Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Miss Fortune Cookie (Lauren Bjorkman)

Miss Fortune Cookie
Title: Miss Fortune Cookie
Series: standalone
Author: Lauren Bjorkman
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Light Contemporary
Told: First Person Singular (Erin), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (minor suggestive material, minor swearing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

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.

*          *          *

Three Words: Simple. Zany. Instalove.

Writing: A light read with a fun voice. And I enjoyed all the Chinese references.

Setting: San Francisco. "Colorful" doesn't even begin to describe the San Fran that Lauren depicted, leading me to believe she embellished a bit - I mean, c'mon, Erin was accosted by crazy people every time she set foot outside her door! But I've never been to San Fran, so I can't truly say whether it was realistic or not. I will say all that color made for a more interesting read, though. And I loved all the Chinese culture.

Story: When Erin advises her friend Mei to confront her controlling mother and take charge of her life, Erin could never have imagined how Mei's decisions would set her on an adventure of random and zany exploits that included, but were not limited to, rescuing a woman in a hideous hat, lying about pancakes, a driving lesson, bagging a hot boyfriend, befriending a nine year-old (and three quarters), taking in a homeless man, giving out a lot of advice (wanted and unwanted), and taking charge of her own life in the end. It was a classic teen adventure that would better suit a 90-minute movie than a 270-page book - the beginning and end were almost painfully drawn out, building to and then wrapping up a night of unexpected and rather unbelievable adventure. A lot felt like filler (especially the protest), and it would've been far more enjoyable at half the length. Still, I never once considered not finishing the book, so that accounts for something.

Characters: Erin was a smart and capable girl at the mercy of the feelings of others - deep down she knew exactly what she wanted, but she couldn't stand to leave her lonely mother and friend behind to pursue an education on the other side of the county. She was sweet, kind, and loyal to a fault, a girl anyone would be lucky to have as their friend. Mei was exceptionally realistic - rather self-absorbed, a little selfish, completely dippy about her first and "true" love, but a pretty good friend most of the time. I felt Linny, best friend and the main cause of Erin's emotional tug-of-war, should've been shown as a little more dependent on Erin. She was obsessed with causes and her new boyfriend, and I didn't feel the reliance that was implied. Weyland, the romantic interest, seemed like a nice guy for the most part, but we really didn't get to know much of anything about him. Lincoln, while he felt like an addition solely to advance the story, was the bright spot of the whole book for me. He was smart, adorable, and said the darndest things, and I couldn't get enough of him.

Romantic Relationship: Instant physical attraction, aka instalove, on an epic 0 to 160 scale that was nowhere close to believable for me. Erin and Weyland barely knew each other two seconds before she wanted to be all over him - and he was, of course, totally okay with this. She knew next to nothing about him, and the only thing she wanted to get to know was how it felt to be as close as possible to him. Ugh. Luckily not much happened or I would've had some serious problems with this book.

Conclusion: While the story was slow and rather far-fetched and the romance unbelievable, overall it was a light read with a fun voice and realistic characters. It's a bit of a one-sitting book, so I would recommend it for a lazy day at home with nothing to do, or if you're a quick reader, a quiet evening on the couch.

Scribble Rating
3 of 5 Scribbles


  1. This does sound like a zany teen comedy. Honestly, San Fran is pretty intense. I don't know if all of the things that happen in this book would happen close together, but their likelihood is probable. I haven't read the book yet though, so I can't tell you for sure. Fun review!