Ivy Tran, Food Court Detective is a middle-grade fiction detective book series written by Diane Nguyen.
Ivy Tran, Food Court Detective is a teal middle-grade fiction book that has the title in purple lettering. It has a picture of a red fast food tray with a hamburger and soda on it.
In Good Damage, Diane is seen trying to sort through her childhood memories at the mall. In particular, she tries to remember the times her father was abusive towards her but her memory is still foggy. Out of those memories pops out a fictional character named Ivy Tran who is a teenage detective who solves mysteries in the mall. Diane then snaps out of her fantasy and looks at her computer and realizes she has written about Ivy Tran, Food Court Detective.
At home, Diane shows the story to Guy and he tells her it's fun and he likes it. Diane tells him her book is supposed to be a profound treatise on damage but she can't even access her damage due to the medication. Guy reminds her she had trouble writing the book back when she was depressed and she's having trouble now. He suggests that maybe she just doesn't want to write the book.
Diane counters she wants to but it's hard. She says she is not going to be writing The Mall Mysteries of Ivy Tran. Guy then tells her to come on and think about it.
Later, Diane is sitting in bed trying to work on her book. She tells Guy his whistling is distracting her from work and she couldn't sleep last night. He then encourages her to keep going with her work. Guy later returns and asks her how her progress was on her work. Diane questions what he means. Guy then says he thought she was going to write today. Diane looks out the window and realizes it's night time. Diane says she was thinking her thoughts and then bursts into tears. She then heads to the bathroom and vomits in a plant.
Guy then tells her maybe she should stop for the day and try again tomorrow. Diane then says she has got to get back to work. She once again tries to sort through her thoughts but gets overwhelmed and starts breathing heavily. Guy then comes into the kitchen and asks her what's going on. She responds that her chest feels heavy and then breaks down and admits to Guy she stopped taking her medication. He asks her why.
She tells him she is terrible and breaks down crying saying she deserves this. Guy then tells her she is going through withdrawal. She then asks if she is going to need to be on drugs forever. Guy tells her to take her pills again and when she feels better they can think of a different strategy.
Later, when Diane has started taking her medication again Guy asks her how she's feeling. She tells him she feels a little better. Diane then apologizes for being stressed and says maybe she should call Princess Carolyn and ask for more time. Guy tells her before she does that he has to tell her something. He makes her promise she won't be mad. He then confesses he sent Princess Carolyn the Ivy Tran pages as Diane receives a phone call from Princess Carolyn.
Princess Carolyn tells Diane over the phone that she loved the Ivy Tran pages and she sees merchandise potential and she pitched it to a few studios. Diane protests saying that's not the book she wanted to write. Princess Carolyn says she's hearing a "maybe" as she hangs up.
Guy then asks if they will have a Boston style fight which Diane smiles at.
In her imagination, Ivy asks Diane why she is so sad all the time. Diane says she doesn't know. Ivy says Diane should be fun and popular just like her. Diane says it's not that easy. Ivy replies "Yeah I know but wouldn't it be nice if it was?"
At Wesleyan, after BoJack's showcase, Diane goes after Princess Carolyn and says she appreciates that she is trying to help but she does not want to write a middle-grade book. Diane then says that if she doesn't write her book all the damage she got wasn't good damage it was just damage and all those years she was miserable would have been for nothing. Diane says that all those years she felt the abuse and neglect made her special somehow. Diane said she wanted to write the book to help other little girls like her feel less alone.
Princess Carolyn says maybe the other middle-grade book can accomplish the same goal. Diane then agrees to finish writing the Ivy Tran book.
In The Horny Unicorn, Diane is sitting at the mall with an advanced readers' edition of Ivy Tran, her new middle-grade fiction book, and working on the revisions. She then gets a call from Princess Carolyn who asks her how the revisions are going. Diane tells her they are going well and usually by this stage she hates everything she has ever written. However, she feels like this book isn't terrible. Princess Carolyn asks about writing a sequel.
Diane says that while she had fun working on this book she's a grown-up writer, and tries to tell Princess Carolyn about her interest in Eleanor Roosevelt. Princess Carolyn cuts her off and then tells Diane that if she's interested in books that people will actually read she'll write the Ivy Tran sequel.
Sonny and his friends are playing video games in Diane and Guy's apartment. Diane comes in and asks where the advanced readers' copy of her book is. Sonny tells her he would never read it because it's a book for girl babies, which his friends laugh at. Diane then tells him to let her know if he's seen it as she needs to get the revisions to her publisher. Sonny retorts that sounds like a "her" problem before she walks off.
Diane is playing video games when Sonny walks in. He hands her the advanced readers' copy of her book. Diane asks Sonny if he read it and he tells her he has been reading it. He then tells her he wasn't going to say so in front of his friends but he finds the story to be unrealistic. Diane questions what he means.
He tells her the character Ivy Tran lives in Schaumberg, which is not in Chicago. Diane tells him it's not too late to change it. Sonny then asks her questions about the book and if those situations are real and Diane confirms they are. He then tells her he thinks it'll be great for girls with low self-esteem. Sonny then asks her when the next one is coming out and she tells him if she gets started right away it should be out by next fall.
In Angela, Diane goes to the book signing for her book Ivy Tran, Food Court Detective. Diane then gets a call from Guy. Guy tells Diane that his ex-wife Lady is moving to Houston for her dream job and taking Sonny with her as she has full custody of him. Diane then tells Guy she can write anywhere and she's sure they need cameramen in Houston. Guy says he couldn't ask that of Diane and Diane says if Sonny's going to Houston they will also go to Houston.