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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: The Education of Bet
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
ISBN: 9780547223087
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page #: 186
Source: From My Library

Summary:
"When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they appear content with the life fate has bestowed upon them.

But appearances can be deceiving. Bet can experience only what society allows for a girl. Will is afforded much more freedom, but still only as society dictates. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: She'll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses.

But when she arrives at school, the reality doesn't match what Bet imagined. Boys act very differently when they don't think there's a girl in their midst. In fact, they can be rather brutish. But brutish Bet can deal with. It's the stirrings of attraction for her roommate that get Bet into real trouble.

This is not the education Bet expected."
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First Lines:

"'William, I am so disappointed in you!'
Paul Gardener always addressed his great-nephew as William when he was displeased with something he had done."
Page 1
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Review:

There are times that I really love historical fiction. But usually it's not the easiest thing for me to read on the block, ya know? I mean, it's usually well written and wonderful, but it's never a quick thing for me. But this one? Easy peasy. I have to say that this one was sort of written for the "reluctant historical fiction reader."

I did make the mistake of reading a review of this book before I read it (not always a mistake, mind you), but it put an image in my head that I couldn't shake. I'm not even going to say it here just in case. But basically it compared this book to a movie I've seen and everything just fit straight in. Fun movie, but I'd prefer to see this book in a different light. There were different lessons to be learned from this one.

Speaking of the lessons, that was one of the things that I really enjoyed about this book. I mean, it's all about education for girls in a time when that was completely unheard of. I mean, I think it's a little unrealistic, but it brings to light that today's view of education is not the way it's always been. I - for one - am glad things have changed. But this book was a nice glimpse into the life of a girl who wanted education, but it was denied her.

Beyond the lessons, this book was a really cute romance. I mean, it's a pretty safe romance, but I had a lot of fun watching it play out. I was hoping for a little more from it - I'm not gonna give away what happens - but if it had a little something added on the end, I would have been much happier.

As I said before, I think this would be a great book for someone just dipping their toes into historical fiction. It has all the elements and the history weaved in, but you feel more of the romance, the characters, the lessons than you do anything else. I had a few "lol" moments through it as well, and those really helped the story along.

So, give this one a shot. It won't take you long to read - I can pretty much promise you that. I haven't read anything else by this author, but it looks like she's got several things going. Check out her website. I see she has another book coming out at the end of this month (August), so I hope to give that one a go as well.
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Other Blog Reviews:

Katie's Book Blog
YA Book Nerd
The Compulsive Reader
The Book Cellar
Mundie Moms

2 comments:

AnimeGirl said...

I really want to get this book, I love the whole masquared/secret identity thing. And I get more excited when I hear such possitive reviews.

I'm so-so about historical fiction (I find it a bit heavy most of the time) but I do love me a good historical romance. I'm weird that way.

Anyway, lovely review.

Erika said...

Historical fiction isn't the first genre I'd run to when I want to read a book, but I'm okay with it and I've found that I really enjoyed some of the ones I've read. The premise of this one sounds pretty interesting, and it seems like something I'll enjoy. Thanks for the review! :)

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