Friday, May 03, 2013

Hattie Ever After (2013)

Hattie Ever After. Kirby Larson. 2013. Random House. 240 pages. 

Hattie Ever After is the sequel to Hattie Big Sky. I loved, loved, loved Hattie Big Sky. I have reviewed it twice: once in 2007, once in 2012. I think I loved Hattie's determination as her inner strength is tested time and time again. I think I loved the relationships, the friendships, as Hattie makes a place for herself in a sometimes unfriendly world or environment. I think I loved the atmosphere. It read like a good old-fashioned pioneer story. Hattie Ever After has a very different feel to it. Hattie has had the opportunity to settle down with her sweetheart, Charlie, but has chosen to be independent and see the world for herself. In Hattie Ever After, Hattie is living in San Francisco trying to get her start--her real start--as a reporter at a newspaper. She has a job there, it's just a cleaning job, a night job. She's happy to have a job; she's happy to be making some money. But if only her research and instincts paid off and led to something...

But Hattie finds life isn't that easy or simple...

I didn't love Hattie Ever After; at the very least I didn't love it as much as Hattie Big Sky. I didn't enjoy the San Francisco setting as much. I also had a harder time establishing connections with the other characters. Hattie was Hattie, and I LOVE Hattie. That hasn't changed. But did I enjoy meeting any of the other characters? I'm not sure. Did I find the history intriguing? Yes, to a certain extent. There were women who were struggling to find their voice and have real careers outside the home; women wanting opportunities and respect. And I appreciated Hattie wanting to interview these women and working on a piece highlighting the women she met and admired. The story is also quite realistic, I imagine. Both Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After are realistic in that way, in their not-movie endings.

Hattie was extremely vulnerable in Hattie Ever After, and it was hard for me to watch Hattie make mistakes and stumble BECAUSE of her innocence and sincerity.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

Ellie Warren 2:06 PM  

I haven't heard of Hattie before but I'll keep an eye out for her now.

Beth Starr 11:38 PM  

I agree. I loved Hattie Big Sky, but found Hattie Ever After disappointing.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word 10:33 AM  

Another big, big Hattie f an here. How did I not know about ths book?

Shelley 9:20 PM  

I loved Hattie Big Sky, too. It would be hard to beat. I'm so out of it, I didn't know that a sequel was out. I know I'll read it, even if it's not as good.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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