Read A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde Cliff Nielsen Online


It's bad enough that Deanna has to waste her summer in France and her only friend is a mangy black cat, but now she's staring hopelessly into a well, trying to figure out what in the world to wish for.Before she can make a wish, the cat scratches her, her watch falls into the well, and then . . . so has she! Except that now she's in medieval France, the cat is a handsome yIt's bad enough that Deanna has to waste her summer in France and her only friend is a mangy black cat, but now she's staring hopelessly into a well, trying to figure out what in the world to wish for.Before she can make a wish, the cat scratches her, her watch falls into the well, and then . . . so has she! Except that now she's in medieval France, the cat is a handsome young man, and her watch has the power to completely change history.Maybe a quiet summer would have been nice?...

Title : A Well-Timed Enchantment
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780152049195
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Well-Timed Enchantment Reviews

  • Emma
    2018-10-07 21:38

    I don't particularly like cats in real life, but I've noticed recently that they are generally a lot more appealing in fiction. A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde has a cat that's cool like that. The story starts when Deanna, a fifteen-year-old spending the summer with her mom in France, drops her Mickey Mouse watch down a well. Turns out the well isn't your average well: it's magic. To make matters worse, Deanna didn't drop her watch into the well, she dropped it into medieval France. Now she has to get the watch back before things get really out of hand. Deanna gets some help in the form of Oliver, the black cat she befriended back in modern France. Except now Oliver is a human.I first read this book when I was sixteen. I loved it so much I read it twice back to back. A Well-Timed Enchantment is one of those books that never get old. You can read it again and again and the story is still just as good as the first time.Vande Velde's narrative style here is similar to her other "fairy tale" books (like The Rumpelstiltskin Problem or Heir Apparent) with a blend of traditional story telling and her inimitably modern sensibility. The novel is written with a third person narration that follows Deanna's perspective. This novel combines a lot of different elements to great effect. One of the best characters (in any of) Vande Velde's work is Oliver. Turns out cats don't see things the same way humans do. I don't know how convincingly anyone can write in the voice of a cat-turned-human but Vande Velde seems to do a good job of it. The story is quick and fairly simple. There are a lot of things that older readers can enjoy and comment on, but the story is straight-forward enough that younger readers can also keep up. I might even go as far as to say it's a great feminist-oriented book for children (some might call it "anti-princess") because Deanna plays a significant role in fixing things (getting back the watch) even though Oliver does help quite a bit.My only issue with A Well-Timed Enchantment is the ending. Some readers will tell you they like a good, open-ended finish. It's more realistic, it encourages readers to use their imagination, etc. There is a time and place for open-endedness. This book does not happen to be the best place for it. Vande Velde acknowledges this in her dedication (it's dedicated to a girl even though she hated the ending). Over the years the ending has rankled less because, having given the matter more thought, I've been forced to conclude that there might not be a better way to end things. But it still left me frustrated after my first reading.Despite the somewhat irritating ending, this book is amazing. The characters are endearing, the story is fun, Oliver is awesome. Vande Velde is as creative and fun here as ever.

  • Lissibith
    2018-10-10 20:18

    There's two kinds of good YA books. The first are great when you're young, but you grow up and realize... hey, this is just as good when I'm an adult! Maybe good in a different way, but good no less.The other kind is great when you're young, and when you revisit it as an adult you find its just... not quite like you remember.This is one of the latter. Its not a bad book, either as an adult or a child, but it doesn't distinguish itself either. The plot is a bit simplistic, the characterization is a bit obvious and the lesson a bit heavy handed. These aren't flaws per se, but it does mean that if you come to it as a more sophisticated reader, you may have trouble getting into it and immersing.The story is a time travel fantasy with history and elves and a pretty cool cat, in the literal sense. Our heroine never got grating, though a few times I wanted to sigh over her lack of understanding about certain things and her odd jealousy. the side characters were... eccentric and really added to the story I think.But overall, this book was okay. Not bad, not great, just okay.

