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review 2015-10-07 18:30
.Dream Factory Book Review.
Dream Factory - Heather Hepler,Brad Barkley

This review can also be found at: MissKatiEllen & Goodreads.


After I went to Disneyland Paris last year my best bud Alice bought me this book for Christmas. I love Disney!! I can’t wait till I go on Sunday!! I’ve always had a massive appreciation of what goes on there, even before it went, whenever me and my friends would end up talking about it I’d always say how hard it must be to work there, especially if you’re a Princess. And this book really enforces this, for us it’s this amazing and magical world but for them it’s work.


This book doesn’t really have an aim, it’s not a love story it’s just a story of two people trying to find themselves and get on with their lives. As much as I was rooting for Sam and Ella to be with each other all I really wanted was them to find their way, do what made them happy. This book takes place at Disneyland where the actors have gone on strike and they’ve drafted in teens to play the parts till it all gets sorted.


The story switches between Sam and Ella, Sam plays one half of Chip and Dale and Ella plays Cinderella. Sam is very much a wondering soul, his life has been mapped out for him, when he becomes old enough to join his brother and dad in the family company. To everyone around him this seems like the ideal thing, a great job with great money and perks, he doesn’t even have to work for it. Sam just goes with things because he should, he can see his girlfriend is gorgeous, every guy there thinks so and tells him as much, but Sam plays the part hoping it will all fall into place.


Ella. Oh Ella. Somehow Ella has managed to keep going when it’s clear she is barely keeping it together. I don’t want to spoil to much her backstory, but there are moments in this when she is okay and we get a small glimpse of what she’s like. But to a lot of people there she’s odd, she asks odd things and looks at you hopefully for an answer. I don’t want to portray her as the outcast or anything because she does make friends and she is social, but when she’s with Sam she’s really herself. He listens to her, really listens to her, answers her questions.


This book is really like anything I would ever read, and I am glad of it as it was such a nice book, but like I said nothing really happens, but following Sam and Ellas friendship keeps it going, you hope she’ll bare her soul to him and he’ll realise he should do what makes him happy. But like I said, all you want them to do is work it all out.

Happy reading.


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review 2015-08-16 00:00
Dream Factory
Dream Factory - Brad Barkley,Heather Hepler Welcome to the world of "Happily Ever After." Well, here at Disney, the staff aren't so happy but the show must go on so Disney hires some temp replacements: Ella (Cinderella), Mark (Prince Charming), Luke (Dale) and Cassie (Chip) amongst other new cast members.

The setting seemed very well written. While I have never been to Disney World, this book helped give me an interesting visual behind the scenes. The is a huge parkwide scavenger hunt the new cast participates in that gives us some interesting look-sees plus the best insight into the characters themselves (more on the hunt to come). The story is given to us from two perspectives. Ella and Luke take alternating chapters to give us the story.

I wasn't a great fan of the characters. Ella I can sympathize with as she is going through a really tough time, and having to smile all day at strangers doesn't often make things easier. However otherwise she seemed a bit dull to me. Luke was a bit better, with a quirky sense of humor and a middle name that left me grinning. With the exception of how quickly he changes his interest in girls, I liked him overall. But I cannot blame him for that. While Cassie is spunky, she shows some true colors when she bails on him for the scavenger hunt. This is how Luke and Ella's story begins. And lets not forget Prince Charming! Why isn't he fighting for his princess? Well partly because he isn't her boyfriend in real life plus he is more amused it seems just watching things unfold.

This is a cute, if not cliche story but I enjoyed it over. Not the greatest YA by any means but any fans of disney should read this. The romance is light and sweet and very fairy tail-esque.
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review 2012-07-27 00:00
Dream Factory - Brad Barkley,Heather Hepler 3.5

This book was really...cute. I don't really know any other word for it. It follows the lives of Ella and Luke, 2 kids who work at as characters at Disneyworld while the real employees are on strike. Ella is Cinderella, and Luke is Dale (as in Chip and Dale).

I am a huge Disney dork, so this was kind of the perfect book for me. It was very light hearted, cheesy at the right moments, and just fun. Who wouldn't want to work at the Happiest Place on Earth? The author seemed to know a lot about the behind the scenes of park life, plus little random tidbits about the park itself (think Hidden Mickeys and secret walkways). I liked that personal touch, it made the story more real to me. Like we were actually following the lives of 2 employees.

Ella was interesting. Her inner dialogue was often overwhelming and I found myself wondering if someone her age would really talk like that, because I sure as hell didn't. But then you find out more about her backstory and her home life, and I could see it. Her life shaping her into this sad person who has to smile daily because she's not so lucky to be able to hide under a mask. She's also in love with Luke, who just happens to be dating Cassie - the Chip to his Dale, literally.

I loved Luke. He was what sold me on this story the whole way through. I found myself looking forward to his POV every other chapter. He was just a funny, confused kid. And the whole running joke about nobody knowing what his middle initial S stood for was great - especially when you find out exactly what it was.

This book just left me with that "awwwwww" feeling that sometimes you need. It wasn't deep, it didn't solve any major problems, or have a philosophical take on society. It was just plain fun.
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