Best Bet

Best Bet

by Laura Pedersen
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Best Bet by Laura Pedersen

Since Hallie's father died and left behind ten children, money at the Palmer household is tighter than ever. And just when Hallie thought she was graduating from college, it turns out she's four credits short. A professor needs one more student for a project that will take her around the world, only longtime boyfriend Craig has another proposition for Hallie.

Thus begins Hallie's great odyssey, for the first time she ventures outside the safety of Cosgrove County and the sixty-mile radius in which she's functioned for her entire life. But somehow, escaping home doesn't translate into leaving behind all of her problems, and, unfortunately, not all can be solved by putting her superior gambling skills to work.

Eventually, it's time to return home to all the good people who are great at driving each other crazy. Hallie must finally face the biggest decision of her life.

Humorous and heartfelt, Best Bet underscores the importance of friends, family, and a sense of belonging. The characters in this modest, but neighborly, small town prove that an ordinary existence made up of small but genuine moments can satisfy a soul that's hungry for life in all of its glories and disappointments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440170171
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/22/2009
Series: Rising Star Series
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Laura Pedersen grew up Buffalo, New York; she now lives in New York City. Laura's first novel, Going Away Party, won the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction and her second novel, Beginner's Luck, was selected for Barnes & Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" program. To read more about the author, visit

