Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes

Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes

For ages 12 and up
Abrams, 2010   ISBN: 978-0810989900

Kate, Olivia, and Georgia live in the same apartment building on the same floor, and they are the best of friends. They all have big expectations for Valentine’s Day. Kate hopes to make an impression on Brendan, who is her current crush. Olivia is hoping that the boy she has admired from afar for two years, PBJ, will finally notice her. Georgia is looking forward to helping out in Chen’s, the Chinese restaurant that is owned and run by her parents. Every year Chen’s has a big Valentine’s Day celebration and everyone in the family gets involved.

The girls wake up on Valentine’s Day to discover that New York City is covered with a blanket of snow. Schools are closed, trains aren’t running, and they are going to have to find something to do within the four walls of their apartment building. Georgia’s mother decides that the time has come for the three girls to learn how to make the famous Chen’s fortune cookies, and soon the girls have a large batch of the cookies made, each one of which has a homemade fortune inside of it.

Olivia suggests that they take the cookies and give them away to the people in their apartment building. Perhaps the cookies will help to bring back the community atmosphere that used to exist in the building. What Olivia does not expect is that spending the day together forces grievances, gripes, and secrets to the surface, and the girls have a big three-way fight that threatens the very core of their friendship.

This charming novel explores the lives of three very different girls who discover - during the course of one day - all kinds of things about themselves and each other. They come to terms with their own failings, and embrace the things that they love about their best friends.

Readers who enjoy this novel should read Lisa Greenwald's first book, My life in pink and green