Customer Reviews for

The Pursuit of Happiness

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    According to the book ON DEATH AND DYING by Elsabeth Kubler-Ross, the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you ask Betsy Irving, though, Elsabeth got it all wrong. The five stages of grief are really agitation, intoxication, experimentation, resignation, and reinvigoration. Betsy's known for awhile that her mother is going to die. After all, with the type of breast cancer that her mother has, and the late stage that it's in, there's not a lot that can be done. But it's still a shock that hot, sticky Thursday in June when she leaves work at the Morrisville Historic Village early when her Aunt Patty and Uncle Jim show up to escort her home. Now her mother is gone, the funeral is over, the well-meaning guests have left, and it's just Betsy, her dad, and her younger brother, Ben, taking up space in the huge white Victorian house that they call home. <BR/><BR/>In the beginning, Betsy's friends have only her best interests at heart, and her first real boyfriend, Brandon, tries to be there for her, but Betsy still feels as if nothing in her life is working out as planned. And when said friends seem to disappear off the face of the earth, and Brandon turns out not to be the great boyfriend she had hoped for when he dumps her, things in Betsy's life get even more off-kilter. As if it wasn't bad enough that she's spending the summer working at the Village (which she knows was a trick devised by her history-loving, professor father), dressed in stifling Early American clothes and demonstrating cornbread making to eager tourists, now she has to do it alone, without any real friends or a supportive boyfriend--and in the presence of Liza Henske, whose Goth Girl shield isn't allowed at the Village. <BR/><BR/>It's amazing, though, what a new sort-of friend like Liza can teach a girl who just wants to get away form it all. And when James, the Village carpenter who will soon be leaving for Princeton, begins to comfort her with his soft-spoken words and small carvings, Betsy starts to learn that no matter what the actual stages of grief are, she just might be able to survive them after all. <BR/><BR/>THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS is a poignant, heartfelt novel. It's one of the best books I've read dealing with grief, with dialogue that never seems out of place or too cheesy. Ms. Altebrando has written a stunning debut novel that will leave you thinking about the story of Betsy and her family and friends long after you've finished the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    i thought this book was really good. it shows what it feels like to lose a loved one and to gain another. james was my favorite character because he was full of mystery. a great book. i would recommend it to a lot of people but it does have some bad language XD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    According to the book On Death and Dying by Elsabeth Kubler-Ross, the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you ask Betsy Irving, though, Elsabeth got it all wrong. The five stages of grief are really agitation, intoxication, experimentation, resignation, and reinvigoration. Betsy's known for awhile that her mother is going to die. After all, with the type of breast cancer that her mother has, and the late stage that it's in, there's not a lot that can be done. But it's still a shock that hot, sticky Thursday in June when she leaves work at the Morrisville Historic Village early when her Aunt Patty and Uncle Jim show up to escort her home. Now her mother is gone, the funeral is over, the well-meaning guests have left, and it's just Betsy, her dad, and her younger brother, Ben, taking up space in the huge white Victorian house that they call home. In the beginning, Betsy's friends have only her best interests at heart, and her first real boyfriend, Brandon, tries to be there for her, but Betsy still feels as if nothing in her life is working out as planned. And when said friends seem to disappear off the face of the earth, and Brandon turns out not to be the great boyfriend she had hoped for when he dumps her, things in Betsy's life get even more off-kilter. As if it wasn't bad enough that she's spending the summer working at the Village (which she knows was a trick devised by her history-loving, professor father), dressed in stifling Early American clothes and demonstrating cornbread making to eager tourists, now she has to do it alone, without any real friends or a supportive boyfriend--and in the presence of Liza Henske, whose Goth Girl shield isn't allowed at the Village. It's amazing, though, what a new sort-of friend like Liza can teach a girl who just wants to get away form it all. And when James, the Village carpenter who will soon be leaving for Princeton, begins to comfort her with his soft-spoken words and small carvings, Betsy starts to learn that no matter what the actual stages of grief are, she just might be able to survive them after all. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS is a poignant, heartfelt novel. It's one of the best books I've read dealing with grief, with dialogue that never seems out of place or too cheesy. Ms. Altebrando has written a stunning debut novel that will leave you thinking about the story of Betsy and her family and friends long after you've finished the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    Outstanding

    This book was amazing! I just couldn't bring myself to putting this book down. Its about this girl who loe bses her mother and how she copes oh my goodness . It was the best book ever!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    one of the best books I have read

    i dont normally like to read.. but this book was great! If you like realistic fiction books that you, as a teenager can relate to, then read this. Its pretty much a romance novel mixed with a bit of tragedy in the beginning but its not that sad cuz you didnt have time to become attached to the character....its really amazing READ IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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