Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Review: Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald

Book Description via Goodreads:

With a blizzard threatening their town, a trio of seventh-grade girls devises a charitable plan to make and distribute fortune cookies to all their lonely, stranded neighbors. What they hadn't anticipated was that each of the cookie fortunes would communicate a special message to its recipient. Sweet confections of friendship and love. Editor's recommendation.

Source: Abrams Books - Amulet Books, Emma Sanders (Thank you!)

My Thoughts: 

Olivia, Kate and Georgia have been friends for years. Growing up with the same set of friends both has advantages and disadvantages. If there was such a thing as an itch in marriage, there was such an itch in friendship too. It cannot be avoided; at least that’s what I think because generally people do not expect the change in the interaction.

The book was about friendship and the transition from being a kid to being a teen, as well as the changes that emerge in the process. The feel of the novel was anxious, hesitant and nostalgic – the usual set of feelings that was associated with growing up. We were never sure of many things when we were growing up into a teen. It was honest and a bit problematic. The egocentric tendencies were also expressed in this novel. We could read it in the three perspectives of the teen friends. I appreciated the variation in the realities of each character. An event could mean something entirely different from one perspective to another. It was a cute and innocent read, brimming with curiosity and the urge to experience and find out about everything under the sun.

Living up to expectations has never been that easy. Olivia was labeled as obsessed. Boy craziness usually comes with their age. Interacting with the opposite sex, one whom she has a crush on was something Olivia barely did. Observing from afar, jotting down notes and thinking about them later was what she did. As her friends start to get irritated and concerned, she started to feel the tension within their trio.

Georgia Chen, Olivia’s best friend, was the daughter of the owners of Chen’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant. It was known for the sweet fortune cookies. They spread the spirit of friendship around the building and tried to cheer up everyone in the cold day through fortune cookies, getting to know the neighbors and jotting down notes about the fortunes to see if they really had magic in them (for Olivia.) In some ways, there was magic in the fortune cookies. It was both wonderful how something so general like a “fortune” could easily fit in to the life of a person and make them positive and awful how a fortune could do the opposite. I just wished that this concept of magic within fortunes was explored more.

This was an enjoyable read. I was able to connect with the characters and understand why they acted like that. I had been in their shoes a few years ago, just with a different set of thoughts and questions. The only thing that is constant in this world is change. We were made to cope with these changes and make the most out of them. This novel is for younger teens, maybe 13-15, tweens and older readers too who want to remember what it’s like to be young!


1 comment:

  1. Sounds really cute! I wish it's available here in our country.