Five Fortunes by Barbara Venkataraman

A nicely woven story of five fourteen-year-old girls and their lives after each receives a different fortune from an arcade game. 

Viewing each girl separately, the reader enters into their worlds and responsibilities. While each teen has a different scenario, family situation, and interests, they have all found a basis for friendship. The reader enjoys both sides of various story events and how the teens deal with their situations.

The novella was written with compassion and an understanding of what lies in the hearts and minds of teenage girls. People in their teens are constantly dealing with mixed messages of responsibility and maturity expectations. The author presents all of this angst with real emotions and relatability.

In my days as a librarian, I would have easily handed this to any middle/high school reader.

The only downside is the length of this story. I felt like there was so much more the author could have developed and made it into a full-length novel.

For more about this author, CLICK HERE.


When five fourteen-year-old girls get their fortunes from an arcade machine just for kicks, it turns their world upside-down and their close-knit group of friends starts to fall apart.

Misunderstandings abound as allegiances shift and outsiders start to come between them. The fortunes seem to be self-fulfilling prophecies – whether the girls believe in them or not.

Do our beliefs color our perception of the world? Do we ever see ourselves the way others see us, and why is change so hard?

Budding romance, angry bees, teenage fashion influencers, and parents who just don’t get it make Barbara Venkataraman’s ‘Five Fortunes’ a fun story you won’t soon forget.

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