The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando
(MTV Books, Paperback, 2006)
Betsy is all set to commit social suicide by working at a colonial village this summer. She only took the job because her dad is a history professor. When her mom dies though, she starts to see the colonial village as a welcome escape. She becomes friends with weird Liza and cute James. Her relationship with James, though, is complicated and she learns that nothing is predictable when it comes to loving someone.
I think I had extremely high hopes for this book due to the colonial village aspect. As a kid, I was always fascinated by history and in college, I spent a lot of time near a colonial village. Betsy's colonial village sounded, well, boring. I had a hard time picturing Betsy at her job, much less wanting to visit her there. The other characters in the novel were a bit more interesting. Liza was a perfect minor character. She was fun, quirky, and lent just the right amount of support to Betsy throughout the novel. James was definitely a murky character. His relationship with Betsy is, to quote the back of the book, "a million shades of gray." One moment, he's there and the next, he's gone. By the end of the book, I knew I liked his character but I had a hard time agreeing that he was good enough for Betsy. Why is it that my expectations for literary men are so much higher than for real life men? :)