A blizzard has hit New York City on Valentine’s Day and friends Olivia, Georgia and Kate and stuck inside their apartment building. They all live on the same floor of the building and have been friends for years. They couldn’t be more different, Kate is obsessed with gossip and boys, Georgia is quiet and reserved and Olivia spends all her time observing everyone else’s lives, particular that of Phillip Becker-Jacobs – her crush for the last two years. When Georgia’s mom teaches them to make the family restaurant’s famous fortune cookies and tells the girls about the sense of community the apartment building used to have the girls decide to try and restore some of that friendly spirit. As they try to make and deliver fortune cookies to every resident they begin to remember why they’re such good friends and begin to learn new things about each other.
I really enjoyed this book. I grew up loving books by authors such as Judy Blume and Paula Danziger and reading this book transported me back to those days. I know that this would have been a book that had me hiding with a torch to finish in one night.
The three main characters are all well crafted in my opinion, they are all flawed as we all were as thirteen year olds and I think most young teenagers reading the book will find that they identify with at least one of the girls. I also felt that their different approaches to boys and crushes to be believable, I could remember girls at school who were just like all three of the characters – from the girls who portrayed a confidant exterior and mixed well with the boys, to the ones who had almost obsessive crushes but wouldn’t do anything about them and the girls who didn’t want to talk about boys or feelings and preferred to keep everything to themselves.
I really enjoyed the fortune cookies plotline and following the girls on their journey through their apartment building meeting all of the residents. So often today we don’t know much if anything about our neighbours and seeing the girls discovering some of the secrets of their community was thoroughly enjoyable.
“Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes” is published in hardback by Amulet books in the UK priced £9.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.