Summer Reading: Young Adult for the Disney Fan

In the spare time I’m not working on THP, I write reviews and fun little features at Rather Be Reading Blog. Now, we do focus a lot on young adult books but my partner and I also like to read and review “big kid” titles, fantasy, and some middle grade books. It’s funny but sometimes it seems like being an older person reading YA holds the same stigma as adults who choose to spend their vacations at Disney Parks. Luckily, you and I know the secret to that: you are never too old for either.

Last week, I teamed up with my RBR partner to write about vacation spots and paired them with books. I had just finished How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, about a girl who interns at a theme park in New Jersey that sounds very much like the Magic Kingdom so, of course, I wrote about Disney. (Melissa from Mouse on the Mind liked it so much she featured it in her Weekly Roundup!)

After seeing that Dawn from MouseChow picked up Zoe and was enjoying it (I’m 2 for 2 with recommendations for her), I thought I could suggest some other young adult books that may appeal to the Disney fan. I also asked a few of my other book blogging pals (who are also huge Disney fans) to share their suggestions too! Enjoy!


Estelle from This Happy Place Recommends YA Books for Disney Fans

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando: A fantastic book about a girl discovering her mom’s history while uncovering Coney Island’s history too.
Starstruck by Rachel Skuhart: Probably one of the most literary, multi-layered young adult books I’ve ever read set in 1930s Hollywood. (Hey DHS fans!)
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer: Is it sad I think Africa and immediately have Animal Kingdom stuck in my head? This book was a finalist for the National Book Award last year about a girl spending the summer with her mom in Africa, her bond with a bonobo, and what happens when things go extremely wrong.

And now for a few words from my book blog buddies:

Meet Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide:

Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide in Walt Disney World

Rate your Disney obsession: Somewhere in between Happy and Dopey 🙂
Favorite movie: It WAS a three way tie between The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, but ever since my book obsession grew, I’d have to say Beauty and the Beast pulled ahead.
Favorite character: It’s totally Belle.
Best theme park moment: Riding Toy Story’s Midway Mania back to back to back (even though I think we waited in line each time) or making my sister take a picture of me at every country in Epcot (and keep in mind I was 22 on this trip haha).

Her book recs:

Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide Recommends YA Books for Disney Fans

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I think fans of Aladdin may like the magical elements of Shadow and Bone. Except we’re in a Russian culture instead of Arabia.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Cinderella as a cyborg?
Everneath by Brodi Ashton: Mythology tie-in for those Hercules fans!

Estelle note: Brittany is a rock star. She wrote me such an extensive list cataloguing books by movie, park, and attraction. We are going to have to do a future post together.

Meet Rachel from Rachel Reads:

Rachel from Rachel Reads in Walt Disney World

Rate your Disney obsession: I can sing almost any Disney song from memory. Take from that what you will.
Favorite movie: Mulan
Favorite character: Sulley or Stitch. Or Mushu. It’s so hard to choose!
Best theme park moment: I remember going to Disney right around the release of Toy Story 2. I was IN LOVE with Jesse and carried a barbie doll of her around the park with me all day. At one point in the day, I got to meet her and get pictures with her.  I remember my tiny self being completely starstruck and convinced I was going to be her when I grew up. Sadly, I am now grown up and definitely not a cowgirl.

Her book recs:

Rachel Reads Recommends YA Books for Disney Fans

Peter and the Starcatchers by David Barry and Ridley Pearson + Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson:  Total classics.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson: “It’s heartbreaking and magical and reminds me of the summers I spent as a child reading Peter Pan.” (from Rachel’s Beach Read Picks)

Meet Alexa from Alexa Loves Books (who has guest written for THP in the past!):

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books in Disney Hong Kong
Alexa is in the light blue shirt. 🙂

Rate your Disney obsession:I love Disney as much as Abu loves food, Maximus adores apples, Meeko loves treats, Ariel wants to visit the world above, Belle adores books, Rapunzel wants to see the light. Basically, I mean I 100% adore Disney.
Favorite movie: This is hard! Beauty and the Beast is my childhood favorite, while Tangled is a new obsession.
Favorite character: Belle, because we’re so alike. But I think Stitch is adorable!
Best theme park moment: Every single time I get to see the late night fireworks display above the castle. The last time I saw it was at Hong Kong Disneyland! I was with my college roomies, it was our pre-graduation trip, and we all sobbed.

Her book recs:

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books Recommends YA Books for Disney Fans

Beastly by Alex Flinn: a modern Beauty and the Beast story.
Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer: very cute retelling.
A Midsummer Night”s Scream  by R.L. Stine: out July 2, the perfect book for Haunted Mansion fans (and those who like gore/horror)!

Thanks to these great ladies for contributing to this post!

Happy reading friends! If you are reading anything amazing, please do let me know!

8 thoughts on “Summer Reading: Young Adult for the Disney Fan

  1. YAY what an awesome post!! Thanks so much for having me contribute! It was a blast and I loved seeing what the other ladies recommended as well. I love the idea of tying Disney back into books and there are so many great recommendations for Disney fans! 🙂

  2. I have to admit I clicked from FB because the Starstruck cover reminded me of that Disney made for TV movie with Justin Timberlake and the girl who switches places with the model. Anyone remember that? Anyone? Also, clearly I should be reading Brittany’s blog because Cinder and Shadow and Bone are two my FAVORITES!!

  3. I’m just so happy that book “Dreamland” (published by MTV right about the same time as “Perks/Wallflower”) isn’t on any of these lists! I read it when it came out and thought “no.” Then I found it at a local cafe and read it again and thought “no.” It’s about like murderous management at Disney only it’s Dreamland and… no.

    But the absolutely most top-notch Disney YA read is Robin McKinley’s “Beauty.” The characters are so similar to the Disney film, it ought to have been re-released with a movie tie-in cover.

    All that being said, “Dreamland Social Club” and “How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True” are going straight onto my TBR list!

  4. I think this was so much fun to do! There are plenty of books that will appeal to Disney lovers, and it’s great that you spotlighted some of them in this post. They’re all really good, solid suggestions. Thanks for having me!

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