Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review: Miss Fortune Cookie

Author: Lauren Bjorkman
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR

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.
“Sincere lies keep everyone happy.” – Finished Copy pg. 2
“When I started Miss Fortune Cookie freshman year, I had a serious shyness problem. Like every time a teacher called on me I’d blush, whether I knew the answer or not. Things had improved since then, but I still didn’t want to go public.” – Finished Copy pg. 12
Erin + Cute boys = Inevitable + Disaster.” – Finished Copy pg. 25
“Then again, the probability of Harvard, Princeton, or Brown admitting me was so minuscule, a person would need a microscope to see it.” – Finished Copy pg. 31
“Though I already knew I wasn’t Chinese, that afternoon was the first time I considered myself as different and apart from my community. After that, I spent too many weekends staring into a hand mirror at my Irish nose, freckles, and annoyingly bright hair, until I threw the loathsome thing out the window. Luckily, I didn’t believe in seven years’ bad luck.” – Finished Copy pg. 35
Miss Fortune Cookie was a phenomenal book that takes a look at a different culture, friendship, and the road to adulthood. Erin Kavanagh runs a blog under the pseudonym of Miss Fortune Cookie. Her blog is like an advice column where people write in with their random issues and concerns and Erin, secretly, gives them advice mostly in the form of proverbs that one would read in a fortune cookie. Erin is just your normal, average high school girl until she reaches her senior year and her friendships start to change, she starts applying to some big name colleges, and she has a crush. What?!
The thing that I loved most about this book was actually the Chinese culture that was incorporated. Erin was, of course, not Chinese but some of her closest friends were, and I believe that she began to strongly identify with that culture. I also think that within her community and school district the Chinese ethnicity was rather rampant as well. I loved how much I learned about the Chinese culture and even though most of it was humorous it was still pretty informational.
The fact that Erin ran a blog just made this book all the more relatable and completely understandable for me, obviously! I loved how much passion she had for her blog and how much confidence and voice that blog gave her. She started to feel important and like people were starting to care what she had to say, and that can be a pretty amazing feeling. Erin had aspirations to have an advice column of her own one day, and I think her blog was a great start towards that. It really showed me that the character had goals and dreams. Erin was pretty brainy and I am not going to lie, I wrote down many of her words of advice and many of her fortune cookie sayings. I would read the book again just for that.
Erin is facing a difficult time in her life because it is time to start thinking about college and possibly being separated from her friends. I was so impressed with Erin because by the end of the book she has really changed and grew as a person and a character. I could tell that Erin was a follower from the first page, and she had a hard time telling people things that they didn’t want to hear. Ironic for someone running an advice blog, I know. Erin was struggling to define herself as a person, and I wondered at times if her friendships would bring her down. However, they did not. I will let you figure out all the juicy details for yourselves. Just keep in mind that Erin may surprise you with some of her actions towards the end!
***I was graciously provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review***

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