiting of hers. Allt eh characters overplayed their parts in my opinion. It seemed very melodramatic, and unrealistic.
Misery. This whole book was about complaining. About castle life, dungeon life, stepdaughter life, runaway life, and refugee life. Perhaps it was wrong of me to wish for a happy ending. The author certainly didn't deliver. This story warranted another chapter to conclude it, or at least an epilogue(set after a wedding maybe???) Instead, she ends up once more thinking about how her life didn't turn out happily ever after, and not even telling the by now thouroughly depressed readers whether or not she's decided to give poor pathetic Jed a chance.
Does anyone know if sliding down banisters was common in classic Cinderella stories? I first ran into it with Ella Enchanted, and seeing the same youthful passion in this book piqued my interest. I wonder where she got the idea. I'm not trying to accuse Peterson Haddix of anything, just curious, because I really don't know anything about it.
I didn't enjoy this book, although I really thought I would, because I'm a huge scifi/fantasy fan. But this book just didn't do anything for me. I finished it of course, because I'm not one to just drop a book, but I was pretty mad at the reader by the end of it and started coming up with my own Cinderella story to help ease the hurt fairy tale section of my mind. Read this, if you're willing to give mediocre peices of writing a chance for the sake of the original story. Otherwise, I'd advise readers to look elsewhere for a good read(Tim Zahn and Robin McKinley are wonderful, and McKinley even does fairy tale rewrites, so you might try her.)
Anyone who actually read all that gets a shiney star sticker and a big bag of fairy dust. ^^
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book is Haddix's best yet! 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
'Just Ella' is terrific! It starts up about right after Cinderella has gone to the castle to marry the prince, and tells how she struggled with that decision and ended up choosing to do what she did. It is great, and easy to read, clear, thoughtfull, and funny. It has lots of irony in it, and the reason I used it was I needed a book with irony in it for a book report, and so I had the book read in less than 3 hours.
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