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

Posted February 3, 2014 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah StrohmeyerHow Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 23rd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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?

3 Stars

I picked up How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True because (1) I was in need of some wonderful fluff, and (2) I loved Smart Girls Get What They Want so hard. Sarah Strohmeyer really knows how to get you giggly and relaxed, but ultimately this one never really reached the “amazing” level.

How Zoe tells the story of Zoe, a high school girl, who is slowly recovering from the loss of her mother, and decides to spend the summer interning at a Fairyland Kingdom theme park. She quickly becomes selected to be the personal assistant of the “Queen” – the head boss. She’s a nightmare and keeps Zoe on her toes, making her cave to her every whim. Meanwhile, she and the other interns are competing for a $25,000 grant awarded to the best performing intern.

I really liked the fairytale theme park idea because it’s obviously just made of cuteness. I mean, cute guys are dressing up as princes. Seriously. Hello. And then the interns are running around the park and hanging out after hours, and it’s just a lot of fun. However, I wish we had seen more of the park. Since Zoe’s role is so much behind the scenes, it wasn’t quite as *magical* as it could have been.

Zoe was all right as a main character, but I didn’t connect to her that much. That’s where this book and Smart Girls greatly differ. That book touched my heart with its relatable characters, and this one was just pure entertainment. Zoe’s personality didn’t stand out that much. And I felt like the story remained very much on the surface level. Her mother died a year and a half before the book started, and she barely even mentions her father. Which I found extremely hard to believe, because I would expect there to be a big bond there – they’ve been helping each other through the loss, right? But all she talks about is how much she misses her mother. Understandable, but I dunno. It felt a lot like she was constantly telling only one side of the story. So I just didn’t care that much.

But obviously this book is about light fluffiness, and it definitely delivered there. It actually confused me for quite a while about which ship was the right ship, haha. I wouldn’t say it was a love triangle, but it kind of was? I dunno, it just went back and forth between two guys. But in the end, the romance was pretty adorable and just YES. And I also loved to see the bond between Zoe and her cousin, who also interns at the theme park, because that’s a super healthy female relationship and she would do anything for her. That was sweet. But on the other hand, Zoe was almost too sweet in that she almost always put others before herself. And I find that hard to buy. But oh well. The story was fun and sweet, and the romance was cute. I’m satisfied, more or less.

Summing Up:

How Zoe is basically The Devil Wears Prada with heaps of added sugar and a pinch of handsome princes. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face at some point, then you have a cold black heart. I’m sad I didn’t connect to this one as well as I did with Smart Girls, but I suppose my expectations were a bit too high. It was definitely a cute story and an entertaining read, but it just didn’t stand out that much, and it won’t make my favorites list.

GIF it to me straight!



Recommended To:

People looking for fluffy, fun adventures and fans of The Devil Wears Prada.

Tags: , , ,


Leave a Reply to Debby Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 responses to “Book Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

  1. I love the Enchanted gif 😉 I actually listened to the song they’re dancing to just before I read your post 🙂
    I totally shipped the romance and the healthy female relationship and I am just a sucker for anything with a theme park setting and I totally smiled all the way through this. I do still need to read (and buy) Smart Girls though..

    • Hahahaha, Enchanted was totally necessary to explain the feel of this book xD

      EEEEE I hope you read Smart Girls soon! I think I probably would have like this one a bit better if I hadn’t already been so impressed by Smart Girls. Oopsie. My bad. Wrong order. ^^;

  2. Exactly. This is *exactly* my thoughts on the book. It was cute and fun and a great read, but it lacked a bit of the. .. depth? that Smart Girls had. Even though Smart Girls was in the same light & fun range of contemporary, the characters gave it a bit more of an emotional impact for me. I think Strohmeyer is great at writing some hilarious dialogue in this one, though, if I remember correctly!

    • Exactly! It seems like we’re not the only ones to feel that way. It’s true though that Strohmeyer’s writing is very enjoyable. So I’m definitely going to keep checking out her work.

  3. I have this one on my bookshelf (and have had it for a while) but haven’t gotten around to reading it just yet. Looks like a book I’d definitely enjoy though! I think my favorite aspect is going to be the fact that Zoe interns at a FAIRYTALE theme park. Disney will always have a special place in my heart, but someone seriously needs to create a true fairy tale theme park — goriness possibly included. Perhaps I’ll read this one within the next two months when I’m in need of some fluffy, Devil Wears Prada type read 😉

    • We have a kind of fairy tale theme park in the Netherlands called the Efteling. There’s one area of the park called the Fairyland Forest, where basically a ton of fairy tales are depicted with mechanical dolls and such. The book really reminded me of that park, haha, and I loved that. I pretty much grew up in that theme park.


    Um, yeah, so we are the same on this. Like, fluff is cool and the fairytale theme park was fun, but the ending was what the eff. But then also I just didn’t bond with the romance the same way I did in Smart Girls. It was cute, but I really didn’t have anything else to say about it. This almost got to saccharine levels of fluff, I guess.

    Also, I just noticed the comment above and I WANT TO GO TO THERE.