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The Education of Bet

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When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will's world is much larger. He is allowed--forced, in his case--to go to school. Neither is happy. So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They'll switch places. She'll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.


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When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will's world is much larger. He is allowed--forced, in his case--to go to school. Neither is happy. So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They'll switch places. She'll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.

30 review for The Education of Bet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Eh. I'm a sucker for all the hijinks that result when a female character has to disguise herself as a boy to do what she wants to do (Tamora Pierce, this is all your fault), so there was never a chance I wasn't going to read this one. But it was awfully boring. It started off very promising - Bet wants to go to school! Will doesn't! They hatch a plan! - but then it turns out that the whole thing was just a build up to "Bet falls for her roommate who thinks she's a boy oh no!". I can get behind that Eh. I'm a sucker for all the hijinks that result when a female character has to disguise herself as a boy to do what she wants to do (Tamora Pierce, this is all your fault), so there was never a chance I wasn't going to read this one. But it was awfully boring. It started off very promising - Bet wants to go to school! Will doesn't! They hatch a plan! - but then it turns out that the whole thing was just a build up to "Bet falls for her roommate who thinks she's a boy oh no!". I can get behind that (sometimes), because it's one of my very favorite girl-disguised-as-a-boy hijinks. But usually there's at least some attention paid to the original reason for the disguise in the first place (Alanna wants to be a knight!, to name one). Not so much with this one. So, again I say: eh.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne Osterlund

    Bet longs to go to school, despite being a girl and the less-than-important daughter of a housemaid. Meanwhile, Will—Bet’s privileged childhood playmate—squanders his own opportunities, managing to get himself expelled from four educational institutions. When he is accepted to a fifth school—which he disdains—Bet’s jealousy bursts into frustration. And into a plan to take Will’s place. He will go into the military—his own personal dream. And she will disguise herself as a boy in order to attend Bet longs to go to school, despite being a girl and the less-than-important daughter of a housemaid. Meanwhile, Will—Bet’s privileged childhood playmate—squanders his own opportunities, managing to get himself expelled from four educational institutions. When he is accepted to a fifth school—which he disdains—Bet’s jealousy bursts into frustration. And into a plan to take Will’s place. He will go into the military—his own personal dream. And she will disguise herself as a boy in order to attend the Betterman Academy School for Boys. Of course, her decision would have been a more informed one had Will told her about bullies. And compulsory sports. And dances. Though even Will can’t be blamed for not warning her about the unforeseen dilemma of falling in love with her roommate. A light romantic read set during an unspecified era in the 1800’s. I enjoyed the entire cast of characters (with the exception of a few bullies), the unanticipated wave of Bet's secret supporters, and, of course, Bet’s foray into fencing lessons!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lexie

