Thursday, September 1, 2022

Happy Book Birthday, The Land of Fake Believe by Laurel Solorzano!

It's celebration time these next weeks thanks to SO many book birthdays! Today's birthday highights a middle grade novel, which takes place in an amusement park and stars two siblings. It's the first in a series and sounded like it might be quite a bit of fun.

Grab a cotton candy or, maybe, a hotdog is more your thing? Either way, let's see if this one is a ride to enjoy or not!

Happily Ever After, Book 1
by Laurel Solorzano
Middle Grade Fantasy
203 pages

Visiting the Happily Ever After amusement park is every child's dream . . .
until Taylan and Colby find out that the characters aren't just people dressing up.

They are real Ever Afters trapped in the parks and battling it out with the dark ones every night. If Taylan and Colby can't help them, then the Evil Queen might take over the park for good.

Will they be able to survive the chaos of the park after dark?



Fantasy and fairy tales come to life among the fun of spinning rides and shows, creating an exciting adventure in a place kids' dreams are made of.

Taylan and Colby love to tease their younger sister, especially when they are bored. When Taylan takes things too far and tells her younger sister the dressed up characters are fake, while waiting in line at the amusement park, she and Colby can't believe their punishment is being grounded for an entire evening at the hotel. Determined to prove that she's right (and since they were in trouble, anyway), they sneak out of the hotel and back into the park, determined to get a picture proving the characters are fake. Instead, they stumble across a magical truth, which puts them and their family in huge danger.

The first scene already comes across extremely familiar for anyone who has siblings, and this natural flow between characters hangs on the entire way through. The reactions are, for the most part, believable and understandable, and it's hard not to root for the characters...well, after Taylan gets passed her initial pouty mode (which makes her more believable as well).

The fantasy sinks in as smooth as a fairy tale, but then, it does center around fairy tale figures coming to life. It interweaves nicely with reality, and the theme park is the perfect setting to let the entire thing unfold. There's also an interesting twist to some of the fairy tales, which adds an original direction, too.

There's never a boring moment as the two siblings try to help the fairy tale characters. Some moments happen a bit too easily, but there's enough tension and surprises to keep the pages turning until the end.
It's a cute fantasy which holds more than a few fun loops and twists.

And here she is...

Children’s book author Laurel Solorzano has been creating stories since she first learned how to write, completing her first full-length novel while in middle school. Her love for fairy tales is what inspired her to write The Land of Fake Believe, a twisted fairy tale for middle-grade readers about the real lives of amusement park characters and the siblings who uncover this incredible truth. Laurel believes a great book is one that includes likable characters getting into difficult situations and how they handle it. She hopes that her young readers come away from her stories having escaped the real world for just a while, and return to them again and again. Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Yader, Laurel is a Spanish and English teacher. When she’s not penning creative stories for young readers, Laurel enjoys reading and spending time with her two dogs. Also the published author of five young adult books, Laurel’s book The Land of Fake Believe is the debut book in a series of twisted fairy tales.

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