Thanks to a giveaway over at Naida's (you can see her review of Just Ella HERE)I was lucky to receive a copy of A LAWMAN'S CHRISTMAS by Linda Lael Miller which I shall be leaving until later in the year as it's perfect reading for any seasonal reading challenge AND ......
JUST ELLA by MARGARET PETERSON HADDIX.
It's a familiar story: In spite of the obstacles put in her way by her wicked stepmother, Ella goes to the ball, sweeps Prince Charming off his feet, and is chosen to be his bride. Now she's comfortably ensconced in the palace, awaiting marriage to the man of her dreams. It's happily ever after time, right?
Wrong! Life for Ella has become an endless round of lessons and restrictions; even worse, Prince Charming turns out to be more like Prince Boring. Why can't she talk with him the way she can with Jed, her earnest young tutor?
Slowly Ella comes to realize she doesn't want the life she fought so hard to win. But breaking her engagement proves more difficult - and dangerous - than escaping her stepmother's tyranny.
.... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The fire had gone out, and I didn't know what to do.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 22): 'As you must know, our duty as women is to be protected from unpleasantness, so that our minds and our souls - and our brows - shall be unsullied by worry. Women were created to be like flowers, providing color and beauty to the world. We leave troubling matters to men.'
MY THOUGHTS: The first book that I have ever read that gave a specific age range (11 to 14 years). I'm not too sure how useful this actually is but as a rough guide I suppose it could be helpful though I'm not personally convinced mentioning rape makes for appropriate reading for those aged only 11.
Having very mixed feelings about the books that revisited/reinvented the fairytales of my childhood I read this with more than a small amount of anticipation.
Beginning more or less where the original Cinderella story ended, whilst I did find the idea interesting, with its modern language and somewhat kick ass heroine and rather drippy Prince - neither of whom I could take to - Just Ella is certainly a book of its time.
I don't know perhaps I'm showing my age but what little girl didn't dream of being Cinderella, of meeting her Prince Charming and living happily ever after? But, without giving too much away, this just wasn't the case with this retelling.
Perhaps too stereotypical and cliched for my liking I'm afraid this just wasn't a read for me though I am glad I read it as if nothing else it satisfied my curiosity.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Afraid not, I've made the decision to pass this onto someone who I know will appreciate it it much more than I did.