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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Romance books - Dream Factory and Girl at Sea

Dream Factory is kind of an interesting premise. All these kids who've just graduated from high school go to work at Disneyworld for a summer because the regular WDW workers are on strike. So it's a little bit of an inside look at Disney World which was kind of interesting. You don't really think about the fact that Cinderella marries the prince twice a day or more every day, and it's always the same people, and do they even like each other? Would they kiss for real? And it's pretty hot in Orlando, but do you really think about how it smells inside those costumes? And who washes them? And how often? Of course you have to take it all with a grain of salt because it is, after all, a novel, not all facts, but there are a lot of WDW facts in there, too. Ever wonder how all the plants stay so green? Where do they keep those hoses? You just don't see them laying around...

Brad Barkley + Heather Hepler wrote this book, and like in Scrambled Eggs at Midnight (which I thought was better than this) they write in alternating chapters from a boy's point of view (Luke) and then from a girl's point of view (Ella). This is, at it's heart, a romance novel, but there's enough other action, some deeper issues, and some very amusing characters, to make it appeal to more than those who revel in the romance genre. I thought it was a pretty good quick read.

Girl at Sea is by Maureen Johnson who wrote Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes which I believe I blogged last school year. This book is also at its heart a romance, but it has as much to do with Clio's relationship with her recently divorced parents and her feelings about that as it does with romance. Clio is a high school junior who is pretty bitter that her father left her and her mother, so when she finds out she's going to have to spend the summer with him, never mind that it's on a yacht in ITALY!, she's not exactly jumping at the idea. Plus it will mean she doesn't get to work a the art store with her mad crush Ollie. When she gets to Italy, she doesn't make it easy, and in fact, she definitely makes it difficult, but the secrets are getting to her and she feels like everything is spiraling out of control.

I thought this book had just a little bit too much that was not believable to make it a great story. I can usually suspend disbelief, but there were just some things in here that were too over the top for me. I'd give it three stars as what I call a beach book - a great book when you don't want to think too much, you just want to be entertained.

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