  • Amanda Maria
    2018-09-26 18:25

    This is a book I randomly picked up because it looked interesting. It is very short and because of this the story seemed to be very abrupt. Different parts of the story seemed to be randomly thrown in and it didn't make much sense. I thought the overall concept of the story was good but the execution was poor. The author spent a lot of time on describing insignificant details but then would throw others quickly into the plot that made no sense. I certainly could have done without the random romance part because it did not fit and seemed like more of an afterthought. While the beginning of the book really caught my interest, the ending was a big disappointment for me. Maybe if the main character had not been such a whinny child things would have made more sense and I would have liked it better. Overall, I did not dislike it, I just did not enjoy it the way I thought I would.

  • Collin
    2018-09-29 14:38

    Cats. And time-travel. And Vivian Vande Velde, who, according to my cousin, is always amazing. Three out of three.And it was pretty dang awesome. It took me a while to really get into it, probably because of Deanna - she just wasn't -that- interesting of a character... by herself. But once Oliver got humanified? Her interactions with him really made the book.Scratch that. Oliver made the book. I adore cats, they're my favorite animals, but I think I'd be too terrified to try to write a humanified cat. Cats are so much better than humans, and, as long as I've had cats, I don't think I could capture them. But Vivian Vande Velde just... got it. Oliver was such a CAT. He was amazing.The ending, too, was really great. Actually, all of it but the first twenty pages or so was great. Read it.

  • Denae Christine
    2018-10-20 18:28

    VVV and Eoin Colfer write some of the shortest endings!I like a little "settle down" time. More than five pages. Not one hundred (bother some authors), but at least VVV made it clear how the story would continue. I just wanted to read about it!Oliver's character was well-done and not too ridiculously heroic. He got food poisoning! Not too ridiculously romantic either.Deanna was a little oblivious, but most book-characters are. She was realistic, though, and messed up in the most absurd ways.The elves, er, fair folk, were well-done too by being totally otherworldly, powerfully magical, and distant. Though at least they were sort of helpful.Who'd've thought a Mickey Mouse watch would cause so much trouble?

  • Yvensong
    2018-10-09 20:14

    A delightful light fantasy with unique fair folk/elves and an enchanted well which is the tool Velde uses to bring Deanna to another world. One of my favorite characters in this story was Oliver, though I won't say why. I don't want to ruin the little surprises he brings to this tale.

  • Amy
    2018-10-12 20:34

    I have no words to praise it because it's sooooooo AMAZING.....AWESOME work......;D

  • Joanne Roberts
    2018-09-22 15:32

    The story follows Deanna as she vacations with her mother in the French countryside. It isn't long before Deanna and a neighborhood cat end up enchanted by fairies back in medieval France on a desperate quest. The humor borders on the ridiculous. Horn Book calls it "slapstick." But what bothered me this second time through (thirty years later) was the helpless heroine. Deanna tries to take charge of her situation, but she spends a lot of time getting interrupted, shoved around, and thwarted...not very heroic. She is always moaning about not having anyone to help her and ends up trusting just about everyone else instead of making her own decisions.It's okay for the main character to lose control of the situation, especially in a comedy where the frustrating results can be hilarious. Unfortunately, as a reader I mostly just felt annoyed that Deanna didn't walk away from these buffoons and get on with her quest. Elizabeth (to whom the book is dedicated) and I both agree that the ending might have been stronger, more satisfying.It's still worth reading, but not Vande Velde's best work.

  • John
    2018-09-19 15:37

    This early work lacks a spark that shows up pretty reliably in later ones, methinks--it just reads like a short story that was stretched out. I did like the way Deanna was sort of dragged into taking charge, forced by events into becoming an active agent rather than a passive victim.