    I'm of two minds over The Education of Bet. On the one hand, this had all the makings of a historical novel I love. Feisty heroine, madcap adventures, romance, family secrets and its set somewhere in the 1800's. However, maybe due to the slim nature of the volume the story didn't feel complete. By the time the ending chapters occur I felt as if the author rushed to a conclusion too abruptly. The story is very much like Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (of which Bet grows to love) or maybe more I'm of two minds over The Education of Bet. On the one hand, this had all the makings of a historical novel I love. Feisty heroine, madcap adventures, romance, family secrets and its set somewhere in the 1800's. However, maybe due to the slim nature of the volume the story didn't feel complete. By the time the ending chapters occur I felt as if the author rushed to a conclusion too abruptly. The story is very much like Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (of which Bet grows to love) or maybe more accurately the Amanda Bynes' movie from about half a decade ago She's the Man (in which Bynes dresses like her twin brother, and attends school in his place, all while he's off having some sort of musical epiphany). Actually that's an apt description; much of what happens to Viola in the movie (it is a direct update of Twelfth Night) is mirrored in The Education of Bet. That's not a bad thing! Amanda Bynes in general, and She's the Man in specific, entertains me a lot. It just made me feel like dejavu. What works best for this novel is when Bet is struggling to be more 'boy' like, but ending up being even less so. To that point Bet lived a very sheltered life, having never left the estate since her and Will had moved in with their Uncle. All her knowledge of what boys are like come from Will, his stories and her books. She doesn't understand why there is so much social posturing, bullying, arguing and a sort of defeatism. While this makes sense, it also marks her as being very very naive. There's no doubt that at the all-girl schools similiar, if less hands-on and violent, things happen between the students. Just whereas boys will use their fists first, girls use their words. Bet never had that experience however, being the bastard daughter of a maid. She often will question things that happen or things that her room-mate, James, acts as if are ordinary. The characters over all are shallow feeling, with very little depth given to the vast majority of them. Bet longs for an education and to go to school, but we're never shown exactly why (for the freedom of it? Just because she wants to? The author implies several different reasons, but doesn't seek to expand on them). Similiarly Will longs to join the military, but has such a romantisized view of it that it made me wonder at if he was at all intelligent. James is quiet, and feared and likes to keep a low profile--but until the end we aren't told very much of his backstory. I'm still wondering why the other students kept a wide berth from him (just because he was so weird?). There is also a certain amount of uneveness to the narrative. For the first fifty pages Bet goes back and forth with memories and stories she was told of her family before moving in with Gardner. Once she's at the school, other than infrequent letters to Will, its almost exclusively dedicated to the present. This makes the news Bet receives seem like it come out of no where. Truly when she said "I hadn't thought about it" (that's the paraphrase, if I put the quote in it would be a spoiler) in a surprised manner I believed her. I certainly hadn't thought about it. The scattered clues leading to the revealation were just there in the story. Though this is a critical review, I did enjoy the novel. Bet's interactions with Will and later James are amusing, as is her commentary on what its like to be a boy. Just reading about her trying to keep all the lies straight is entertaining. Unfortunately it suffers from being entirely too short. 192 pages was clearly not enough time for Baratz-Logsted to flesh out this story suitably. And a minor pet peeve: the exact year this is set is never said or shown. Nor are there any clues as to when it is! While I don't think knowing whether it was set in 1804 or 1876 is critical to the plot, it would have at least kept me from trying to figure it out.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender and "The Education of Bet" certainly delivers. The book is set in an undisclosed period of time in the 1800's. My guess is sometime in the very late 870-1890's. I believe this because Bet mentions Dickens whom wrote the majority in the 1850-60's before dying in 1870. Also the fact that Bet's only complaint in dress is a corset. Therefore it's obvious the book is set It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender and "The Education of Bet" certainly delivers. The book is set in an undisclosed period of time in the 1800's. My guess is sometime in the very late 870-1890's. I believe this because Bet mentions Dickens whom wrote the majority in the 1850-60's before dying in 1870. Also the fact that Bet's only complaint in dress is a corset. Therefore it's obvious the book is set after the hoop skirt trend of the 1860's. Trains haven't made itself to be known yet therefore i don't place it anytime in the late 1890's. But i'm getting off of the point here. The book centers around Bet and, as the excerpt clearly states, her adventures in an all male school parading as Will. The book is rather short at 186 pages and thus you really don't get info into her daily life or happenings at the Betterman's academy. The shortness of the whole thing is really my chief complaint. I really enjoyed reading the story and didn't want it to stop. It was like letting someone have a bite of chocolate cake and then whipping the rest out of their hands. I wanted to read more about Bet's adventures as Will and her attempts to keep her feelings about James secret. I also wanted to see more interaction between Bet, Mrs. Hunter, and Mrs. Smither's. The whole issue of women's rights was at the authors door step and the only she did was jump on it once, ring the door bell, and then run away. As my endless complaining clearly states i thought the book too short (Yep we've seen that tree before in this review). Final rating: 4 1/2 stars. Great writing that left me wanting more. Unfortunately, the author didn't deliver the pizza.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Small Review

