Don’t you ever wish life were like a fairy tale, and even when you get cursed and things go to pot, you know it’ll all work out in the end and love will prevail? Yeah, me too. That’s why I read kids books sometimes.
Ogre Enchanted is a fun, lighthearted fairy tale by Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted). Evie is a young healer very dedicated to her work. When her best friend Wormy proposes to her, he throws a wrench in everything because Lucinda, a meddling fairy, just loves to hang around and present gifts (or curses) upon proposals. When Evie declines Wormy’s proposal, Lucinda jumps into action, transforming Evie into an ogre. Now, Evie has only 62 days to get another proposal, or she’ll be an ogre forever.
Evie sets out to find a band of ogres to teach her how to use ogre persuasion, the only way Evie will be able to secure another proposal! But as she traverses the kingdom, desperately trying to preserve both her life and her humanity, she finds it’s going to be even more difficult to secure a proposal than she imagined. As time ticks by, Evie begins to wonder, if she’s stuck as an ogre forever, will she still be able to find a way to heal people?
Ogre Enchanted was a quick little read, as I expected. A tale of love and discovery, the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. Sometimes it’s just so nice to come back around to a classic fairy tale and enjoy the story, not put all your brain power into the plotting. Levine takes readers on a journey through the kingdom of Kyrria, full of adventures as Evie both seeks a lover to break her curse and also how to accept life if she remains an ogre.
One refreshing thing about this book is how Evie isn’t a damsel in distress (though, neither was Ella, so this may be Levine’s style) but she also wasn’t caught up in her own predicament. She sought a solution, but even as she did, she accepted the reality that she’d likely be stuck as an ogre and made plans to account for that. I can very much relate to the worse-case scenario planner in Evie.
I forgot how much I enjoy Levine’s writing (even though I’ve only read two books). She’s just a fun, easy read. Even if it’s not mental gymnastics to guess the plot, it’s so easy to get caught up in the story. I can’t think of any better way to describe it than just delight in the reading.
So if you’re looking for a delightful book that reminds you to slow down and be a friend to your inner child, read this (or any of her books). It’ll be fun.