Written by: Gail Carson Levine
First line: That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me.
Why you should read this book: Her childhood destroyed by her mother's premature death and her own particular curse of immutable obedience, Ella presents the Cinderella story in a new and modern light, a tale about a girl concerned with social equality and her country's health as much as she cares about her own well-being. Ella's terrible secret is that, thanks to the world's worst fairy gift, she cannot disobey any command given to her by anyone, even her terrible stepsisters. Ella's journey to break her own curse is a delightful tale that stands up to repeated reading.
Why you shouldn't read this book: You'd have to be some kind of terrible person not to enjoy this modern classic.