Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

Review: Betsy-Tacy 6 and 7 by Maud Hart Lovelace

Heavens To Betsy In Spite of Herself

Those that have seen the new two-in-one volumes will note that this is a strange combination to be reviewing together, since these two books are not grouped together.  I’ll just say that it seemed to work better that way for me!

Betsy was a Junior Betsy and JoeBetsy in Spite of Herself and Betsy Was a Junior cover Betsy’s Sophomore and Junior years in High School.

As in Heaven to Betsy, Betsy continues to struggle with her priorities. She wants to be a writer. She wants to be a good student. She wants to be popular. She particularly wants to be popular with boys.

Betsy makes some good decisions and some bad ones, and works her way through it all with her wonderful spirit.

Of course, the rest of “the crowd” that Betsy socializes with are here, but better yet, Betsy and Tacy’s other best friend Tib returns! Betsy goes to visit Tib in Milwaukee in Betsy in Spite of Herself, then Tib moves back to Deep Valley in Betsy Was a Junior.

If you enjoyed Heaven to Betsy, be sure to continue on with these books.

If you are considering reading the Betsy-Tacy books (whether as re-reads or for the first time), consider checking out The Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge.  This is a chance to share your reading experience with others– I’m having fun with other challenges I’m participating in.  I’m signing up myself, even though I feel like I’m cheating because I’m almost done reading them!

The re-release of these books has led to some celebrations in the Betsy-Tacy community.  If you are nearby, you might want to check out

11/7      Highland Village, TX Barnes and Noble
11/8      St. Paul, MN at the Red Balloon Bookshop
4/17/10 Dallas, TX, Dallas Heritage Village

For more reviews and celebration of the Betsy-Tacy books, check out the other tour stops:

tlc-logoI’ve already reviewed the first 4 Betsy Tacy Books (children’s books introducing Betsy, Tacy and Tib) and Heaven to Betsy (where the books change from books for children to books for teens). Check back for reviews of the remaining three books!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me the Betsy-Tacy books to read and review!  I’m having a wonderful time with them.


Posted by on October 5, 2009 in books, reviews, tour


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Mailbox Monday

I’m participating in Mailbox Monday from Marcia at The Printed Page.  I’m not posting my usual View From Monday, since I just wrote my September Summary, and that’s enough summarizing for the week!

4 new books arrived this week. I think.

Breaking the BankFrom Pocket Books for a blog tour today, I received Breaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough. I posted my review this morning. I loved the gimmick, an ATM machine handing out money to a woman who really needed it.

BeattheReaper_blueFrom Hachette Book Group, I received Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell. I posted the giveaway last week. Go enter! It looks like a funny and exciting read, a good combination! I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing it this week.

OnlyMiloI was surprised to see a newer, thicker version of Only Milo by Barry Smith in my mailbox. I’d already reviewed it, but now it is being reissued with the sequels included. I’m looking forward to reading the new stories, but trying to figure out how to put it into Goodreads is proving tricky :-). Thanks to Nicole at Inkwater Press for sending this one to me!

cake wrecksAnd finally, my pre-order of CakeWrecks came from Amazon! I haven’t opened it yet. I think I’m saving it for when I need something funny.

What was in your mailbox?


Posted by on October 5, 2009 in books


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Review: Breaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Breaking the Bank My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Overall, I liked Breaking the Bank. I particularly liked the clever bit of magic in this otherwise realistic story. Unfortunately, I had some problems with the characters in the book.

The heart of the book was an ATM that spit out extra money at a time when it was badly needed, with the admonition to “Use it well”. I was reminded of one of my favorite movies, LA Story, where the city of Los Angeles steps in to help a weatherman find true love and turn his life around.

In Breaking the Bank, the recipient is Mia, the single mother of an 11 year old girl. Her husband left her for a younger woman, and is now highly inconsistent with the support checks, although he can always their daughter shopping at expensive stores. She was laid off from her job, and is now attempting to make ends meet by freelancing. Her daughter is acting up in school.

Through the first half of the book, I liked the character of Mia. As the end approached, and she made more and more choices that didn’t work for me, I started thinking that she was acting out of character. As I analyzed further, I realized that I’d projected too much on to her– that she wasn’t the person I’d thought. That was a strange feeling.

I never had a solid relationship with any of the other characters. The ex-husband was particularly flat, but none felt real to me.

In the end, I felt the author wrote herself into a box, and had to be creative in how to get out. I don’t have a better idea on how the events should have resolved, but I was slightly disappointed none the less.

In the end, I enjoyed the book, but wished it had been a little more.

I read Breaking the Bank as part of a blog tour for Pocket Books. Thank you for this opportunity to read and review this book.


Posted by on October 5, 2009 in books, reviews, tour


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