Short & Sweet Sundays: Misfortune Cookie by Michele Gorman

In honor of Sunday – a day I reserve for reading and lollygagging – I bring you a short and sweet book review! 

The gist (from the publisher): Would you move 6,000 miles to be with the love of your life? Hannah did. Unfortunately her plan isn’t going terribly well. What was supposed to be a move to Hong Kong to start a wonderful new life with Sam is turning into a move to Hong Kong to spend occasional weekends with Sam, when he can get away from an unanticipated work assignment on the opposite side of the South China Sea. Still, she’s optimistic, if woefully unprepared for the intricacies of Hong Kong. Stumbling through the alien city, which she loves, she starts to build a life for herself. Things definitely look up when she finds a great boss to work for, and her best friend Stacy moves to the city too. But alarm bells ring as Sam seems to be getting a bit too cozy with his boss. And when things start going wrong at work, Hannah can’t help but wonder if she’s made the biggest mistake of her life.

Why it’s unique: It’s set in Hong Kong! Though I have zero interest in traveling to a Asia, it’s fun partaking in Hannah’s many culture-shock experiences. Come to think of it, setting a story in a foreign land can be a bit of a risk. If readers aren’t traveling vicariously through the author’s prose, they’re going to feel let down. Well, Michele certainly didn’t fall short in this department! Here’s a little taste of her whimsical descriptions of Hong Kong’s exotic cityscape:

Hundreds of skyscrapers pulse and glow in the lilac twilight, their stairwell lights running up them like excavated dinosaurs’ spines. The dark pool of the harbor beyond the building reflects back at us, deceptively calm. And Kowloon blankets the far shore, stretching into the distance. I don’t’ think I’ll ever get used to these views, or take them for granted. I hope not.

What surprised me: Despite the fact that Hannah moved across oceans to follow a man, the book has some surprising girl power moments. Just when I thought I made up my mind about the flighty protagonist, she’d totally redeem herself by doing something ballsy. I won’t give too much away, but I will say that I was very pleased with her decisions. You go girl!

What irked me:  Hannah is frustrating. She’s a little too ditzy in a wide-eyed, bumbling Bridget Jones kind of way. She’s the kind of girl who agonizes incessantly about her boyfriend when she should be enjoying a night out with the girls. I was especially put off when she left her BFF all alone on her first night in Hong Kong so she could squeeze in another date with her boyfriend. Lame!

Will I read another book by this author? Well after that puzzling ending, I kind of have to! Seems like Hannah’s journey of self-discovery has only begun – and I can’t wait to see where she’ll end up next! The author sure knows how to leave her readers guessing.

This book is best paired with: A silky kimono robe and a frilly pink cosmo.

Overall: This is a fun, fast read that is sure to entertain fans of Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic series) and Helen Fielding (Bridget Jone’s Diary). Hannah’s hilarious inner dialogue and many awkward moments had me giggling throughout the book. If you’re looking for something light and amusing, check this one out.

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