Gr 7–10—Zoe Kiefer, 17, and her cousin, Jess, are interns at Fairyland Kingdom, an over-the-top theme park in New Jersey. These internships are coveted, with the princess and prince roles going to those teens who had spent thousands of dollars attending prestigious Fairyland summer camps. Jess gets cast as a Little Red Riding Hood and Zoe is tasked with being the demanding Queen's personal assistant (aka slave). Zoe worries that these subpar positions won't put them in the running for the Dream and Do grant, a $25,000 prize that both girls desperately need. As Zoe runs around Fairyland fetching the Queen's meager breakfast (three almonds, two grapefruit slices cut into thirty pieces, and a yolk-free egg), walking her malevolent bichon frise, and charting poor Cinderella's weight gain, she discovers that the internship is not without its drama. Most of the interns would do just about anything to win the prize money, including selling out Zoe to the Queen. But when she is rescued by a charming prince, she must determine where her loyalties lie-with the Queen and the Fairyland she's loved since her youth, or with the boy who's captured her heart. Zoe is a likable protagonist and her narration is sharp and witty. The Queen, with her posh vocabulary and insane demands, rivals that of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. This clever, happily-ever-after story will charm fans of Meg Cabot and make new ones of Strohmeyer.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
Zoe is spending the summer as an intern at a hyper-controlling storybook theme park, a place she used to go with her mother before she died. Instead of being cast as a character, she is assigned to be "lady in waiting" to the Queen, the park's domineering manager. On her very first day, Zoe gets a demerit for picking park flowers, which could cost her the big college scholarship awarded to two star interns. But Zoe is not the only one breaking rules, and she soon realizes that "You could not pit a bunch of ambitious, talented, extremely theatrical rising high school seniors against one another with twenty-five thousand dollars at stake and not expect blood to be shed." Readers may have a hard time following the over-the-top scandals that unfold, but Strohmeyer's (Smart Girls Get What They Want) humorous details about the park itself (royal characters get better quarters than "Ordinary Cast Members," and princes are given exclusive access to a pheromone-rich cologne) provide a lively, unconventional backdrop as Zoe's emotional wounds slowly begin to heal. Ages 13–up. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (May)
“For fans of roms-coms everywhere.” —
“Strohmeyer’s humorous details about the park itself (royal characters get better quarters than ‘Ordinary Cast Members,’ and princes are given exclusive access to a pheromone-rich cologne) provide a lively, unconventional backdrop” —
“This clever, happily-ever-after story will charm fans of Meg Cabot and make new ones of Strohmeyer.” —
School Library Journal
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: ” In her YA debut, adult author Strohmeyer (Kindred Spirits) excels at exploring the bonds of friendship and the complications of teenagers’ lives. Smart readers will find a heroine in girly, intellectual Gigi-all the while winking at her nerdy jokes.” —
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: “This realistic novel, with touches of humor, is a welcome addition to bookshelves.” —
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: “Sarah Strohmeyer gets what readers want: a fresh, funny book full of likable characters, drama, and plenty of romance that kept me turning pages until late into the night.” —
Meg Cabot, bestselling author of ABANDON and THE PRINCESS DIARIES
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: “The author of The Cinderella Pact (2006) shows a humorist’s ear for the cadence of teen language in this smart foray into teen literature.” —
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: “This realistic novel, with touches of humor, is a welcome addition to bookshelves.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Praise for SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT: “Sarah Strohmeyer gets what readers want: a fresh, funny book full of likable characters, drama, and plenty of romance that kept me turning pages until late into the night.
For fans of roms-coms everywhere.
Lured by the promise of a large cash prize and the opportunity to work as a costumed intern at a destination fairy-tale theme park, 17-year-old Zoe Kiefer struggles to earn the approval of the eccentric and manipulative Queen of the park. Zoe's duties as lady-in-waiting seem straightforward: obey Her Majesty's orders to the letter; improve her mood with compliments and by slipping sugar secretly into her strict diet; take good care of Tinker Bell, her minute, caviar-guzzling, fluffball mutt; excise from the Queen's reading material all mention of the hated "Mouse" (of the Mickey variety). But try as she does to do her job well and abide by the rules of Fairyland (all 270 of them), events get away from Zoe. She finds herself in several compromising and angst-ridden situations, mostly brought about by her well-meaning desire to promote her cousin Jess' interests. In spite of the efforts of various princes, charming and nefarious, to aid or thwart her desires, she wins out in the end. The chatty tone of Zoe's narration is pitch-perfect, laced as it is with teen humor and obsessions with relationships, clothing and makeup. The narrative, always hard to follow, ends in a madcap maelstrom of conflicting interests, improbable revelations and multiple personality changes in which believability is cheerfully sacrificed in the interest of allowing Zoe's dreams to (mostly) come true. But credibility probably has no place at Fairyland Kingdom….Wow!â„¢ anyway.