Author: Gail Carson Levine
Publication Date: 01 October 2019 (Paperback)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
In this prequel to Ella Enchanted, which can stand on its own, young healer Evie is transformed into an ogre by the meddling fairy Lucinda. She’ll turn back only if someone proposes and she accepts!
Returning to the land and many of the characters from her beloved Newbery Honor–winning Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine has written a delightful tale about a clever and endearing heroine who is determined to defy expectations.
Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms, and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.
But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre. Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.
Evie is an incredible healer. Evie and her best friend Wormy (Master Warwick) live in the town of Jenn. One day, Wormy surprises Evie by confessing his love and proposing to her. Evie completely disregards the proposal as Wormy is just her best friend. Unfortunately for Evie, Lucinda (the disaster of a fairy from Ella Enchanted) witnesses the rejection and proceeds to turn Evie into an ogre. She gives Evie less two months to accept the proposal of a suitor or stay stuck as an ogre forever. With time running out, Evie embarks on a quest to find someone to love her and rid her of this awful curse.
At first, I thought that this story would be similar to Shrek with the maiden turned into an ogre storyline, but it was a completely different from what I was expecting. I’ll be honest, aft first I didn’t feel bad for Evie at first since she definitely took Wormy and his affections for granted. However, as she because hyper aware of ogre self, I really started to feel awful for her. She was well aware of how terrible she smelled and the fact that humans found her repulsive. I loved watching Evie change and develop a new outlook on life; one that entailed looking past outward appearances.
Overall, this is a heartwarming adventure that gives additional insight into the characters that preceded those in Ella Enchanted, and I loved getting to know them.
Thank you to Wunderkind PR for providing a finished copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.