Ella Enchanted- Gail Carson Levine.
Ella Enchanted the movie built my preconceptions and beliefs for the plot, a movie I love for all it's corny lines and awkward moments, but the translation from book to movie (or rather for me, from movie to book)? Not so smooth.
There are many, many changes between the two, including the fact that Ella's mother is alive for the first maybe quarter of the story, Ella is much younger, excellent at imitating things and goes to manners school. Also, her father is rotten.
I found these things hard to settle with, at least until (after another surprise, probably relating to Char and Ella's friendship) I decided to just enjoy it and not try to scout for the similararities (of which there are few, and notably less singing scenes.
It is a riproaring read, perfect for winter nights before a fire or heater. There are moments of magic and emotion and adventue and joy, and it's a fulfilling, wonderful story, even if everyone says wench a little too often for my liking.
Image Credit: Bloomsbury.
Winter's Tales- Lari Don.
I've read two of Lari Don's books so far, both similar in content to this (myths, tales, legends and fairytales retold, adapted for the current generation) and though I enjoyed both of those, I had faults with certain aspects of how they were retold, and when I read Winter's Tales it felt like those issues were collected into one book, which made for a pretty unhappy reading experience.
The stories felt starkly modernised and phrases came off as being unsuited to the story, and my main problem is probably that it all felt very rushed. I didn't have time to care for the plot or characters in any of the stories and all I got was a headache and no wish to read the last 60 pages.
I did, surprising myself, and found perhaps my favourite thing in the whole of the book- the little paragraphs by the author on how she found each story. Those were really interesting.
Unhappily, they didn't make me forget the other 100 or so pages that had been less than enjoyable.
Rating: Oh nooo...
There are elements and huge originality to these stories that really work, but this time to modernisation just didn't sit well with me at all.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy of Winter's Tales!