Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Betsy in Spite of Herself & Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace

Betsy in Spite of Herself
Betsy is now a sophomore and is extremely popular with her Crowd but she is dissatisfied with how boys look at her.  She wants to be different but doesn't know how to change, until she visits Tib in Milwaukee and decides to go back to Deep Valley Dramatic and Mysterious.  Despite attracting the attention of the sophisticated Phil Brandish, Betsy is unhappy with not acting like herself anymore, proving that it's hard to change your nature.
A Betsy-Tacy picnic, she thought as she foraged, was just about the nicest thing in the world.  p.13
So this book covers Betsy's sophomore year and picks up close to where Heaven to Betsy left off.  Betsy decides she needs to be a different version of herself to shake up her life a little and it works for a bit.  Phil Brandish decides he likes her and they "go around" together for a little while.  But Betsy gets tired of acting different from her nature and lets Phil go in order to go back to being happy, smiling, sometimes silly Betsy.  I like this lesson.  And I like how subtly is it done.  Betsy is not made to be Dramatic and Mysterious and I am happy that she embraces her nature at the end of the book.  It is also nice how her relationship with Joe is slowly built up over time and doesn't happen all at once.  That is so much better than how books are sometimes written now.

Betsy Was a Junior
Now that Betsy is a junior in high school, she has decided to mature and sets up a list of resolutions for the year.  But soon she is caught up in the idea of sororities as a result of her sister's Julia's experiences at college and decides to form her own sorority at Deep Valley High, derailing her resolutions.
"I really want him for a friend," Betsy thought. "Not just that I'm sweet on him.  We have so much in common.  We were intended to be friends." p.207
Tib is back! This made me so happy.  Of course, she was in Betsy in Spite of Herself for a little bit, but now is back in Deep Valley for good.  It is nice to see her and her practicality is a great rounder to the Betsy-Tacy team.  It's funny to remember the little girls from the first books and reconcile them with the teenagers of these books. 
Betsy starts a sorority which seems like a good idea at the time, but it means that some girls are excluded and that does not go over well.  The girls who are asked are already in the Crowd so it's not like Betsy means to exclude anyone but that is the nature of sororities.  But then nothing Betsy wanted to do goes right.  She had planned on excelling in school and going with Joe and learning the piano and hanging out with her younger sister more now that Julia has gone to college. But she only really manages to do one of those things.  But Betsy has a good heart and she tries to do the right thing but she can be careless a lot of the time and she doesn't stop to think about what she is doing.  But she matures more in this book.

Hogwarts: 7 in a series


  1. Never heard of these books before, but I'm glad you enjoyed them.

  2. I can't wait to hear what you think of Betsy and Joe and the two that follow!!


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