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April 17, 2013

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

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

Title: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: April 23, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
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 was such a cute fairytale like novel. Strohmeyer made this novel original by creating a fairytale like setting in a contemporary novel without making it into an actual retelling. Zoe and her best friend/cousin get accepted to work at one of the most prestigious internship opportunities in the summer, at the Fairyland Kingdom Theme Park (Think Disney land with every single fairytale ever written coming to life). Zoe ends up working for The Queen as her personal assistant while Jess ends up playing little Red Riding Hood #2, a far cry from the princess role she wanted. However what is ironic is that living and working in the theme park IS like a fairytale, with all the drama, backstabbing, and plotting to win the grand prize at the end of the internship. 
Everyone at the kingdom is fighting to win the 25 thousand dollar Dream & Do grant. I personally hated how when Zoe was caught in the Forbidden Zone (FZ), a place that, if found in, enables an automatic expulsion from the program, by an intern, the threatening notes emerged and the whole atmosphere of the novel turned into a dreaded one. I just wanted a feel good novel, not a novel where everyone was stepping on everyone else just to win. Also, while I enjoyed The Queen's antics, she sometimes was the worst of them all. She seriously reminded me of The Queen from Snow White. I have to say, Zoe was great; She was always looking out for Jess and trying to up Jess's chances of winning the grant because she needed the money. She was totally admirable here. Also, I loved the relationship between Zoe and Jess and how even with the misunderstandings and the rumors people told her about Zoe, she never believed them and always confirmed the information with Zoe and believed whatever she said. 
In terms of the romance, I have to say it wasn't as cute as in Smart Girls Get What They Want, Strohmeyer's other contemporary novel that I read and loved last year. However Ian, the love interest, had charm, in his own way. At some points I did feel annoyed by him but that is only because of the way the plot was unfolding and Strohmeyer not giving us all the information we needed. Other than that, I thought he was pretty cute and very fun to be around. I definitely enjoyed the moments between him and Zoe. The ending was very unexpected, I have to give it that. I had around 15 pages left and was like "HOW the hell is this novel going to wrap up in just 15 pages?" but the twist came and it left the stupidest grin on my face! I did hope for more closure though, especially on what will happen after Zoe and Jess end the internship but it was a decent ending. I definitely recommend it to contemporary fans and fairytale lovers!  


  1. I so want read this, sounds like a fun fairy tale. Wonderful review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. Now that's an interesting title. I haven't seen this one but sounds really fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review :)

  3. I love that it's a fairytale story without it being a retelling. Very innovative. It'd be a perfect summer read and I'm looking forward to reading it. Great review :)

  4. I agree that Smart Girls was a tad better than this one, but this was a fun read, I enjoyed it a lot! And for me it was a great palate cleanser in between all these heavier books I've been reading. Fantastic review!

  5. When I first saw this book around I actually assumed it wouldn't be my sort of thing, I think by looking at the cover, I thought it would be for younger readers, but now I know I'll definitely have to give it a go when I'm looking for something light and funny! Lovely review Juhina! :)

  6. Great Review, This looks like a great book and I really want to read it.

  7. You got a copy! YAY! How did that happen?

  8. This one sounds AWESOME. I really can't wait to read it!! Great review (:

  9. I have Strohmeyer's first book and I can't wait to check it out because I love the title's of both of these books. I have always thought it would be awesome to spend a summer working at a theme park. I also have to admit that I do love some drama so I cant' wait to read this one. Amazing review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  10. This one sounds good and it's been on my TBR for a while now. Thanks for the review and I'll definitely be picking this up!

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  11. Ooh, it's an interesting direction to fairytale contemporary! Might check it out for when I want a quick feel-good read.

  12. Oh my goodness, I got approved for this but waited too long to read it, because by the time I logged onto Edelweiss, it had expired. It was so depressing, because I LOVED Smart Girls Get What They Want. I'm sad to hear that the romance wasn't as cute as it was in Smart Girls, because let's face it: it was ADORABLE in that book, but I'm still determined to read this one! Zoe sounds adorable, and ah! I'm just excited. Lovely review, Juhina!

  13. I like the sound of this one (I'd heard of it before, but hadn't really read the summary until now), HOWEVER I'm not a fan of books that have a lot of backstabbing in it. I'm just a little tired of it. But this book does sound pretty fun, and I'm glad you enjoyed it :)