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Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman
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Miss Fortune Cookie

by Lauren Bjorkman

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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 Read the full review at http://www.musingwithcrayolakym.com/3/post/2013/09/miss-fortune-cookie.html ( )
  crayolakym | Sep 24, 2013 |
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! ( )
  CherieReads | Sep 23, 2013 |
From Giveaway @ YA Books Central
  bookwormdreams | Apr 10, 2013 |
I really wanted to read this book. However it didn't live up to its potential. Erin was a likable character but the plot was disjointed and you never really understand her motivations. It certainly wasn't a bad book but I thought that it could have gone into more depth about the issues. ( )
  matamgirl | Apr 3, 2013 |
I loved the realistic relationship between these three girls -- the book really captures that strange mix of love and competitiveness that can sometimes characterize female friendships. Miss Fortune Cookie was also funny --there's a whole subplot involving an elopement and an extended chase scene that's both wacky and entertaining.

But Miss Fortune Cookie isn't all laughs -- the book tackles some serious issues as well. As the girls wait for their letters of acceptance -- or rejection -- from colleges, they have to deal with both parental expectations and their own hopes and dreams. Mei is first generation American, and her mom insists on Harvard or bust. Erin has promised Linny that the two of them will attend Berkeley together. Of course, nothing turns out exactly as the girls expect.

At times, I did feel that there was a lot going on plot-wise, and as a result, some parts of the book seemed disjointed. But those very minor quibbles aside, I really enjoyed reading Miss Fortune Cookie and appreciated its original premise, Lauren Bjorkman's humorous writing, and the book's realistic, likeable characters. If you're in the mood for something full of humor and charm, definitely check this book out!

Read full review on my blog and find other great YA to read and win!
  JenRyland | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Erin, a non-Chinese teenager living in San Francisco's Chinatown, ghostwrites an online advice column, but when a reply to her ex-best friend backfires, Erin's carefully constructed life takes a crazy spin.

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Lauren Bjorkman is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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