I wasn't going to read this book. The blurb didn't leap out to me. But then I saw that Katie Sise was coming to Atlanta to sign with Sara Shepard and...moreI wasn't going to read this book. The blurb didn't leap out to me. But then I saw that Katie Sise was coming to Atlanta to sign with Sara Shepard and Sarah Strohmeyer, and I thought I'd maybe pick up a copy. But it wasn't until Harper Collins sent me a finished copy of the book that I finally decided to read it, and I've got to say I'm just thankful they sent it to me because this book is ADORABLE!
This is one of the most high concept contemporaries I've read, and I've got to say that I was totally intrigued by the idea. My favorite part of the story was definitely all the details about apps and how to build them. Katie Sise does a great job describing how Audrey, our MC, creates her app and all the computer programming bits without being overwhelming. It could have easily turned into a big explanation of how programming and hacking works - or seeming totally unrealistic without any details - but there's a great balance.
I also really liked Audrey. She's a fun MC, and I loved how smart she is. I'm always in favor of more smart girls in YA, kicking butt with their brains, and she definitely falls into that category. I also loved her group of friends and how quirky and nerdy they were. Their group sort of reminded me of the guys on The Big Bang Theory - there's even an Indian guy that sorta reminded me of Raj.
And while there's definitely the popular mean girls, I liked that one of Audrey's best friends is a popular girl, her cousin Lindsay. I found this more realistic, since not EVERY popular girl in high school is mean.
The writing itself is snappy and fun. There are a lot of what could be ridiculous situations, but I thought they were really funny and well-written, so I liked them.
And just like when I read How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, I loved that this book focuses less on the romance and more on the MC's own conflict and story arc. In that way, it reads more like a traditional chicklit book rather than a contemporary romance.
All in all, this is the perfect summer contemporary. It has humor and a great concept and just the right amount of romance. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys cute contemps.(less)
Just about everything. Honestly, this book is insanely cute and funny and basically the perfect summer read. Everything was spot-on, from...moreWhat I Liked
Just about everything. Honestly, this book is insanely cute and funny and basically the perfect summer read. Everything was spot-on, from the quirky humor to the sweet romance.
My favorite part of the book was definitely "The Queen," Zoe's high-maintenance boss. She cracked me up, with her drama and claiming that she hasn't eaten sugar in 20 years (when she has it in her tea every morning). She has so many hilarious lines! She's kind of like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada, but a lot less ruthless and way more ridiculous.
I also liked our love interest, Ian. He was sassy and fun, the perfect match for this type of story. I loved how he teased Zoe for being a vegan and ignoring the "cannibal chickens" that he claims exist, and how he misquotes "Don't Mess with Texas" bumperstickers as "Don't Mess with Texans." After the Queen, he was my favorite character for sure.
After characters, I thought the next best part was the setting.
I mean, this is Disney World...but with a different name. Why has this not been done before?! It's so freaking cute! I just loved this premise - how much makeup everyone has to wear, the dances that the princes and princesses have to learn, the cutthroat competition for the best roles.
I had a friend in college who worked for Disney; she was one of the Princess Jasmines, and she went on and on and on about how much she loved working there. She also dated one of the Prince Charmings at one point, but said he was a jerk. So I couldn't help laughing a little when Zoe would describe the primadonna princes and princesses at Fairyland Kingdom.
And on a side note: the bits about "the Mouse" were SO funny! I'm assuming that Sarah Strohmeyer couldn't say "Disney World" because the name is copyrighted, so she just had to imply it. (And really, who doesn't know who "the Mouse" refers to, when speaking of theme parks?) I thought this little inclusion was really amusing.
What I Didn't Like
Not much to say here. I think the pacing was really fast at the beginning - Strohmeyer flew through a lot of the set-up. I didn't really have a problem with that; it just FELT fast, and I wasn't sure if it should have.
Also, it took me a little time to get used to all the fairytale language that she used when describing normal things. For example, the Queen is always called "the Queen" - not her name. Security guards are called "trolls." Etc. etc. This really helps immerse you into her worldbuilding, but there was a little bit of a learning curve I thought.
But really, not many cons to speak of.
Overall, this book is really cute, and I highly recommend it! I read it in one night, if that tells you anything. It was just what I was looking for - something fun, light, and hilarious. This is perfect for people looking for the perfect summer read!(less)