This week's book giveaway is in the Agile and Other Processes forum. We're giving away four copies of Real-World Software Development: A Project-Driven Guide to Fundamentals in Java and have Dr. Raoul-Gabriel Urma & Richard Warburton on-line! See this thread for details.
You don't compare Strings using ==; you use the equals() method.
if (firstLetter.equals("e")) ...
The "==" operator asks if two objects are physically the same bit of memory; the equals() methods asks if two objects are "the same", which for Strings, means they have the same characters in the same order.