Three friends spend an unforgettable snow day in their Brooklyn apartment building, making and distributing fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors — and confronting the secrets that they’ve been keeping from each other. Confident Kate doesn’t notice much but the latest gossip, and shy Georgia can’t say out loud what’s always on her mind. They make homemade fortune cookies along with bubbly Olivia, whose epic, single-minded crush on PBJ (real name: Phillip Becker-Jacobs) is starting to frustrate the other two. Using specially-targeted fortune cookies, they try to work together to bring some love to their building on Valentine’s Day, while reminding each other why they’re such good friends to begin with.(From Goodreads.com)
This book was just so cute! It’s probably aimed at a market a little younger than I usually read, I’d buy this as a gift for girl aged 10-13 years and know they’d love it! However I still thoroughly enjoyed my journey back in time, which this book provided and the memories it evoked.
Told from the perspectives of three 13 year old friends, Olivia, Georgia and Kate, Lisa Greenwald captures perfectly the confusion and uncertainty of being on the cusp of Young adulthood, when your not quite there but no longer a child. The girls have grown up on the same floor of a Brooklyn apartment block and been best friends most of their life. However subtle changes are creeping into the dynamics of their relationship and in their own way, each of the girls are struggling to understand why. Kate seems keen on making new and exciting friends, Olivia is boring them all with her constant obsessing about a certain boy and Georgia is finding it increasingly difficult to confide in her friends, especially when the role of peacemaker most often falls on her. I really liked how in alternating chapters we heard from all three of the girls and I could remember vividly feeling a lot of the same feelings myself when my childhood gang started to drift apart. It’s a scary age when everything is changing at once and Greenwald completely pins that feeling down.
I also loved the underlying theme at the heart of this book. Through the day the girls meet many of the people who’ve lived alongside them in the building and yet until now never known. There are a lot of individual stories from their neighbours and it’s pretty sad but also very true how people live so close without knowing or looking out for each other. Giving out the cookies and seeing snapshots of their neighbours lives, not always pretty, shows the girls about listening and understanding others, and each other. The biggest lesson they learn though is about themselves, feeling confident as they grow individually and their friendship evolves.
Sweet Treats and Secret Crushes is a heart-warming tale that will leave you with a smile on your face. Switching narrative between the three girls keeps it fresh and interesting and made it a super quick read which I didn’t put down. It’s sweet and touching and just the right amount of romantic with it’s Valentine’s day setting for it’s age group. I’d thoroughly recommend it for young girls 10+ or anyone who fancies a nostalgic reminder of their own.
Published by Amulet Books books November 2010
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.
If you want more Valentine Book goodness, pop over to Michelle @ Fluttering Butterflies where all of February is love month!