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?
Think an internship with a Devil Wears Prada worthy boss, competition as fierce as America’s Next Top Model’s and a surprising plot twist right in the heart of Disney World and you have yourself How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, or in other words, the longest title to any YA contemporary novel I’ve ever seen in my life, and rightfully so.
Upon arriving at Fairyland, Zoe and her cousin, Jess, find that despite the high expectations they have for the official summer of Awesome, not everything is going to end up as peachy keen as they might have hoped so. Assigned to the mirror image of Meryl Streep’s character in TDWP, it isn’t long before Zoe finds herself sneaking out past curfew, bumping into princes in the Forbidden Zone, and ruining just about every chance she and her cousin have of winning the 25,000 bucks everyone’s bugging out for.
Zoe’s realism in the novel was fun and unexpected, and though far fetched at times, could easily be relatable to. While Zoe is mostly laughs and giggles, there were serious points scattered along the book and I liked how not everything was fun and games, but not too heavy.
Most characters had their quirks and I loved just about every single one of them, save for the occasional snarky game changer, but the award for best persona has to go to hipster RJ—the unlikely former star intern who’s returned as an RA with a couple tricks up his sleeve. Ian, Adele, Karl and the rest of the gang all had distinguished voices that really brought the story to life.
Dialogue was, like, as close to, like, any American teenager as you could, like, possibly get, like, ever. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that Zoe’s dialogue was as fetch as Regina George’s. While when writing YA it’s important to keep in mind that teenagers do talk in strange ways, so to speak, Strohmeyer did have a problem keeping things minimal and the voice felt overly exaggerated for the most part. As it is often stressed, less is more, and this was not the case in HZMHD(M)CT.
Vision wise, Zoe is one of the few YA rom-com’s I’d love to see hit the big screen, and Strohmeyer’s vivid writing style makes Zoe’s world seem like it’s made for it. It’s hard to accomplish the clear world that Strohmeyer was able to achieve in her novel, and Sarah did a great job doing it.
Anyone in search of a beach read that doesn’t take place at, well, the beach will find that How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is a lovely story about a girl just like any other who lived out the fairytale-nightmare the rest of us could only dream of.