Sunday, January 29, 2023

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari - OPTIONAL

Happily Ever Island
by Crystal Cestari
, 326 pages. Disney Hyperion, 2022. $19 

Language: R (70 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG (kissing)  Violence: G.



18yo College freshmen Madison and Lanie are complete opposites, yet still best friends. When Disney superfan Madison wins a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney’s newest attraction, Happily Ever Island, she anticipates a fairytale spring break getaway for her and her girlfriend. But when Madison gets unexpectedly dumped, she turns to super serious pre-med Lanie to accompany her. The island is everything a Disney fan could dream of, yet somehow Madison and Lanie find themselves pulled apart by circumstances. Will Madison find love with the nearly perfect vacation coordinator, Val? Will Lanie learn to let a little magic into her life? And can both girls learn to be true to themselves while still keeping their friendship alive? 

Disney fans will be swept away by the idea of a tropical island where every Disney princess lives in her own movie-worthy castle. The lessons of learning to be true to the person you were meant to be, not searching for fulfillment through relationships, and dealing with anxiety are subtle, yet effective. However, the high swear count feels almost forced and not at all in keeping with traditional Disney values. The alternating viewpoints of the two girls provide a lot of insight into each of the characters and how past experiences have affected their personalities. Various ethnicities are represented by the characters. 

Tammie H, Librarian 

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