Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Disneylanders by Kate Abbott

Title: Disneylanders
Author: Kate Abbott
Published: May 12th 2013 by Theme Park Press
Paperback, 184 pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Level: Middle-Grade

In Disneylanders, 14-year-old Casey Allison, on the brink of starting high school, struggles to find a new identity on her family's annual summer vacation, but with the help of an outgoing boy she meets while waiting in line, she discovers that Disneyland is the one place where her overprotective parents let her have the freedom to grow up. Casey looks forward to her family's annual summer vacation to Disneyland to escape her anxieties about starting high school. This summer, however, her vacation forces her to confront her parents' ancient attitudes, getting dumped by her best friend, an intense crush, and a pack of gum-snapping girls who seem intent on ruining her vacation.

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Disneyland. Happiest Place on Earth! For Casey, not so much.

Casey (short for Acacia) has always loved Disneyland. Every year her family and her best friend, Kiley takes a trip there. It's the one thing Casey looks forward to each Summer without a doubt. Although this year is different. This time Casey will be going without her (so-called BFF) Kiley. Kiley pretty much dumped Casey and has moved on (and up the social latter) in school, leaving Casey behind.

So much for Happiest Place on Earth. Casey ends up still going to Disney only this time with her parents. Oh what fun! NOT!  Although, someone is about to change all that. While standing in line for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride Casey meets a boy named Bert and his younger sister Margret. Casey and Bert becoming instant friends. They both adore Disneyland; the magic, the rides and just having fun and being a kid. This bond leads to both Casey and Bert wanting to stay together and do EVERYTHING that this magical land has to offer.  Riding the rides, over and over again, eating junk food, buying souvenirs but most of all getting to know each other. Casey and Bert know their time together won't last forever. But will their friendship?

The one word that comes to mind for this book is: CUTE! I have always loved Disney World, never been to Disneyland but I image they are both a lot alike. Like Casey I looked forward to going and never wanted to leave. Who wouldn't?

The story of Casey and Bert really was magical. Not just their friendship (and budding romance) but seeing each of them grow and change by the end of the book. Being a kid is not always easy. In the beginning of the book the reader can clearly see how much Casey was hurting and disappointed by the loss of her best friend. I really loved how meeting and being with Bert really changed Casey's outlook. 

Author Kate Abbott has written a super fun middle-grade novel. One that not only shows you everything that's exciting, fun and magical about Disneyland but the journey that Casey and Bert take together. I would differently recommend this book to all young readers as well as adults. I had a blast reading author Kate Abbott debut novel and I know you will too.

 Totally Awesome! I loved it, would read again.

About The Author: Kate Abbott

Find Kate @

Kate is a former editor at Prima Games, an imprint of Random House, where she worked on strategy guides for five years, and as the writer of Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo: Prima Official Game Guide. She’s also been a fiction editor for The Coachella Review literary journal, and a contributing editor for the Magically Speaking Disney park-focused newsletter. She recently received an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert. She would like to talk with you on Twitter. Especially if you’ve been to Disneyland recently, have any dog training tips, or know a good recipe for vegetarian lasagna. Kate lives in Northern California with her husband, son, terrier, and two tiny parrots.  

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