Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
Blurb (from Goodreads): 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.
Review: The main reason I requested Miss Fortune Cookie from the publisher was because I love reading books about different cultures. I also like reading contemporary novels that are not too serious. I AM glad I requested this novel and read it, but in some ways it disappointed me.
The number one reason I was disappointed? The disjointed plot. When there was a plot. Half the time I didn't even know where the story was going or what was going to happen next. That makes it sound like a good thing but it wasn't at all. Just what was the story arc here? I have no idea. This was not a difficult book to read so this should not have happened. But it did.
I'm going to try to give you an idea of what this book is about, but it's hard because I still am not sure what the main ideas were. Anyway... Erin runs an advice blog called "Miss Fortune Cookie." Basically people write in with questions about the problems they are having in their life and Erin answers them with fortune cookie fortunes and a little explanation. Which would have been cute if I thought Erin had any business giving people life advice but she did not. The girl hadn't even had a real relationship and wasn't even sure how to keep or manage her friendships. Plus, she was a teenager. What teenager should be giving advice to others? Ummm...not a single one?
But I digress. So Erin is giving advice to people and then some people she knows start writing in and asking questions because they have no idea that Miss Fortune Cookie is Erin but they are facing some really tough problems and could use some advice. So Erin gives it to them and I guess then her real life starts to conflict with her blogging life and she has to start straightening things out. The problem is none of this happened until really late in the book and the whole first hundred or so pages were all about Erin and her friends and all the drama in their lives, which really wasn't all that serious, and I honestly didn't care all that much. These girls pretty much meant diddly squat to me because their characterizations were flat as hell and who were they even? I don't know but none of this worked for me. *takes a breath*
Okay. So that's it. I tried to summarize most of the plot without giving spoilers, but to be completely honest it would be hard to spoil anything because nothing much happened. And yet I gave it three stars. Which I am now lowering to two because after writing my review I feel I was too generous with this one. I am so confused that I don't even know what I'm doing right now.
Let's talk about the good things. The writing was decent! It really was. I'd read something else this author wrote, she just needs to figure out how to construct a story. I really liked the last fifty pages. Things started to come together and I even teared up a little there towards the end. Weylon was a fun love interest and the relationships in this book were healthy which is something to applaud in ya fiction these days. I liked the interaction the girls had with each other though at times I felt they were more frenemies than actual friends. I felt like Erin was the only one who was reliable and loyal. The other two girls I would have kicked to the curb long ago. Do people still say "kicked to the curb?" O_o The book was compulsively readable and the pages kept turning even though most of the time I was at a loss over everything.
So would I recommend it? I don't know. I guess so. But only if you are looking for something fun and mindless. I was hoping this would be a great cultural YA read that I could recommend to others, but there really wasn't that much culture in it at all and that is due in part to the underdeveloped characters. So I don't know. If I could go back in time, I don't think I would read this again. There was just no point and it did nothing for me. I hope someone else has a better experience with it than I did.
And that was clearly the most jumbled and nonsensical review I have ever written. *curtsies*
Oh and yeah. The instalove. There's that too. Wah-wah.