  • Trin
    2018-10-09 16:14

    LikeWilliam Sleator, Vande Velde is one of the writers I read compulsively when I was about 12 or 13, even though I was often surprised at the rather dramatic shifts in quality from work to work. This novel is not one of Vande Velde’s worst, though neither is it one of her best. It is, however, one I’ve read before—something I realized only halfway through, which suggests that this is also one of her more forgettable books. Yeah: there’s really not all that much of note here. While on vacation in the French countryside, Deanna accidentally drops her Mickey Mouse watch into a magic wall, potentially causing a paradox that she must go back in time and correct before the future is altered. With the help of some rather gay elves, she finds herself back in medieval France. Unfortunately, as Vande Velde writes it, the past is as Disney as the watch. Way too much of the narrative is spent on Deanna fumbling around this plasticy version of a castle filled with plasticy lords and ladies (and even a plasticy wizard). The only really interesting part of the book involves Deanna’s cat Oliver, whom the elves turn into a boy and send back in time to help her. I liked Oliver’s mix of humanness and catness (he’s amusingly literal—like Anya, in a way!) but his and Deanna’s relationship is glossed over until the very end, which puts a dampener on what’s by far the most original part of the novel. So, judging by my poor memory, this book didn’t impress me much when I was 12, and it doesn’t impress me much now either.

  • Lark
    2018-10-09 15:36

    I thought this was one of Velde's weaker books. The dialogue is a little worse than usual, the plot holes a little bigger, and the ending a tiny bit less conclusive. I don't particularly like the transition from cat to human mindset. For example, this dialogue bugs me:"Do you think I can go back after this? Be happy with what I was: rubbing against people's legs for attention, coughing up hairballs, eating mice in the barn?" We don't exactly see Oliver slowly becoming more human and liking it. Much less knowing what love is. The plot was more than silly because it could have been resolved so easily. And the girl Deanna is more than silly. I usually give leeway for Velde's heroines, but she just ignored obvious things (like the pigman continually trying to get her attention), was randomly self-conscious about Oliver, couldn't really understand subtext (Leonard's random love for her and how to avoid). And the continuous expression drops got rather annoying.All in all, decent book by Velde that could have been better. I'd probably recommend you skip over this book and read her other ones.Two stars.

  • Sarah Crawford
    2018-10-01 22:31

    This is another book by Vivian Vande Velde, and yet another good one from her.The story is about Deanne who is spending her summer in France (not enthusiastically, I will add.) She stops at a well in the forest, and starts to make a wish. Her Mickey Mouse watch falls off and drops into the well.That would be bad if all she had lost was her watch. But, because the watch fell through a time portal, a variety of things were set in motion. A few things are set to happen like the total lack of a feudal system ever being established, religious disorder, various wars, no Renaissance, no discovery of America, a worsened bubonic plague, and so onlAll because a watch was found in a time when such a thing never existed.Anyhow, it's up to Deanne and her cat, Oliver, to go into the past and get the watch and prevent the changes from happening. Which is somewhat difficult when your cat turns into a guy, two brothers fight for your affections, a magician might be evil (and might not), and time is running out.It's a really good story, not too serious, good bits of humor, good characters, Velde's typical writing quality. Definitely worth reading.

  • Gunne
    2018-10-16 17:34

    I wish there was the option to give half stars. This book isn't great, but it's simple and I enjoyed reading it. It probably won't stay in my mind for too long, but like Famous Five adventures, the fun lasts as long as you're reading it. It's about a girl called Deanna who accidentally drops her watch into an enchanted well and is assigned the mission to get it back. The well is sorta like a time machine, and is guarded by irresponsible and sarcastic "elves", who send her back to medieval France to get it back. I was expecting more fantasy elements like unicorns and trolls and all that, since you know, they used the word "enchantment" in the title, but all that happens are weird adventures and time travel. There's like, only 10% magic in the book. Oh, and as Deanna is pulled into the well, her black cat jumps in after her. Only he isn't a cat anymore because the elves decided to have him help her find the watch, and made him human. She begins to fall for him, which is both extremely wrong yet sweet and romantic. What did you expect, right? The main motivation to read the book is to find out if they end up together or not. It's a straightforward read.

