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Publisher's Summary

Ella Brown is unhappy. Shivering cold in her luxurious bed, she's afraid to get up and light the fire because she's recently been scolded for doing things servants are supposed to do. New to the castle, Ella is having trouble adjusting to her unfamiliar role: princess.

In this wonderful continuation of the Cinderella story, award-winning author Margaret Haddix imagines a heroine who has gotten what she wants, not through some fairy godmother's magical intervention, but by taking control of her own destiny. The trouble is, now that her dreams are coming true, Ella has serious doubts about what "happily ever after" really means.

Just Ella offers young adult listeners a very contemporary take on one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time. Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan magically brings life and depth to Ella, who is determined to act on her heart's desires - even when they take her in unexpected directions.

©1999 Margaret Peterson Haddix (P)2000 Recorded Books,LLC

Critic Reviews

"Haddix puts a feminist spin on the Cinderella story, beginning her tongue-in-cheek novel where the traditional story ends." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Provocative and entertaining." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Just Ella

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Petulant and contrived, but don't worry, the main character is beautiful

and they'll be sure to tell you so every 5 lines.

I cannot believe all of the good reviews of this book? Good heck, why???? I think I am a pretty easily entertained reader. I generally enjoy most books, and love many! I really enjoy a lot of young adult lit. But the only thing worse than the story (flat, contrived and painfully boring) is the narrator. Her voice is just grating. And I think much older than the character is. This was truly painful to listen to and for sure, I stopped because I don't hate myself enough to finish.

The main character is petulant and whiny. I love a good strong female character, but nothing about her is authentic to either a real person or the period in which this is intended to be. And Cinderella is beautiful, we GET IT! Holy hell, how many times do you think you can mention how beautiful she is? Really?? Listen, we as readers almost always automatically envision beautiful people playing the roles of most main characters (unless otherwise is developmentally necessary to the plot). Speaking of plot, was there one in this book?

I don't want a refund; I want the last 3 hours of my life back. I feel robbed.

5 people found this helpful

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Fresh and Clever retelling of Cinderella

Ella doesn’t need a ferry godmother nor a handsome prince who doesn’t seem to have a thought in his head to be happy.This is a clever and sometimes humorous story of a girl who takes charge of her own destiny.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Still love this book after all these years, you get it girl! Strong woman and determination.

2 people found this helpful

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Ella Enchanted is a much better book

Simple story, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do. It isn't the most original, most profound, or most entertaining book I have ever read. However, it kept me engaged the whole way through. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration as well. I have listened to another book done by this same narrator and she does a great job. If you are wanting to read a Cinderella spin off I think Ella Enchanted is a much better book.

1 person found this helpful

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A fun, interesting, and orignal book.


I really enjoyed this book. I liked the female lead as well as the story premise.
As a long time romance reader (.....who is beginning to tire of the standard Regency formula as in............. "Oh NO, not ANOTHER waltz at another ball .. or ANOTHER detailed graphic sex scene" - fast forward, fast forward............). I found this audiobook to be very refresing and a pleasant surprise.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

Is book was amazing. I love Margaret Peterson Haddix already, but having someone like Alyssa Bresnahan read it was amazing!!!!! My first audio book and I loved it!! 👼

1 person found this helpful

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cute retelling

this was a cute retelling of Cinderella. and i love that it went into what happened after the Prinde found her. it was a good book and I enjoyed it.

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Meh, or Eh

More around a 3.5

I think that this was more of a just "eh" story for me. Maybe if I was younger, I would have liked it more. Or maybe if I haven't read other not-your-typical-fairy-tale-twist-stories, this one could have shone a little bright. However, all I could really think while reading/listening to this book was...is this over yet?

I think the main problem was that many of the characters were flat and predictable. There was the evil teacher that had the chance at redemption but not really because she was evil. There were the brainwashed maids that wouldn't or couldn't change because they were brainwashed. There was the new love interest because he came up at just the right time and was everything dull Prince Charming wasn't. And Prince Charming? Well...dear lord. I really wish that he was just playing at <spoiler> being a fool, but no. He's just a fool. Nothing more complex than that. </Spoiler> It's just that everyone's intelligence seemed toned way the heck down to make Ella seem like a genius. There had to be more people out there who were...smart. But I don't know. Even some of the characters on Ella's side weren't the sharpest crayons in the box. Not that that's bad, it's just that I believe that giving the main character normal brain power while making side characters the intelligence of rocks makes the story a little less interesting.

I also didn't really get the mindset of everyone. Wouldn't there also be a set of rules only women should be doing outside the palace? Wouldn't there be discrimination all around, especially if the root of said discrimination was the palace itself? Why would outside the palace be more relaxed? And why was there modern lingo?

Anyways, the book was just okay. I see that this the first book to a chronicle. Will I read the next book? Who knows. I always do like narrations done by Alyssa Breshnahan.