Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan

Release Date: April 14, 2009
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 260
Received: Library
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page


From Goodreads:

Ever since her mother died and her father lost his shoemaking skills, Fortunata has survived by telling fake fortunes. But when she’s tricked into telling a grand fortune for a prince, she is faced with the impossible task of fulfilling her wild prophecy—or her father will be put to death.

Now Fortunata has to help Prince Leonato secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witch, discover a long-lost golden shoe, and rescue the princess who fits it. If only she hadn’t fallen in love with the prince herself!


Before anything, we need to talk about that awful cover
Where the heck did they find that thing?! It looks like it was pulled out of the 1990s before YA books became cool. Gah, DON'T judge the book based on it. Don't!

I had faith! And I was rewarded

Fortune's Folly took WAY TOO LONG to get moving. I was about 100 pages in before I even got to the fake fortune described in the jacket flap. That's too long! TOO LONG!

But, ok, enough with that tantrum. Even though it took forever to get to the meat of the story, the beginning parts were still ok to read and I never felt like DNF-ing.

The very beginning was great and really set up the MC's personality and situation. Fortunata is clever with a wry sense of humor I loved. I was ready to hand her a sleepover party invitation from page one, and she never once made me regret that decision.

The plot detours off when Fortunata meets up with a traveling band of snake oil salesmen, acrobatics, and fortune telling frauds. This collection felt close enough to another one of my DO NOT WANT features: circuses.

I can't explain why, but I don't like reading about circuses, and this band of performers had a circus feel that I didn't like. But luckily that part didn't last long. I finally got to the jacket description part and it was smooth sailing from there on out.

A feel-good story

The rest of the book follows Fortunata as she assists the prince in fulfilling the fake fortune she told. I had a blast seeing Fortunata use her wits to turn her fantastical fortune of wicked witches, magical objects, stolen shoes, great steeds, and damsels in distress into reality.

All the while Fortunata's first person narrative had me cracking up with it's "Oh crap, how am I going to make that come true" undertones.

And, of course, there is a sweet romance. It slowly developed over the course of the story and satisfied me with a happily ever after in the end. I just wish the guy wasn't a stutterer. I mean, no offense to stutterers, but when I think of a sexy man, he's not stuttering.

Bottom line

Fortune's Folly was a sweet story that ends as a standalone and reminded me of a fractured fairy tale (there are allusions to a few fairy tales and legends). I guess I'd categorize it as a MG/YA crossover.

I will without a doubt be checking out more books by Deva Fagan (though probably not her latest book, which is about a circus!).

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 
Do you have any questions about Fortune's Folly that I haven't addressed?  Feel free to ask in the comments!

Looking for another book like this? 
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Click on the covers to go to my reviews.


  1. I'm with you on the circuses, Smalls! I read a few of them and none of them were stellar. I like the sound of this one but I'm a little weary of the 100 pages before getting into the book. My initial reaction would be to start skimming from there until to the end, but I'm glad this one picked up for you.

  2. Lol at "I mean, no offense to stutterers, but when I think of a sexy man, he's not stuttering." Oh Small, you crack me up!

    That cover really is awful, which is too bad because the story sounds humourous and entertaining even if it does start of kind of slow.

  3. Ahaha Small, I can feel your frustration with the too-slow pacing at the start! And it's funny because what attracted me to your review was the cover. I think it's really pretty :)

    A sexy man who stutters when he sees me can also be a compliment, as long as he doesn't stutter every time! Heh.

  4. It sounds kind of fun, but I think I would be driven mad if I had to read through 100 pages to get to the good stuff, specially in an MG book.

  5. Such a cute book. I agree, it needs an updated cover!! Deva needs to write more books like this one!


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