Fun, funny, and charming, How Zoe Made Her Dreams... is a book of so much fluff, it might just float ofRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
Fun, funny, and charming, How Zoe Made Her Dreams... is a book of so much fluff, it might just float off a bookshelf. It's a fast and entertaining read, full of surprisingly developed characters, but unfortunately How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is just not on the same level as Smart Girls Get What They Want. I liked it, but it just didn't have the same impact as Strohmeyer's first. Zoe struggles with some serious issues, and I might have teared up once or twice when she confronts her issues, but the emotional pulls are few and far between. For ninety percent of the story, this is a fluffy piece, with a silly plot, operated by characters that are pretty generic, if certainly likeable.
Fans of the author's other books, and epecially Smart Girls Get What They Want will find similarities between the novels, but Zoe ultimately ends up a pale copy of its predecessor. I don't mean to knock the author's newest because I was certainly entertained while reading, but anyone who has read Smart Girls before trying this will find it just not quite as good. A lot of my issues stem from the plot and the setting - the competition among the Princes and Princesses for the grant money comes across as frivolous, and often laughable. It's charming and amusing, but never really sells the competition as a serious plot device. As a result, all the drama and suspicions set up around the Dream & Do failed to make me care about its ultimate winner.
Strohmeyer can certainly write a credible teenage voice, however. Zoe, through all her present struggles and past heartaches, comes across as authentic and consistently real teen girl. Her voice is strong and likeable, and the author's style works well for a silly but fun read. Zoe's relationship with her cousin is another strong point; the two girls have a real bond and love another. It's all too rare to find such real, strong friendships between teen girls in YA, but so far, in each novel, Strohmeyer has taken the time to build such remarkable and meaningful friendships for her female characters. For that alone, this novel is a winner. I wish Zoe had more female friends, maybe made during her time at Fairyland?, but I will not take her relationship with Jess for granted.
For a novel of such fluff, it's heartening how well characterized Zoe (and her love interest) are shown to be. While I loved Gigi, I do think Zoe ends up being the more rounded and dimensional main character. Zoe has a lot of facets to her personality, and amazingly, who she likes doesn't define her or her actions during the novel. The romance might not be as endearing as I thought Gigi's was in Smart Girls, but I have to admit I was rooting for the two kids before the end of the novel. It's a light read, and the love interest is pretty great, but I wasn't overtly involved. I just wanted more substance and depth to the plot. If I'd had that, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True could have easily been a four-star read.
If you're looking for a charming fluff read, this is a perfect fit. A "done in one day" read, Strohmeyer's capability for writing YA is evident and lends itself well here in her second YA offering. An amusing plot with a couple twists en route make for a fun few hours spent in the company of this cast of Princes and Princesses and furries. How Zoe Made Her Dreams... may not be the best book of 2013, but it's a great diversion for a few hours of pure fluff....more
I hate to damn a book with faint praise, but the only thing that comes to mind upon finishing this novel is: blandly inoffensive? Simple, forgettable,I hate to damn a book with faint praise, but the only thing that comes to mind upon finishing this novel is: blandly inoffensive? Simple, forgettable, if sometimes charming? There are characters that are sometimes funny, sometimes flat, and never really approach what I think of as three-dimensional? They came, they did their thing to various repercussions, but none really interested me worth investing in? A lot of what happened came off as predictable (view spoiler)[I saw the end of the relationship with Jeremy and new one with Oliver as soon as the latter was mentioned (hide spoiler)] or just silly, but Going Vintage wasn't bad - it was just sort of there.
One day and done, and I doubt I'll think back on or even remember this in a month. Basically, this was 340 pages of fluff. I didn't have to think too hard, pay that much attention, care at all. There is nothing I can point at and say was wrong with it, but neither is there anything I can point out as right or amazing about it. Inoffensive. Yeah, I'm going to have to go with that for my overall impression.
Full review to come!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In a few words: Cute, fun, super fluffy. Dug the ship, found the plot to be predictable and somewhat silly, ship is boardable but not unsinkable. A3.5
In a few words: Cute, fun, super fluffy. Dug the ship, found the plot to be predictable and somewhat silly, ship is boardable but not unsinkable. A healthy suspension of belief is helpful and the banter is goooood -- both between love interests and between Maggie and Roux. It's also to see parents so aware and involved in their teens life in a YA novel ((view spoiler)[for better or for worse. I mean.. making your kid a spy? Moving all the time? No life or security? But that all ties into the suspension of belief etc etc just don't think it through kk (hide spoiler)]).["br"]>["br"]>...more
What an utter waste of time. The consolidated three hours it took for me to complete this tome of one-dimensional, unlikeable characters is 180 minuteWhat an utter waste of time. The consolidated three hours it took for me to complete this tome of one-dimensional, unlikeable characters is 180 minutes I'd like back.
There are seven characters; none of which seemed remotely convincing or valid. Most were vapid and so distasteful I wanted them to be caught out on their nefarious deeds. One character, Liz, was especially heinous and off-putting. I loathed that character. Any time the narrative was about Liz was a nadir for the book; just unrepentantly selfish, awful and unsympathetic.
