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.