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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Dream Factory - Brad Barkley, Heather Hepler This is another one of those books that I really liked when I first started reading it, but over time, my feelings have gotten fairly lukewarm toward. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but the initial “OMG THIS BOOK” has gone down to “It’s good.”I like the book’s set-up of the plot, but there’s really not much done with “Teen scabs working at Disney World!” angle, aside from establishing the setting and one encounter of the striking workers at the beginning. A lot of the plot is spent with either Ella or Luke navel-gazing or pontificating to each other, because they cannot spit out their feelings. Like with Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, it’s an extremely character-driven book, but the characters never feel as real at times.Ella is excessively passive. She floats around for the whole book, letting people take advantage of her non-commitment, and she clams up each time she gets reminded of her brother’s death. It does feel a little realistic, given that she’s gone through a recent loss and got unceremoniously shuffled down to Florida by her parents, but by the end, she’s still the same “Ho-hum, life still sucks, probably can’t do anything to change it, so I won’t.” Of the two, she’s the one who does the most navel-gazing. Luke’s a bit more dynamic, as he’s the one who comes up with ideas and does stuff, but his backstory and “I don’t want to deal with responsibilities!” got old partway through the book. I can understand Luke’s reasons for not working for his family’s business, but I felt like he was avoiding them just because. We never really get an idea of what he wants to do in life, aside from “Live my own life!” (And if I’m agreeing with the ambitious wrong girlfriend, there’s something wrong with Luke’s arguments.)The big problem of the book is the navel-gazing. Every single chapter had to have some profound moment of realization by either Ella or Luke about how life’s so unexpected or you never know what you truly want. Also, Disney is a fake dream factory and people who believe in Disney magic are just hiding their own hurt and pain. (That last one gets slammed into your skull REPEATEDLY.) There are some funny bits, but the lack of development in the setting and plot make the book stagnant and I just couldn’t take the constant navel-gazing. It’s like the authors were going for deep and meaningful, but the overuse of life-changing realization in every other chapter killed much of the point that they were going for.(Side note- if you want to have fun with this book, give it to someone who worked at Disney World and watch them implode about how little research was put into this.)