Teen Review: “Just Ella” by Margaret Peterson Haddix v. “Palace of Mirrors” by Margaret Peterson Haddix

“Just Ella” by Margaret Peterson Haddix

After her father’s death, 15-year-old Ella serves her stepmother and her two awful stepsisters, Corimunde and Griselda. Escaping and going to a royal ball lands Ella an engagement with the prince. She is taken to live at the palace but is disappointed with her life. The palace is boring, and she cannot stand Madam Bisset, who is in charge of her. The only person she actually likes is her history teacher, Jed Reston. After questioning whether she can break off her engagement with the prince, Ella is shut away in the dungeon. She is left to find her own escape. “Just Ella” is a entertaining story where fairytale endings don’t always involve a prince sweeping you off your feet.

 "Just Ella" by Margaret Peterson Haddix book cover

“Palace of Mirrors” by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Cecilia has grown up a peasant with the knowledge of being the true princess. She is simply in hiding. For her own good, Cecilia’s true identity is kept quiet to ensure her safety. Until she can reclaim her throne, a decoy named Desmia sits in for her. Until then, Cecilia is stuck secretly learning protocol in the dark of night. Bored with her life and determined to reclaim her throne, Cecilia and Harper, her best friend, head to the capital. When they reach the Palace of Mirrors, they encounter a minor hitch in their plan. Well, maybe not so minor. Desmia believes she is the true princess. As the story progresses, a sinister plot is revealed and the ending leaves you shocked. Margaret Peterson Haddix takes you back again to the time of “Just Ella,” even incorporating the girl who attempted to be a princess into this thrilling tale.

 "Palace of Mirrors" by Margaret Peterson Haddix book cover

Aedan, Central TLLC, 16

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