How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

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How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
April 23, 2013
ISBN
0062187457
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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?

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Overall rating 
 
3.3
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Overall rating 
 
3.3
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3.0
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3.0

A Perfect Summer Read, Full of Humor and Cuteness!

What I Loved:
Y'all, I freaking adored Sarah Strohmeyer's YA debut Smart Girls Get What They Want, and I was very excited to get my hands on her next YA effort, also given a super long title. What I wanted from How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True (henceforth to be called How Zoe because my fingers are tired) was a light, funny read to combat all the science fiction and dystopian books I've been reading. How Zoe was the perfect little palate cleanser, and just what I needed to read at this moment.

How Zoe is super cutesy. Like, cutesy to the power of kittens dressed up like princesses, okay? It is not, however, set in the 80s and does not involve cotton candy, as the cover seems to suggest. The mood is light-hearted and Strohmeyer's goal is to make the reader laugh and smile. At this point in my reading, I really wanted something sweet and funny, and How Zoe fit the bill perfectly.

How Zoe takes place at a fairy tale-themed theme park, Fairyland. Zoe and her cousin (and best friend), Jess, have gotten coveted internships to work in the park over the summer with 38 other teens. Two of the interns, one male and one female, will win $25,000 dollar scholarships at the end of the summer for being the best of the best and showing that Wow! spirit. Both Jess and Zoe could really use that money, since Jess' parents lost their jobs and have already used up her college fund, and Zoe's family is strapped for money due to her late mother's medical fees.

Fairyland serves as the perfect set up for romantic drama, because it's 40 attractive kids away from home for the summer. Plus, there's mystery and backstabbing and general rule-breaking. Yes, it's a bit silly, but that's totally the point. How Zoe is a great readalike for Strohm's Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink or Sales' Past Perfect, both of which take place at historical reenactment towns, and, personally, it's my favorite of the three.

What I like best about Strohmeyer's YA novels is that, though romance is a big part of them, she doesn't spend all of her time on that. She really highlights the importance of female friendships and of reconsidering first impressions. Though Jess and Zoe don't get to spend too much time together through the course of the book, because Zoe's role keeps her so busy, Zoe always keeps Jess' well-being in her thoughts. Never at any point does Zoe resent Jess for being the princess-type, while she's not. Jess and Zoe are totally supportive of one another at every turn, and it's so great to see healthy female friendships in YA.

What Left Me Wanting More:
My only real complain with How Zoe is the ending. The last chapter feels rushed and infodumps a ton of information on the reader. What could have been a cool twist ends up feeling way too neat and rushed. Plus, the whole resolution seems a bit unlikely, even in the context of the story. Why would Zoe have specifically been chosen for this? How could it have been in play the whole time and what if it fell through? Both the conclusion and the romance, while decent, would have been much more satisfying with a bit more time put into them.

The Final Verdict:
Even more than in Smart Girls, How Zoe is a fluff book. If you're looking for something with a dark center or deep themes, How Zoe is not going to be your book. However, if you're looking for a fast-paced read full of heart and humor, you can't go wrong with Sarah Strohmeyer's YA novels. I know all of her future YA efforts will continue to end up on my to-read list!

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Overall rating 
 
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Mostly Fun

So on the whole, I really enjoyed How Zoe Made Her Dreams{Mostly} Come True, but I couldn’t help but to compare it to Strohmeyer’s previous YA book, Smart Girls Get What They Want. Smart Girls is one of my favorite books I read this year and was just amazing, so it was hard for Zoe not to let me down a little. That being said, Zoe is a really cute and charming story. It doesn’t have as much depth as Smart Girls did, I don’t think, and there’s just so many characters I had trouble keeping track of them at first, but I thought the story was adorable. Strohmeyer’s writing is hilarious and she does teenage voices SO well. I’ll definitely be looking forward to more of her books in the future.

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The Perfect Summer Read...

Why I Loved It: The cover of this book screams cutesy chick lit full of adorable moments. That's what I was expecting, and thankfully the book delivered full on with some substance to make the book worth a read other than the cute story. And let me tell you, I adore books that are set in amusement parks. That atmosphere is just such a fun one to experience in a book. Going Vintage had some of that along with The Probability of Miracles. There is so much imagination filling such places. Especially, the idea of "Fairyland" made me want to read it. That just sounds so whimsical.

Anyways, I will say that I have not read Sarah's other book, Smart Girls Get What They Want. I have it on my bookshelf, but so far it has gone unread. I need to do that! *Blogger problem #520* Anyways, I have heard that it was even better, so that is another to add to your TBR pile *if it's not there already.*

So this book? What's it about anyways? Ok so Zoe and her cousin Jess are interning at Fairyland, the new replacement to Storyland *which Zoe's mother took her to as a child* and things are just going to get interesting. Jess's family, facing some financial problems the past year *at least*, has had a serious lack of cash lately. Jess really needs the $25,000 grant that goes to a boy and girl at the end of the summer. Zoe is determined to make sure it happens. When they get their assignments, it seems that Zoe has no cast assignment *which means she isn't a princess, or fairy tale character, or "furry".* She is undecided. Turns out, she is going to be the assistant to the woman who runs the park. And my goodness, what a crazy one she turns out to be. She is crazy and demanding and pretty much ridiculous most of the time, but she is probably my favorite character in the book.

As the story goes along, I was amazed at how good the character development was in the book. I really came to understand Zoe and The Queen and many others. I came to really admire Zoe with her loyalty and sense of integrity. The Queen was just hilarious and had such a crazy way of talking. I was cracking up on most of the parts involving her "speak" throughout the story. She uses way too many words when few would do the trick. Like when she needed Zoe to get the "intruder out of her ocular perimeter" when most people would say get the thing out of my eye. It was amazing!

I have to say that the selling points of the book though were Zoe's quirky and cute sense of humor, the romance budding throughout the story, and the incredible plot. The plot? Oh it was full of so many twists and turns I wasn't sure where I was at times. And it was a good feeling. I would be going one way, and then all of a sudden something would happen, and I would have to rethink my entire opinion of that character or situation or so forth. I love it when authors keep me on my toes without keeping me completely confused the whole time.

I wasn't expecting the ending. At ALL. Maybe I am just awful at guessing *not usually* but it got me. That made the story even better for me. So if you are looking for a cute and light read that is well written and incredibly funny, pick this one up! It's the perfect book to usher in springtime!

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