Reviews: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – **** and Ella Enchanted – ***1/2

As someone who has severe difficulties with time management and keeping the buzzing in her brain subdued, I go through hot and cold periods of reading. There have been summers (during high school, when summers were long) that I’ve read over 50 books, and 6 months stretches when I’ve barely read 3. I also tend to read several books at once, so while I won’t have finished a book for a couple of weeks, I might have started 6, and will finish them all around the same time. So right now, I’m in the middle of 8 books (and actively reading four of them), but I’ve only completed 5 since starting this year’s Cannonball Read, and I’ve only done 3 reviews. Part of this has been the demands of school, but another part of it is being a perfectionist – I can’t think of anything useful or meaningful or clever to say about these books that I’ve read, as much as I’ve enjoyed them, so I haven’t written a review. Unfortunately, unreviewed books don’t count for CBIII, so I’m going to challenge myself to write something crappy and NOT CARE. Here goes.

This was the first book I read for CBIII. I picked it up for no other reason than because it was free, because I honestly assumed that with a title like that, and a movie like that, it would be utter crap, but a quick read.

It was actually wonderful. I mean, it was ridiculously cutesy, full of cloying nicknames and syrupy dialogue, but eventually it stops feeling forced (or I just learnt to enjoy it) and you can enjoy the genuine wisdom and maturity of the storyteller, and the richness of the characters and their world. As someone familiar with mental illness (due to family, myself, and my chosen profession), I really appreciated the treatment of stress and depression in the novel, the way that no one was a villain, because as much as you hate or dislike or get frustrated with them, they’re all people, they’re all well meaning and selfish and confused, and they all try. I wish I could clear my head enough from biology to do this book better justice, but since I have a bunch of labs to do, I’m going to leave this review unfinished and not perfect, and if I’ve intrigued you at all then please take a look at some other reviews online, or go ahead and pick up the book yourself.

Rating: 4 stars

I read this book when I was a kid, and I ADORED it. Most books I read look as though they’ve never been touched by human hands (unless someone else in my circle of family or friends has borrowed them), but Ella Enchanted is one of the special few who, despite my careful touch, has been manhandled so many times that it has, sadly, become soft and dog-eared.

I saw bits of the movie a couple of years ago on TV, and nearly had a conniption while screeching “MY EYES!” a la Chandler and Phoebe and have been bad-mouthing it ever since, until a friend suggested to me that perhaps the book wasn’t as good as I remembered. In order to shut said friend up, I finally got around to rereading this book (because, frankly, I need something short to pad my 52 books for this year, at the pace I’m going).

I still love it. I don’t really get why I was quite so enamored of it as a child, but it’s still a great read, entertaining and exciting, quick and sweet. A great kid’s book with a great heroine. The sort of book I wish tweens were reading these days.

Rating: 3 and a half stars.

Cannonball Read III: 5/52

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Posted on May 7, 2011, in 100 things in 1000 days, Book Reviews, Books, Cannonball Read 3 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I loved Ella Enchanted as a kid and I love it now still. I reread that every once in a while. The movie is total shit and I refuse to watch it in its entirety.

  2. Why, Cary Elwes, why?

  3. “It was actually wonderful. I mean, it was ridiculously cutesy, full of cloying nicknames and syrupy dialogue, but eventually it stops feeling forced (or I just learnt to enjoy it) and you can enjoy the genuine wisdom and maturity of the storyteller, and the richness of the characters and their world.”
    OMG – I couldn’t agree more! I had the hardest time picking up this book, just the some of the names of the main characters (Teensy, Buggy…., really?), but once I got past that stuff, I fell in love and then was so addicted to the whole book I read it multiple times.

  4. Thank you! Have you read any of her other stuff? I haven’t got my hands on it yet. Also, I just wanted to express that I really enjoy your blog, and the idea of (and reasoning behind) not having any negative reviews 🙂

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