Author: Susan Carroll
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Date of publication: March 7th, 2017
Number of pages: 303
POV: 1st person
Where you can find this book: Amazon
Book synopsis: Goodreads:
An alluring love triangle and a daring caper unfold in this imaginative retelling of Cinderella, featuring an indomitable damsel who’s not so easily swept off her glass slippers.
At the tender age of seventeen, Ella Upton lost her innocence to a traveling minstrel, a youth with flaxen hair and a golden voice whose deep blue eyes concealed his true intentions—until it was too late. Seven years later, Ella’s stepsisters chatter about winning the affections of the dreamy Prince Florian at the royal ball, but Ella has no such illusions. Instead, her dashing best friend, Malcolm Hawkridge, persuades her with his reckless charm and wicked smile to use the occasion to steal back a magic orb from the corrupt king.
But before the clock strikes midnight, Ella finds herself pursued by more than one prince—not to mention Commander Horatio Crushington, who captures her with his piercing gaze from across the crowded ballroom. Dancing through the sudden swirl of suitors, Ella feels her cheeks burning—and not solely because of the orb hidden in her gown. Has the strapping Horatio awakened long-dormant desires or is Ella finally coming to grips with her feelings for Malcolm? Only the girl who thought she’d given up on love can decide.
Disenchanted is a fun twist on Cinderella. Take everything you know about Cinderella and forget it because Disenchanted doesn’t follow the fairy tale. What you get, instead, is a totally original story that incorporates parts of the fairy tale into the plot line.
I will admit, I laughed my butt off while reading this book. Ella was pure snark and I loved it. The way she dealt with her sister’s suitors, her stepsisters, her stepmother, her next-door neighbor, Mal, and even Prince Florian had me giggling. Even the situations she found herself in and her reactions to them made me laugh.
But, at the same time, I did feel bad for her. She had her heart-broken at 17 by a traveling bard named Harper. That same week, her father died and then she became the glue that held her family together. She made sure that they went without anything even if it meant sacrificing things that she might have wanted to do or have. Ella also had a great relationship with her stepmother and her two younger stepsisters…even though they drove her nuts.
Her friendship with Mal did kinda confuse me at times. It confused me because at the beginning, they were strictly friends and he was a shady apothecary. But, after the King announces the ball, he suddenly became interested in her in a romantic way? I actually reread the chapters that had him in to make sure I didn’t miss anything and reconfirmed the out of left field romantic angle. Which I didn’t. It didn’t bother me as much as it confused me.
What I did like about Ella’s friendship with Mal was that it was real and it was lasting. Which is why I think both Ella and myself were surprised when Mal asked her to steal the orb the night of the ball. When he told her that she wasn’t going because she couldn’t afford it, he got tickets for her, her stepmother and two stepsisters to go. Which kinda forced her into going and doing what he wanted.
I loved the romance between Ella and Horatio. There was no Instalove. Horatio and Ella got to know each other from seeing each other around the village. It was when he asked to come calling on her and continued to go after her even when she was rude, that the romance started. It was sweet to watch it unfold. I felt horrible for him when he admitted to Ella that he overheard her stepsister and stepmother commenting on him being a “foundling”. But, I do think that there is something else about his parentage that he doesn’t know about (read the book!!!)
Prince Charming (aka Prince Florian) in this book was not so charming. Well at least to Ella, he wasn’t. She didn’t like him and the more I read about him, I didn’t like him either. He came off as one of those extremely cocky jock types that think they are God’s gift to women. Plus, there is something off about him. How his brother reacted to him was not normal. And what is going on with the King? I thought it was very weird that he knew Ella’s mother and when he found out that she had her father’s eyes, he got all pissy and walked off.
I also loved the references to the original fairytale. Mal as the fairy godfather, the quip about the field mice hurting their paws if they were to sew a dress, the pumpkin carriages that are hazards and the best thing of all…..Ella refusing to wear the glass shoes because they hurt her feet. Loved it!!
The end of the book was perfect but it left me with more questions than anything. What was up with Ella’s father? Who was S? What about the young king, his wife and newborn son (before the present king took over) who were killed? The baby’s body was never found…so where is he? Why does the King create laws and fines about everything (the fainting one did crack me up, though)? Was he in love with Ella’s mother too? and so much more. Oh, so many questions that need to be answered. I do hope that there is a book 2!!
How many stars will I give Disenchanted: 4
Why: This was a very original and imaginative retelling of Cinderella. Normally I don’t like it when fairy tales are retold, something is always left out. Not here. This was a totally engrossing tale with characters that are unbelievably snarky and lovable at the same time. The references to the original fairy tale were woven into the story in such a way that you had to laugh.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Young Teen
Why: Some mild violence. Some kissing. Other than that, a very clean book.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
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