This is certainly a misfire from an author who usually writes warmhearted, lovable characters with interesting and personal storylines. Nothing really clicked or felt more than average in scope or detail; the love affairs aren't steamy, the revelations aren't that shocking, and the last quarter of the novel lacks any real resolution for ANY of the characters. A very frustrating, pointless read....more
While I've read more than my fair share of Elin Hilderbrand's breezy, easy summer novels (Barefoot, The Castaways, A Summer Affair, The Island, SummerWhile I've read more than my fair share of Elin Hilderbrand's breezy, easy summer novels (Barefoot, The Castaways, A Summer Affair, The Island, Summer People, Nantucket Nights) this was by far the most emotional and affecting yet. Usually, along with Jennifer Crusie, Hilderbrand is my go-to gal for a light, beachy, often romantic read I can finish in a couple hours. This novel was a slight change in tone from the previous novels I'd read, because those books too dealt with heavy, tough issues, this seems like a much more personal novel, especially when Meredith reflects on her relationship with her late father.
The book beginning finds Meredith, the titular "silver girl" of the book, grieving for the life she believed she had for the last thirty years. Her "economic whiz" of a husband Freddy had "commited financial genocide" with a Ponzi scheme of $50billion, cheating thousands (including most of their friends) of their hard-earned cash. Knowing nothing of his heinous crime but disbelieved and blamed by all of America, Meredith can only turn to a friend she'd spurned years earlier because of Freddy. Read the rest of this (mild spoilers) review RIGHT HERE!...more
As a fan of the ubiquitous, outrageous and beloved show, I had a desire to read the sourc material as IRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
As a fan of the ubiquitous, outrageous and beloved show, I had a desire to read the sourc material as I have always always enjoyed the book over the show/movie/puppet re-enaction. This is the very first time (that I can remember) where that is not the case: I'll take the show and even those two atrocious movies over this crapfest. What was a fun, frothy, sexy show with independent and strong women was a soul-crushing excursion into the minds of characters so flat I could apply makeup while standing on them. Candace Bushnell might have had the right idea but she had no idea about how to execute it. Without Darren Star and the writing team at Showtime, the Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and even Carrie we all love or love-to-hate would never even have come close to existing. There are no tangible storylines here - just a series of disjointed vignettes.
It is a bleak, and entirely off-putting book. There are no real characters, just darkly humorous facsimiles of modern people in a big city. No one is likable; no one even really has a tangible storyline! I have no idea where the writers of the eponymous show found their inspiration for Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha and Carrie: it certainly wasn't in the pages of this book. This was an incredibly depressing and unfulfulling read for me. I'd rather I'd never even started it, but I can't figure out how to unread this tripe. While it may seem I have a complete total hate-on for Bushnell, this is not true: her expansion into the YA market with the novel The Carrie Diaries had three-dimensional characters and a valid (if weak) plotline that I had fun reading. I just HATED both of these novels to a rather large and voluminous degree, and the characters so so much as well that I'll be needing a nice looooooooong break before I try another of her work. ...more
I liked this just fine, there is just not much to go on. Paper-thin teenage characters pulling an 'impossible' museum heist. This was an incredibly eaI liked this just fine, there is just not much to go on. Paper-thin teenage characters pulling an 'impossible' museum heist. This was an incredibly easy, quick read: it took less than two hours for me to complete. I would've liked it more had there been more atmosphere, tension or even real connections between the characters. They all seemed a bit jammed together with no real cohesion as group, especially missing the camaraderie needed for close-knit, long-standing friends pulling a job. There are elements that work for the story (Kat and Hale were the only two with chemistry, the mysterious Uncle Eddie) but it lacked any real depth or feeling. I found myself more annoyed by the constant coy references to the characters' past (and always unexplained exploits and history) than intrigued by the tidbits. We're left to assume Kat is The Greatest Thief Ever at 15 with no real basis or facts for that theory, and then are constantly reminded of that checkered past with every new character that is introduced. ...more
A fairly amusing, fairly predictable story. Not to say I did not enjoy it, but it was not groundbreaking or earth shattering. Full of humor, the bestA fairly amusing, fairly predictable story. Not to say I did not enjoy it, but it was not groundbreaking or earth shattering. Full of humor, the best part of the story are the characters. Not necessarily even the main character, but Florence, Fenn, and even Bev were a welcome breeze of energy and sarcasm. It lagged for a bit around the middle and the pacing felt a bit rushed towards the end of the book. I felt like unnecessary characters were introduced (though charming) that did not relate to the plot or advance the story in any way. However, I enjoyed the outcome for everyone involved so I did not mind too much. More of my reviews here: http://bibliophileanonymous.blogspot.......more
Continuing the trend started in the first two books, this was a quick, delightful read. Parts are laugh out loud funny, but it's not lacking in seriouContinuing the trend started in the first two books, this was a quick, delightful read. Parts are laugh out loud funny, but it's not lacking in seriousness or emotional pull. Jessica is just as confused, maddening, confusing, spoiled, intelligent, dumb, loving as she has been. What she has done is mature a bit, stand up for herself a bit and learn a lot about herself, her relationship with Marcus and even her thought-to-be-unassailable relationship with Hope. Jessica grows and matures as a character a lot during the events contained in the book, which is probably why it's the best of the three. Her family, especially Bethany, is revealed to be more than the paint-thin personalities they've been portrayed as in the past. By making Jessica's family more realistic, more approachable, as actual people than black-and-white enemies, McCafferty's Darling series benefits greatly. More of my reviews here: http://bibliophileanonymous.blogspot.......more