Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

To Hell With Fate; or, Why The Best Valentine's Gifts Come From Mini-Marts

Rate this book
Young love is a myth.

It’s something we’re conditioned to expect by movies and stories. It’s something we all wanted but could never find. And even when we get older and know the truth, we still wish, just a little, that we had it.

When two young cousins find themselves bored to tears at a family funeral, they find another cousin willing to tell them a little story about his young love: how a simple Valentine’s Day gift from a mini-mart became one of the best he’d ever given.

It's a fine story on its own, but as the girls dig deeper, they find themselves enveloped in a longer saga, told one story at a time. One about the difference between a crush and love. One that challenges their notions of fate and perfection. One about how our own worst enemies can be ourselves, and how in the end, we’re all just a little messed up.

210 pages, ebook

First published September 6, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kevin J. Cunningham

1 book6 followers
Kevin J. Cunningham is the author of To Hell With Fate or Why The Best Valentine's Gifts Come From Mini-Marts , his first full-length novel.

Kevin was inspired to write this story as he grew up, and found how our expectations for what will be our happy endings changed as we got older.  The idea of romance, and what we want, is an ever-changing subjective topic as we get older.  This is true not only in the overwhelming body known as 'society' but also among each of ourselves individually.  Whether or not it gets better or more realistic, or both, as we get older is still open for discussion.

Before undertaking this novel, most of Kevin's writing career was spent as a sports journalist.  From 2002 through 2011, Kevin was a writer for San Francisco Dugout Online Magazine, commenting on Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants and particularly their minor league system of players.  Kevin wrote both stories and updates, as well as taking photos and conducting interviews with players and coaches.  In 2007, Kevin also took over editor duties for the site until it suspended operations in 2011.

Starting in 2011, Kevin began writing a webcomic about Giants fans,  The Lunatic Fringe , working with artist Rog Hernandez.  In less than a year, The Lunatic Fringe was nominated as one of the best local online comics by SF Weekly.  The comic continues to update three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and follows the travails of Giants fans as their beloved team has its highs and lows.

Kevin would like to say that his influences are authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and David Fincher, musical artists like Evanesence and Bon Jovi, television shows like Firefly and Lost, and the vision and management style of Steve Jobs, but the real influences on his art are his friends, family, and the souls that he runs into during his daily adventures and many travels.

Kevin's much neglected twitter feed can be found @BruteSentiment.  He'd be more active on it if he knew people were listening.  He's not one of those writers who writes just for himself (he hopes).  At this time, he does not have a public Facebook page nor a personal website.  If you'd like to see more of his work, you are encouraged to follow @sflunaticfringe for his webcomic and the Facebook page for The Lunatic Fringe.  There's also a Google+ page if you feel like a rebel.  The first year collection of The Lunatic Fringe can be found on Lulu.com, and will soon b

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9 (64%)
4 stars
2 (14%)
3 stars
3 (21%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 of 1 review
February 26, 2013
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/bo...

“Stories are just ways people lie to each other,” Samantha said. “They only tell the best thing about themselves and leave off the truths that make people not like them in real life.” As cynical as Samantha is I must agree with her here. Most of us do spin the truth – intentionally or unintentionally – in order to make ourselves look better. The question is, what happens when we stop spinning and start revealing our most tender secrets to those we trust to be gentle with them?

Samantha is hovering between the innocence of childhood and the stark realities of growing up. Her impromptu rants about Valentine’s Day reveal a young adult who has no interest in sentimentality. She knows a white lie when she sees one and has already figured out that airbrushed advertisements are not an accurate reflection of life. Of course, like many thirteen year olds she hasn’t figured out how to communicate this politely yet. I liked her willingness to test social boundaries, though, as nothing Samantha says or does is intended to hurt anyone. She’s simply trying to figure out what kind of woman she will become and is accidentally stepping on a few toes in the meantime.

The secondary characters were so well developed they could have almost carried the plot without Samantha’s presence. Joseph’s playful sense of humor and willingness to do almost anything to keep the peace quickly cemented him as one of my favourite extended family members I wasn’t sure what to make of Jessie’s unfailing naivety at first but the personality differences between her and Samantha ended up revealing much more about both of them than we would have known otherwise.

The only thing I didn’t understand about this story is why someone as jaded as Samantha would be initially interested in her cousin’s stories. Joseph is full of wisdom and knows how to keep his audience’s attention once he has it but I was skeptical that even someone as talented as him could capture the imagination of a surly teenager who isn’t keen on connecting with relatives she barely knows.

To Hell With Fate was a delightful read and the perfect book for anyone who has ever had conflicting emotions about their family of origin or sat in the corner wondering how they ended up with such a hodgepodge of well meaning (if overbearing) relations.
Displaying 1 of 1 review

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.