  • Dexter
    2018-10-19 22:21

    I didn't enjoy this as much as some of Vivian Vande Velde's other books, but A Well-Timed Enchantment has a certain whimsical, almost fairy-tale like feel to it that's very different compared to her other books, and I think it just took me by surprise.The beginning is very hard to get into, but all of the sudden I was almost finished with it, so it ends up being a very absorbing, if short, read. And while the beginning and middle parts are a little lacking, the ending is so good that it makes up for it. I also have to commend Vivian Vande Velde for pulling off a humanified cat (Oliver is pretty awesome in both forms).Which leads me to another VVV point: she writes the best kinds of love stories. Doesn't lay it on too thick, but doesn't have it pop out of nowhere.Overall a pretty good, short read. I would've liked it to be a bit longer and more involved, but then I don't think it would've had that strange, whimsical quality I mentioned before.

  • Clickety
    2018-09-24 22:11

    Usually I really like books by this author, but this one was something of a chore to get through. Despite being told she was on a super important quest to save the world, the protagonist just sort of ambles through it, having things happen TO her but not really making things happen. The book could easily have been called "Deanna Is Wrong About Everything." It would have worked better as a running joke. In contrast, Oliver is odd but not consistent - sometimes he seems to understand what's going on better than Deanna does, at other times he's completely clueless. Don't get me started on the fae. From blaming Deanna for ignoring warnings and clues she had no way of perceiving to giving the most useless advice EVER, they were pathetic and irritating and I just wanted them to go away.

  • Katrina Sutton
    2018-09-25 22:22

    I have had "A Well-Timed Enchantment" on my to read list for the last couple of years. I finally decided to delve into it just yesterday. This reminds me of the books I used to read in the 90s (which of course, this book was written in 1990.) Every decade, books are a little different and I favor books from the 90s since that was the decade I was growing up. I read this book with delight and loved how the cat turns into a human. He falls in love with the main character. I just wish there was more to the ending somehow. It kind of broke off from her making a new wish and I just wanted to know what was going to happen next.

  • Jaime
    2018-10-14 21:29

    This book is a strange mix of modern and faerie-tale. Although it begins as an ordinary girls french vacation, it soon turns into a medieval adventure "just north of 1066". With her cat Oliver, Deanna is forced to go on a quest to find her time-traveling timepiece, before it changes the course of history, and eliminates her entire world. Forced to face two bad-mannered fair folk, a possibly dangerous wizard, a pair of jealous lovesick brothers and a romantic rival, Deanna is in for the quest of her life, in order to save her life. Overall, the writing is somewhat average, but the plot is quite intriguing for a book that is aimed toward a 10-and-up age group.

  • Arya
    2018-09-19 20:13

    This book was just too adorable! I loved the story and, as always, Vivian Vande Velde wove some laughs into her delightful tapestry. Deanna has accidentaly lost something in the past - something which will change the course of history if she cannot find it within a day's time. So she is drawn back into medival France by a couple of (well meaning) slightly eccentric Elves. With a cat-turned-human to aid her she sets out to complete her quest.Hilarious and sweet this was a great book! I adored it!

  • Sariah
    2018-10-08 15:17

    I loved all of the crazy antics Deanna and Oliver go through to retrieve her Mickey Mouse watch. A tad shorter than I would have liked. But I love how just when things are going one way, one of the characters turn it in a different direction. The only real problem I had with it is the ending. Vivian Vande Velde left it on a cliffhanger and I wish (pun intended) she would have written what happened with Oliver. But then, I guess that's the beauty of writing. You can leave a lot of it up to the reader's imagination.

  • Tansie G.
    2018-09-27 19:22

    Vivian Vande Velde is awesome. She has a great style: dark fantasy with dry humor tossed in, along with a boat load of other ingredients that all come together in some awesome way. It's fantastic.This has got to be on my Top 5 List when it comes to books by this author. I'm not going to go to in-depth in this review, but let's just say although it's short and meant for a younger-ish audience, the ending still left me aching for more, the plot was still wonderfully paced, and the characters were all awesome and unique. Especially Oliver.