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Best Bet 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
NicoleLeon More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I realized I'm reading this book first even though it is the last book in the series. I want to read the other books in the series so I can get the entire story and I plan to read this book again to help recreate the full story. This book had its laugh out loud moments and I enjoyed reading it. The character lost her father at a young age and dealt with the financial constraints brought about the loss. She thought she was about to graduate from college but was short four credits from finishing college. She tries to get away from all of her problems by leaving the area she grew up and lived in all her life to someplace else. However, she learns that her unresolved problems will follow her around no matter where she goes. All of the characters know each other personally providing a small town atmosphere and warm fuzzy feel. I had a hard time putting down my e-book reader and I would wonder about what would happen next in the book. I would also think about a funny little line the main character spoke which brought a smile to my face and made me laugh. This book touched my heart and I can't wait to read more of Laura Pedersen's books.
BettyKostovich More than 1 year ago
Pedersen manages to spin a warm and witty finale to her frolicsome but touching Hallie Palmer series (BEGINNER'S LUCK, HEART'S DESIRE, and THE BIG SHUFFLE). The books can stand alone and be read out of order but they're best together, as main character Hallie goes from 15 - 21. In an interview Pedersen said she loved Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer when a teenager but wanted a gal to have all the glorious adventures for a change. So Hallie dives in head first, getting into scrapes and dusting herself off, usually with a few wisecracks and a bit of wisdom taken onboard. But Hallie's escapades are only the road map and much of the fun lies in all of the fabulous secondary characters, who Pedersen successfully brings back to enlighten and entertain, even while Hallie takes a trip around the world and wrestles with her chaotic romantic life. I was left guessing right up until the very end. This series is hard to describe since you have a coming-of-age story that can be easily enjoyed by an 80-year-old. There's something old-fashioned in the characters and settings, yet timely when it comes to their concerns and problems. I'm thinking Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, and To Kill A Mockingbird all head for Comedy Central. Bottom line: These books will brighten your day. (And not to sound cliche, but you'll laugh out loud if reading in public places, so beware.) I'm waiting for the movie!
ZoeLovesBooks More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I absolutely loved it and the storyline was intriguing too. I look forward to reading the other books in the series as it would be nice to get the whole back story. I learned this book is the fourth book within the series. I felt sad for the character as she was four credits away from graduating from college. She was so close to meeting her goals and ends up leaving town with hopes that her problems would disappear in the process however she learns her problems followed her everywhere she goes and has confront the issues. The story was comical and touching at the same time. I liked that the author wrote a story to touch others by pulling on their heartstrings and making them laugh hard at the same time too. I would recommend this book to others maybe buy the other books in the series and put them together for a nice gift to given for a birthday or as a nice Christmas present.
Johnny Blackchurch More than 1 year ago
I began reading Laura Pedersen's Hallie Palmer series to check out the first book for my niece. This is the fourth, and here I am again, grateful that I had the excuse to pick up the first book, and shamelessly pressing it into the hands of any friends that have the need for a pick-me-up. Hallie's all grown up, about to graduate from college, but she's derailed. Laura has done a great job of updating Hallie's teenage acerbic wit, softening the edges just enough to suit a maturing young woman. What struck me about this book, and what I retroactively realized about the previous ones, was that the first chapter is like the ascent up the first hill of a roller coaster. You hear that a lot about books, but the dialogue is punchy, the phrases well-turned, and the action well-paced and you really get the sense of impending adventure that we can imagine Hallie must feel when things take a sharp turn down a blind alley. My niece came to these late, so she didn't 'grow up' with Hallie per se, but she consumed this one as eagerly as the previous ones, and was so invested in Hallie's story that she surprised me with how much she held after a single read. Another great read from Laura Pedersen, whose characters are full of life and written intelligently, with not a whiff of it being 'dumbed down' like a lot of books for young adults. I highly recommend it not only for the teenage readers in your life, but for yourself, whether a cafe book or a beach book, find a way to fit this series into your life and get some of the literary feel-good you may be missing by sticking to other genres.
Andrea_Cornell More than 1 year ago
Best Bet is a must read - it's so good! I just recently read the 3rd book in this series and was excited to see that the 4th was out! Hallie Palmer, the main character, is awesome - she's funny, heartfelt.and a great gambler! She's had some tragedy in her life too and has some burdens to bear, but this is a coming of age novel about graduating college and what that means and Hallie comes into her own - even if it takes her a trip around the world to get a little wiser. It's a great read - both serious and funny - and I'm sad that this is the final book! More Hallie!!!! Luckily, I've been reading these books out of order and I still have the first two left to enjoy!
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
This book was the conclusion of a four-part series. The series covers the life of Hallie Palmer. In this series finale, Hallie is anticipating college graduation and a new life with her longtime boyfriend Craig, when she learns that she is short a few credits due to no fault of her own. She embarks on a journey around the world as part of a sociology project for school to earn her degree, and learns a little something about herself and the world while she is at it. Hallie ...more This book was the conclusion of a four-part series. The series covers the life of Hallie Palmer. In this series finale, Hallie is anticipating college graduation and a new life with her longtime boyfriend Craig, when she learns that she is short a few credits due to no fault of her own. She embarks on a journey around the world as part of a sociology project for school to earn her degree, and learns a little something about herself and the world while she is at it. Hallie is still a likable character: "tomboyish" and logical, yet quick-witted. Pastor Costello, whom she secretly gambled with in the basement of the church as a teen, has now taken on a new role in her life. Her brothers and sisters are growing up and moving away to begin lives of their own. Her mother has begun a new life after losing Hallie's father a few years before (in one of the books I didn't read). Hallie is facing the same question that so many others are facing in this day and age: Is the cost of higher education worth it? In a time when college graduates are finding themselves waiting tables or working in department stores to survive, will the financial investment pay off for her? She may find, as others may find, that sometimes it may pay off in ways that you didn't expect. Or perhaps the education will help you in a career that you didn't have planned. And often you have to go away to find, just like Dorothy, that "there's no place like home". There is pretty good character development here. I can "see" the characters in my head, and feel I really know them and "get" them. Some of the storylines and character interactions are a little over the top. The characters can tend towards extreme stereotypes, but the story is enjoyable nevertheless. I think that I enjoyed this one a little more than the first one. There seemed to be a little more "meat" to it (and less Rocky). However let me note that you do not have to have read any of the preceding books in the series in order read this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightful fourth and final book about the rich, quirky life of 21-year-old college student Hallie Palmer. When the story opens, Hallie is days away from donning graduation cap and gown to begin her post-college life when she discovers a clerical error has left her one social-sciences class short. Minutes later, she bumps into Josh, an old crush of hers who tells her she can get the course credit if she signs up with a sociology team (of which Josh is part) to travel the world, dropping wallets containing $20 each, as part of a professor's doctoral study on humanity's global honesty. But if Hallie embarks on this globe-trotting mission, it will throw a jumbo-sized wrench into her plans to move in with her longtime boyfriend Craig and start work at her new job. However, for this small-town girl, the opportunity is too irresistible to refuse and just before she departs, a stung Craig bestows a free-spirit status on them both. While her journey is fraught with food poisoning, an earthquake and various assorted comical conundrums, Hallie must also try to remain in her professor's good graces as well as withstand life with her roommate Mandy, a Mennonite who suddenly morphs into a henna-tattooed siren on the second day of the journey. Wiser for her tribulations, Hallie returns home to her family with eight siblings, her hysterically funny gay friend Bernard, and his perpetually politically correct mother, Olivia, and Craig. What follows is a marvelous ending with a funny domino-like sequence of surprises for Hallie and others. Though the book can be found on young-adult shelves, the story is more than sufficiently sophisticated to grab adults as well. Literary and cultural references add a wonderful depth to the anecdotes and metaphors. The book's laugh-out-loud funny, and readers will find themselves rereading lines just for the sheer joy of it. They may also find that going back to the preceding three books will prove irresistible. A sure bet. KIRKUS