How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
The Skinny: A summer internship at Fairyland Kingdom, a fairy tale theme park, sounds like a dream summer for Zoe and her cousin Jess, spending the days with hot Prince Charmings and elaborate costumes. Not to mention being in the running for a $25,000 prize. Zoe is cast as the assistant to “The Queen,” Fairyland’s uber-strict (and crazy) manager, and her summer fantasy comes crashing down as she is forced to do all sorts of outrageous tasks: fetch the Queen’s breakfast, walk her pint-sized annoying dog, and even deliver firing notices to fellow cast mates! But when she accidentally gets lost in the Forbidden Zone and is rescued by one of the princes, she must struggle to survive between the cutthroat competition, protecting the secrecy of her unknown rescuer, and the Queen’s continually increasing strange requests.
BFF?: Zoe was cute, caring, considerate, yawn. I liked her, don’t get me wrong, but she wasn’t anything memorable. Which I really hated because her whole situation could have really used a quirky personality, which sadly, Zoe fell shy of having. I did, however, enjoy some of her moments… she had a fair sense of humor that made me giggle every now and again. One person I did like however was her cousin Jess. Jess was the typical sweet girl who you can’t help but love, which I know… should be a total yawn. But she was kind of fiery whenever she got riled up, which totally made her character leap from the pages for me!
Readability: Easy breezy read, nothing too difficult. Definitely kept me hooked but, like Zoe, wasn’t really memorable. There were a lot of crazy hijinks that were super fun to read.
Crush Level: 6.3
Ian was super duper cute in this book and I wish we could have seen more of him. He was like this weird amalgam of preppy kid/cowboy farmer/quirky nerd boy. Totally my kind of guy! I think what made him even more fun was that we’re led to believe all these other things about him. I like when there’s an air of mystery created about a guy that’s not brooding or tortured… just maybe a little uncertainty about him! He was also super sweet and a little protective of Zoe… not really in a “Stand back, fair maiden! I will slay the beast!” kind of way, but more in a “Are you crying? Why are you crying? What can I do to make it better?” kind of way. My only complaint was that we didn’t get enough of him and were left with this dangling need to see more of him!
Internship from Hell
I think everyone has that internship/first job story that they love to tell… you know, the one where it was the most miserable summer of your existence and you’re suprised you didn’t jump off a building just to enjoy life a little more (sorry if that was insensitive… but that was my own experience with internships!). I loved seeing Zoe’s torturous summer internship and all the crazy and wacky things her boss made her do. I say I’m not sure how she put up with it, but thinking back to my own internship, I’m not sure I didn’t do a lot of thing things she did!
At first I really thought this place was kind of a lame small town theme park, but as we got to know more about it, Fairyland Kingdom turned out to be freakin huge! About halfway through the book I really wanted to plan my next vacation there because it sounds like my kind of place. It’s a combination of ALL fairy tales, not just the Disney ones we’re used to.
As much as we’re led to hate her, I seriously loved the Queen. I loved that she was referred to as the Queen. I mean, who doesn’t want to have that title at their job? She was crazy and insane and strange and high-maintenance… but overall you knew she loved her job and the theme park and would do just about anything to see it successful.
Commencement Speech: While this one wasn’t omgIlovethisbooksomuch, it was a fun, cute read, perfect for the beach or pool in the summer. I’m just sad I didn’t get to read it at the beach or pool (I read it mostly at work, in drive-thru lanes, and waiting for the doctor), because I know it would’ve been right up there with a trashy romance novel (my go-to beach read!). Not that it was trashy… it just had that light, no need to think kind of feel that’s perfect for a beach read. I hope you take this one with you to the beach!
There is ONE eensie weensie complaint that I have that really rubbed me the wrong way. Fairyland Kingdom is in no way supposed to be related to Disneyworld… in fact, there are tons of references to “the Mouse” and how it is their biggest competition. But there’s a scene where Zoe and the Queen are discussing the seven dwarfs and talking about how Grumpy was dating someone and was now all happy and Sleepy was drinking lots of Red Bull and was all wired. It bothered me that they called them Grump and Sleepy… because those were Disney given names. Yes, everyone knows them as that and I get that it was used for the plot, but still… if you’re not Disney related, you don’t need to use their names.
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
Superlatives – Most Likely to be my next vacation destination
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