  • Serra Rogers
    2018-09-27 16:31

    I love this book personally. The girl, Deanna was likeable, a little annoying in some ways, but I loved Oliver the most. He was funny and very caring and it was cute how he was so confused all the time. It wasn't THE greatest book I've ever read, but it was wonderful for it's genre of falling into a well and being transported back in time. I've never really seen anything else like it, except maybe the Japanese manga/anime Inuyasha, but I couldn't really compare them since the only thing in common was the well.

  • Sandra Strange
    2018-10-06 17:25

    Enchanting fantasy in which a girl drops her watch in a well and is pulled into a medieval world of jousts and rival princes, elves and evil (?) sorcerers. Her companion in adventure is her cat, turned into a fetching youth to guard her. Her problem--she and the cat begin to fall in love. The open ending of this last conflict may discourage the more Romantic teen readers, but that complication adds comic relief and an appreciation for literalism to the story. Positive and sweet.

  • Madame Jane
    2018-10-10 18:20

    A chose to pick up this book after reading A Wrinkle In Time. I am very found of 90s teen reads, and this one is a real winner. Wow, such a funny novel. I was laughing all the way through. All of the characters are interesting from Deanna and Oliver to Leonard (haha) and Lady Marguriette. Besides being charming, at the end Deanna learns that she can't wish away her problems. Fantastic read; an instant favourite!

  • Chrisanne
    2018-10-04 14:31

    Vande Velde has the ability to think up odd magical situations with a modern twist. Sometimes the characters create attachment to the situation, other times the whole thing seems downright weird. Here is one of her more un-weird creations, that works. And, while the end is, 9 out of 10 times, one of those "Yeah, right." moments I enjoy it. I mean, really. Haven't you ever imagined that your favorite pet/toy/plaything came to life? You just never thought it as thoroughly through as VV did.

  • Alysia
    2018-10-07 17:31

    I think this book was the first to spark my love of time travel and fantasy novels. I read this in probably 6th grade and loved it. I recently bought it so my girls can read it too. It is definitely juvenile fiction, but well done juvenile fiction. I'd say kids 9-14 would enjoy it. I loved sharing it with my girls, who also loved it.

  • Patricia
    2018-10-10 20:13

    Some things I look forward to in Vande Velde books are (1) her sense of humor, (2) her dealing with otherwise dark topics in a non-dark way and (3) the magic of her stories. I felt like all of these things were missing in this book. It reminded me of one of my favorite books: Heir Apparent but without the "zizz-boom-bah I associate with Vande Velde.

  • Mimi
    2018-10-13 20:12

    This was one of my favorite books when I was younger. I fell in love with the cat (won't say more for those who haven't read it!) and was simply enchanted by the story. It's a good little bit of reading for children ages 10-14 in my opinion, or for adults that still love books from their adolescence.

  • Lynn
    2018-10-17 22:16

    I usually really enjoy reading young adult books, but I would warn others that this book is really written for the much younger young adult crowd. Very easy read, simple characters, interesting ideas but not really well played out and the ending... well, I found it a huge dissapointment. Books like this make me think "Well, if someone published this, maybe I could write a book, too!" :)

  • Charlotte
    2018-10-03 17:14

    3.5 stars.Deanna moves from America to France with her divorced mother and she is not enjoying her new life. Her only real friend is her cat Oliver. One day she accidentally drops her Mickey Mouse watch down a well and something magical happens.This was a very interesting read that kept me entertained.It was different and also a little weird. But I overall enjoyed it.

  • Karen
    2018-09-25 14:29

    In my opinion, not the best story. Girl falls through well/temporal loop and into the 1066 French countryside. She understands the language, but not the customs of the time, Her cat follows her in to save her, but is changed to a young man slightly older than herself. Can she find her Mickey Mouse Watch and get back to her time in a day?