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Posted December 17, 2012
Highly Recommended Realistic Teen Fiction
What a breath of fresh air. No vampires, no shape-shifters, no angels, demons, fairies or any other supernatural creatures. No teenage sex, no crazy partying, no love triangle, or any of the other gimmicks used so often in YA lit. And, you know what? I didn't miss any of it! This is true realistic fiction. The story revolves around Erin, the anonymous writer of an advice blog called Miss Fortune Cookie, and her two Chinese-American friends, Mei and Linny. They are seniors in high school whose biggest concern is getting into the perfect college. While not involving the supernatural, there are a lot of real-life problems that these girls deal with: communicating with each other and their families, feeling like you belong somewhere when you don't look like you fit, feeling responsible for your parents, the struggle to be true to yourself while also being respectful of your family. All of these issues are dealt with throughout Erin's misadventure in Miss Fortune Cookie. I loved the main character, Erin. She's smart and funny and always has everyone's best interest at heart. She has grown up immersed in Chinese culture and language and feels a part of the Chinese community but she is not Chinese herself. Erin is really caught between two cultures. The author really does a great job of showing how hard it can be for a teenager in particular to feel like you belong somewhere but not look the part. One of the main themes of this book is friendship and how it evolves. Erin and Mei used to be BFF's before an incident in middle school caused a rift between them. Later on, in high school, they are brought back together by a mutual friend, Linny. Erin sometimes feels like the third wheel in the friendship and that Linny is the only thing holding them all together. As the story unfolds we see how much Mei and Linny rely on Erin. She is their confidante and the one they rely on to help them sort out their problems. By the end of the book, Erin realizes that she is as important to them as they are to her. There are some conflicts between the friends and Erin is often left wondering what she should do or say. Should she be truthful with them? Should she tell them what she really thinks or should she spare their feelings and just nod and agree? Another main theme is family and the struggle to be true to yourself while also following tradition and being respectful of your family. Mei's mother is a traditional Chinese woman and wants the best for her daughter - in this case, to attend Harvard. Mei is in love and wants to go to a different school to be closer to her boyfriend. How can Mei convince her mother that going to Harvard is not necessarily the best thing for her? In the end, this book is really about being true to yourself, being honest with the people you love, and communicating in a way that is truthful but respectful all told in a way that is fun and not too serious. This book is about real girls and real issues that they face all told through Erin's often hilarious observations and her advice on Miss Fortune Cookie. As a side note, the fortunes included as chapter headers were also hilarious! Highly recommended! Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the author through Crossroads Tours and Reviews. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
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Posted September 24, 2013
This book was a cute, change of the pace, feel good read and was
This book was a cute, change of the pace, feel good read and was a delight to read. Erin was born and raised in Chinatown and most of her friends are Chinese. Up until the eighth grade, Mei and Erin were best of friends, and not until seniors in high school did they start becoming friends again and only because of a mutual friend, Linny. Erin has a secret advice column called Miss Fortune Cookie, and this is truly what makes the book humorous.
“Clubbing on a Monday night? What is Mei up to? I’ve only been to a club once. Me, with an older boyfriend.”
This is standard high school drama and the author has done a splendid job relating to the teen market and showing that Erin is wise for her years, yet still has the same issues and insecurities most teenagers have and experience. The dust cover of this book is what drew me to it. The beautiful ashen blue gives the delicate glow of the fortune cookie a nice appeal and the actual fortune stands out, telling the readers they will surely love this book as much as I did!
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
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Posted December 10, 2012
Zany and Fun!
What a breath of fresh air Erin is! She's not the usual brooding, complicated protagonist we get in so many young adult contemporary novels. She seems to genuinely love her school, her friends, her mom. Life in general! Her friends aren't quite as bubbly and content. They are more caught up in typical teen issues of romance and identity so it seems natural that Erin should give her conflicted friends a little push in the right direction. When Erin feels her Miss Fortune Cookie advice might have caused her friend, Mei, to run away with a boy, she sets off on a whirlwind jaunt around The San Fran area with a cute college guy as her sidekick. This is when we really get to see Erin shine in all her quirky glory as she rescues a woman by acting as a get-away driver while getting an impromptu driving lesson from her passenger, befriends an overtly honest little boy who follows her around like a lost kitten, nervously shares a hotel room with her crush and inadvertently hooks her mom up with a homeless man named Cigarette Willie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Erin also has to face down a hard choice about her future. Should she go to a more local college to be near her mom and the best friend she's relied on through high school? Or should she step out of her comfort zone and leave her beloved Chinatown? This novel very subtly deals with the issue young people are facing: Growing up! There comes a moment when we have to choose between keeping the good times, the status quo, going for as long as we can or leaving the nest. Ms. Bjorkman is able to present this idea slowly as it's weaved through all the head-spinning humor.
Miss Fortune Cookie is pure sweetness. It's fast-paced, dizzying and joyful, like youth itself. If you're sick of books with agonizing conflicts, characters who take themselves far too seriously and unbelievable protagonists, then Miss Fortune Cookie is your antidote. This book does what so many fail to do: Celebrate life!
A copy of this book was provided to me at YA Reviews and News via the publisher and Crossroad Reviews Blog Tours. The opinions expressed are honest and my own,