Erin secretly runs a popular advice blog and ends up giving her ex-best friend advice that turns her world upside down. Now she must navigate the bowl of noodle soup that is her life to get things under control again. And maybe she’ll find love along the way. (Oh who am I kidding, I am just trying to add a summary to this review over a year after I’ve read it and I can hardly remember the details. Rewording from goodreads it is. Alas, brain, you have failed me.)
Okay, so I won this book in a giveaway, so I cherish it anyway. Because yay, I won something. Not even going to lie, I entered the giveaway because of the pretty cover and no matter how the content actually turned out, five stars in my heart just for winning and being super pretty.
I read some reviews before I got it and was marginally upset that some people were complaining that they couldn’t foresee the next events of the plot, which struck me as an odd thing to say because I feel that I don’t need to read a book anymore if I can guess all of the plot. In hindsight, I can see what they meant, but let’s roll it up from the beginning. Spoilers ahead, not everything is a spoiler beneath this but better safe than sorry, right?
- Enticing title and lovely cover art. I adore it and want to hug it simply for being pretty. You can call me shallow, but pretty books are the next best thing after ~ye olde leather bound tomes~ because they liven up the shelves.
Incorporating other cultures. I may have been thrown by some things at times, but it was very very interesting to read about the cultural parts in this book.
A somewhat diverse assortment of characters. I ended up liking people I really didn’t expect to like (namely Mrs Liu) and I did enjoy being surprised by character appearances. For instance, Lincoln may or may not be the most awesome kid ever. He may not be 100% made of 9-year-old essence, but I thoroughly enjoyed his existence and his very wise input in the MLC answers. Cigarette Willie, too, was an enjoyable if only minor addition to the cast.
The blog! I thought it was an interesting take on blogs and advice columns and I really did like that this was Erin’s project. It made her grow on me.
Loved the fortune headings for each chapter, they made me smile.
Mrs Liu saying that Erin is her second daughter: “Lucky for Meihua my number two daughter go to Harvard this year.” It made me appreciate her all the more and it poked the lump coal that sits where my heart should be and stirred up some warmth in me.
– Erin’s character is interesting for sure, but I got really annoyed at times because I felt she kept flaunting her intelligence in my face while also walking down the Bella Swan path of self-esteem. I realise that people and characters like this do exist and there is no shame in that, but there’s a fine line between what is acceptable and what is begging for the reader’s sympathy.
– The book made me feel stupid, which blows. I’m not a stupid person and I do try to be lenient when judging things, because there will always be stuff that I won’t understand due to not being a native speaker, but honestly, I didn’t enjoy some parts at all because of feeling stupid. It has been a while since I went to school and had actual classes in actual and there were a lot of things I wasn’t taught, so I didn’t really like seeing emotion-based pseudo-formulas that I simply couldn’t make sense of or having chem references flung in my face. Or in one case dealing with an odd way of talking about first period (which was even explained in parentheses, so I just don’t understand why it had to be a special snowflake instead of making it simple and understandable for everyone).
It just made me feel like I was raised by wolves and am mentally challenged, which sounds harsh but like I said, I don’t appreciate feeling stupid, least of all caused by a book. It tore me out of the reading flow a couple of times, too, sadly.
– The pacing was odd. How many days did this book even span? A week? A lot has happened in that week, if that’s the case. Same for plot connection. It didn’t happen often, but I did get flustered a handful of times because I simply didn’t understand how one sentence had led to the next. It’s not a plothole issue as much as it is a strange and sometimes flaky narrative.
All in all, I did like it though and I did enjoy several parts of it. Especially the last third raised the other two from perdition — I kid, it would’ve been still ok if the book had continued in the same way throughout the last third, but still, it got a little better there.