It’s never a good day to be an ogre—just ask Evie who has been turned into one because she refused to marry her best friend. The change was the work of an awful fairy, Lucinda. Here’s the full background from Harper Collins:
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!
Stuck in this new and confusing form, Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.
MY TAKE: The world surrounding Evie will be familiar to those who have read the Newbery Honor Book, Ella Enchanted. You’ll run into some of the same characters, but be assured Olga Enchanted works fine as a standalone.
Evie narrates the story and her passion for healing people stays with her even in ogre form. The less strong might give up, but Evie plunges forward and tries to resolve her dilemma. She leaves home, hoping both her mother and Wormy understand this is the only way. She must go live with the ogres to understand their ways. Along the way she finds friendship with royalty and beasts.
Since most of the book is about Evie trying to find true love (i.e. a husband), this might be a difficult sell for boys. Nevertheless, fantasy lovers and past readers of Gail Carson Levine’s work will be right at home.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
OGRE ENCHANTED by GAIL CARSON LEVINE
- Evie has some great potions to cure all of your ills and there’s no insurance to deal with when paying your bill. It’s amazing what a little dragon urine can do for aches and pains!
- You’ll feel each of the character’s emotions and struggles. This holds true beyond the MC, who must endure her new smell, a ferocious appetite for meat, and the looks from humans.
- The romance angle never goes beyond a does he or she like me mode—perfect for the MG audience.
- This turns into a rather flip-flop version of Beauty and the Beast. In Ogre Enchanted, the beauty is the beast.
- You sense what may happen in the end and when it does, you’ll smile.
FAVORITE SET UP from CHAPTER ONE:
My mind emptied. The kitchen tiles no longer seemed to be beneath me. Somewhere, fabric ripped.
My mind filled again. I held my arms out for balance and felt the floor under my feet. My mouth tasted gamy and spoiled, as if I’d swallowed a three-day-dead squirrel
Wormy’s jaw was still unhinged. He extended my name. “Evie-ee…there’s hair on your face.”
Not what I expected to hear. I started to lift a hand to my cheek but stopped and held the hand out. Hair sprouted there. My fingernails were long and filthy.
My stomach rose into my throat.
“Evie…you’re an ogre.”
About Gail Carson Levine:
Gail Carson Levine’s first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine’s other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR OGRE ENCHANTED
I received a copy of the book for my honest review.
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