Monday, October 14, 2013

[Review: Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman]

"Miss Fortune Cookie"
Author: Lauren Bjorkman
Series: None
Pages: 279
Genre: YA Contemporary
Date Published: November 13th, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format Read:Finished hardback received through ARCycling


Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

My Thoughts:

I can't tell you that I loved this book, because I didn't, but I thought I'd start this review by telling you things that I did like, cause there were some really cool things happening in there.  I loved that Erin isn't actually Chinese, she American/Irish but she grew up in China and has Chinese friends.  It keeps things interesting.  I also loved the advice column that she writes and with a name like Miss Fortune Cookie how can't you love it.  Also the protest that they put on at Lowell High School was awesome!  It was great to see all these kids and their parents standing up to Westboro Baptist Church and standing for equality, all the kinds of equality.  The protest actually happened in San Fransisco and I love when history sneaks into fiction.

I actually think that Bjorkman had a great basis for her story.  She had lots of little details that I loved from interactions with the homeless people on the San Fransisco streets (I go there often and it's pretty true to life) to Erin's donkey collection.  You could tell that she really took her time building the world that held her characters, which I fully appreciate.  She definitely created something unique.

Sadly her characters and some of the craziness of her plot didn't hold up for me.  So much so that I couldn't give this book a higher rating.  Though the book kept telling me that Erin, Mei and Linny were all 18, or close to it, I just didn't buy it.  They all read like they were no older than 16, max.  My brain couldn't connect with them, cause it couldn't wrap itself around the fact that they were older then they appeared to be.  Their immaturity grated on me to no end.  Half of the "big conflicts" of the story could have been avoided had these girls actually talked to each other, like the adults that were trying to be.  They all wanted to make me *head desk* on more than one occasion.  

That being said I did like that Bjorkman actually wrote about family relationships.  I loved the relationship that Erin and her mom had.  It was refreshing and cute and loveable.  And even the harder one between Mei and her mom was realistic.  

The shining star of the book for me though was Lincoln.  He becomes a part of the book when the crazy starts to happen, aka when the plot gets really random and weird, but I loved him.  Seriously, this 9 year old little boy stole the show for me.  He almost made the random worth it, almost.  Also, the love interest was pretty cool, even if he was as all over the place as Erin was herself.  There was some major insta-love, but it actually kinda worked with the strangeness of the over all plot.  

So even though Miss Fortune Cookie had its complete ups, it also had its downs and sadly the downs got in the way of my enjoyment of this book.  Though I can see younger YA readers totally connecting to the characters in a way that I couldn't!  

     2 Unicorns = It was okay, but something just didn't work for me!       


Skye said...

Yeah, I was the same with this one - it had some good parts, but it was far-fetched and far from amazing. Lincoln was my favorite as well - I could not get enough of that boy! Great review!

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Well, I hadn't heard of this one, but I'll be staying away from it. I hate immature sounding characters, but it's a shame that Bjorkman put so much effort into the surroundings and not the characters. It sounds like it had potential, too. :( Shame. But, yay for good parent relationships!

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Forgot to say, great review! :)

Natalie Natflixandbooks said...

I checked this out from the library at one point, but never got around to reading it. It sounds somewhat interesting with San Fransisco and Westboro, etc, but I think I'll skip it. I just don't have time for mediocre books and the immaturity of the characters is something that would grate on me. Great review!

Nicole said...

Thanks for your honest opinion. I don't think this one is for me. If there is one thing that consistently ruins a book for me it's immaturity.