Saturday, May 19, 2007
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. 1999. Just Ella.
Ella Brown is not your typical fifteen year old. Raised by her stepmother after her father’s death, she’s had to put up with a lot from her stepmother and stepsisters. Becoming almost a servant in her own house, Ella determines to decide her own destiny. But little did she know when she gambled with the glassblower that her glass slippers would end up placing her inside another prison cell--albeit a luxurious and grand one. You see, Prince Charming ‘fell’ for Ella and swept her off her feet. Now she’s living in the palace and taking lessons on how to be a charming, graceful princess. The problem? She barely sees her ‘Charm’ at all. When she does see him there is just an awkward silence. She can’t stand all of the tutors who are instructing whose main job is to turn her into a completely different person. It seems not only her habits need changing...but her personality as well. She’s too forward. Too outspoken. Too opinionated. Too everything it seems. And then there is her youngest tutor, Jed. They talk, laugh, and have fun together. Too bad ‘Charm’ can’t be more relaxed. But weeks away from the wedding she makes a startling discovery. She doesn’t love Prince Charming. She doesn’t even know Prince Charming. All he ever says is ‘you look beautiful today’ or ‘you’re the most beautiful girl in the kingdom.’ He never compliments her on anything but her outer appearance. He is boring and above all else he’s too obedient. He never seems to make his own decisions or think of anything original to do or say. How could she possibly have thought he was ‘perfect’ for her? Now Ella is determined to escape her new prison...and return to reality.