12/02/2013

(ARC) Book Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published: April 23rd 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format Acquired: ARC from publisher via Edelweiss (thanks!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl's summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.

When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?

Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True (boy that is a long title.. I could've shortened it but I just had to say the whole thing at least once in this review) is a perfect example of a book I had fun reading but felt zero connection with.

Overall I liked Strohmeyer's storytelling. The story was fast and told in a way that was easy to get into. Zoe talked like a regular teenage girl, basically. I liked how she described everything and everyone around her. The colorful descriptions of Fairyland brought the entire theme park to life. Everything about it sounded so much fun - even the surprisingly cutthroat internship! They had the typical princesses and princess, but there were also the minor fairytale characters roaming the park like Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. The entirety of it was super cool. I don't get to visit theme parks that often and let's face it, we really don't have anything as cool where I live, so reading about Fairyland and everything that makes it work felt like an escape for me. I had so much fun reading about their initial meeting upon entering the park, the daily pre-opening routines, and especially their affairs after curfew. I guess that's the entertainment value of this book - seeing the behind the scenes of a theme park.

The downside to this fluffy book however was that it was too fluffy. This is the reason why I didn't feel any sort of connection to the story. The characters felt so one-dimensional. I wanted to like Zoe, and I think I did at some point, but when I finished the book I realized I had no attachment to her whatsoever. It's sad, really, but none of the characters were that interesting. I was glad though that while Zoe had serious issues brought on by her mother's death, it didn't overpower her.

The ending was surprising. To me, at least. I'm not that good with guessing plot twists, so there's that. But anyway, I liked the sudden turn of events. I think it totally made up for the barely interesting characters. Plus, it added that bit of fun that was present all throughout the book.

Would I recommend this book? Of course! If you're looking for a fast read that's going to keep you entertained from start to finish, then go ahead and try this book. Just don't expect much.