International Writers Magazine: Young Fiction
The story starts when
Mimosa and Wanda, a pair of wandering, fugitive fortune tellers, arrive
in Whitby, a coastal town with a history! Soon afterwards, trouble kicks
off when Mimosa is visited by the ghost of the gorgeous Quill
youd better REALLY Like the word gorgeous if you want
to enjoy this book
Because its the only word she uses whenever
hes there! I mean it! The
Word! Every creative writing
help book has the phrase "Show dont tell" in them. I became
sick of Quill and even sicker of Mimosas insipid narration within
five minutes, but I persevered with the book and finished it almost just
to prove that I can!
Fortune by Echo Freer
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (18 Oct 2007)
Jack Clarkson review
There is a reason
they didnt let Lenny narrate "Of Mice and Men"!
Echo Freer did not seem to realise this when she wrote Mimosa Fortune!
But thats like complaining about the awful tasting burgers at a
kebab van and failing to mention the dysentery you also get as a result!
As I mentioned earlier, you wouldnt want Lenny as a narrator, Echo
(and I will admit, that is a very cool name!) daringly disregards this
rule by having Mimosa appear to be partially mentally challenged half
the time, and clinically brain-dead the other half! The Subtle
twist ending was totally obvious from the beginning "You hint that
you like someone, and youre the only person thats been friendly
to me since I got here! That must mean you fancy that random girl who
has had nothing to do with the story so far! Oh Im dead clever!"
This book could have been so much more. Echo Freer tries to take the conventional
chick-lit novel and remove all the mundanity from it by putting in stuff
like fortune telling, ghosts and two-hundred year old curses. Unfortunately,
she doesnt go far enough in this process. Resulting in that unbelievably
bad nonexistent love triangle in italics in all the school scenes.
Maybe the fact that Im an adult and male puts me so far from the
intended demographic of this book that Im missing something here.
But for such an imaginatively conceived plot, this book managed to take
a bad turn as soon as the second chapter began. Maybe its because
Mimosa and Wandas previous exploits seemed so much more interesting
than the main plot that I felt short-changed. And the fact that everything
Mimosa discovered, Id already guessed about five pages back, managed
to make me pray for the unbelievably predictable ending when I was about
half way through
It saddens me to see something that could have been such an amazing step
forward, making chick lit entertaining, falling so flat on its face purely
because of the literary error of making the protagonist so foolish.
Like I said, maybe Im not the type that should like this. But I
felt this book lowering my IQ as I read it! If I had finished it in one
sitting I would probably have forgotten how to tie my shoelaces! Maybe
thats what you want in your chick lit! But dont say I didnt
warn you when you find you cant drive afterwards!
© Jack Clarkson December 2007
Jack is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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