Monday, November 9, 2009

Heaven to Betsy

This is one of those situations where I totally judged a book by it's cover. I do it more then I should, probably, and totally ignore the old saying. Thing is, if you have an interesting cover to your book I will likely pick it up to see what it's about.

I did just that with Heaven to Betsy. It's 1920 style artwork on the front cover caught my eye as did it's bright colors. I picked up the book and decided I'd buy it, not realizing that it was the 5th book of an entire series (The Betsy-Tacy Series).

However, Heaven to Betsy is the first book of her High School career and as I quickly realized as I read one did not need to have the previous four books to jump right into the thick of things. You get to see the life of Betsy Ray through her eyes in the early twentieth century. With the turn of the century just occurring we're thrown into a world filled with pompadours, houses with no electric, and the very start of the introduction to horseless carriages.

Any time period between 1900-1940 kinda creeps me out. I don't exactly know why... it just always has. I immediately think of my younger self traipsing through local museums and looking at all of the beauty supplies of that era which reminds me more of torture devices. It seems like such another world and one I never was very interested in learning about. But these Betsy books slipped me right into that age without me really noticing.

Suddenly I was deep into the book and craving more. Betsy is such a modern day girl and it's incredibly interesting that Maude Hart Lovelace, who was born in 1892, could make a character who could be so likable 100 years later.

Betsy's existence takes place before women had the right to vote, before women were really seen as much else then a house wife and mother. Betsy is a talkative girl who has a passion for writing and has little interest in just settling down. She'd much rather see the great world first! Her best friend Tacy is even more interesting in that she is completely uninterested in men which is almost unheard of for this time period.

Betsy has her typical teenage issues: crushes that go no-where, confusion about boys, qualms over the way she looks. She is a terrible ice skater but a decent writer. She's a great friend and a loving sister. What a wonderful and refreshing character to read about!

All of her friends are decent and fun loving also and the book is a very enjoyable read. I felt happy while reading it. It might not have loads of adventure or anything too exciting to occur but you feel as if you are seeing Betsy's life first hand and feel for her through her worries and happiness.

I'm excited to read the following books in the series and hope to acquire the earlier books of Betsy's childhood. I can see why there is a Betsy Ray society which consists of fans of the series. Such a happy read and I'm so glad I did judge this book by it's cover! I'll surely read it again and I would happily suggest it to anyone who is looking for a fun loving book for themselves or a daughter.


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