    Summary The 1800s were not a good time for women in want of an education, as young Bet well knows. Inspired by her desire to learn, Bet jumps at the opportunity to attend boarding school. The only catch? Bet must disguise herself as her cousin Will in order to gain admittance. Donning the garb of a young man and lowering the pitch of her voice, Bet believes she will have no trouble blending in. But boys will be boys, as the old adage says, and Bet soon learns it takes more to be a boy than a Summary The 1800s were not a good time for women in want of an education, as young Bet well knows. Inspired by her desire to learn, Bet jumps at the opportunity to attend boarding school. The only catch? Bet must disguise herself as her cousin Will in order to gain admittance. Donning the garb of a young man and lowering the pitch of her voice, Bet believes she will have no trouble blending in. But boys will be boys, as the old adage says, and Bet soon learns it takes more to be a boy than a swaggering walk. She soon finds herself struggling to navigate the unspoken social rules of boys, but her biggest challenge arises when she realizes she has fallen in love with her roommate. Review Ah, I feel like a drug pusher with all of my Lauren Baratz-Logsted posts. "Hey, hey you, blogger, ya wanna read something good? Come on, I got something for you." After reading The Twin's Daughter I'm pretty sure I entered into cheerleader status. Now it's safe to say that I'm in full on fangirl mode. I didn’t intend to finish this book so quickly. I planned on going to sleep at a perfectly reasonable time. I got in bed and thought to myself, “I’ll just read the first chapter.” Pfft, famous last words of readers everywhere! Well, one chapter turned into two, which turned into three, and then four. By the time I realized how late it had gotten I was so invested in Bet’s story that I decided to just ignore the clock and read until the end. And what an ending! But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. I should start at the beginning. Bet captured my heart from the very first. She’s sweet and loyal with a backbone of steel. Bet saw an opportunity and she seized it, despite all the dangers and all of the arguments to the contrary. I admired her bravery, but I also adored her for her weaknesses. Bet begins the book as a terribly naïve and sheltered girl. She expects boys to behave one way, but soon realizes her assumptions were very wrong. She is charmingly stubborn at first, but eventually she learns to adapt to these realities and triumph over them. Then there is James, Bet’s roommate. I can completely understand why Bet fell for him. He is so sweet and attentive, but also admirable in that he always stays true to himself. James early on recognizes Bet’s oddities and decides to take her under his wing to protect her from bullies. Of course James believes Bet to be Will, and so his acceptance of Bet’s strange ways is all the more noble. In this manner, we see that James is not simply nice to Bet because he finds her attractive, but rather because he is a good person. The supporting “good” characters are beyond charming. I loved them. They sometimes seemed a little too good to believe, but that didn’t bother me one bit. They were the type of people I'd fantasize about if I were to picture a "perfect" cast with myself as the star. Loving, supporting, understanding, accepting, helpful, and fun. This was a happy book through and through, and I loved that. This is the kind of book that warms my heart, makes me smile, and earns itself a spot on the Special Shelf. This happiness is what I liked best about The Education of Bet. The characters nestled their way into my heart. With each passing scene I felt the smile on my face growing wider and wider. I had to stifle giggles to make sure I didn’t wake anyone. Each scene was perfectly crafted in a way that was both entirely relatable (in emotion, if not in situation- though wouldn't that situation be fun?) and wholly enjoyable to read. I wasn’t expecting much from such a short book, but I am happy to say I totally underestimated Bet and her story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nisha

    To be honest, its really a 3.5 star book, but I'm a sucker for this theme, so I couldn't help rating it up. Bet, or Elizabeth Smith, our heroine, is 16 and wants a education. Raised with a young man named William, who wants to skip out of school to join the military, she devises a plan to take his place in his new school while he goes out to war. She practices to become a boy and eventually ends up at the Betterman Academy. Unfortunately, the reality of this world is nothing near what she To be honest, its really a 3.5 star book, but I'm a sucker for this theme, so I couldn't help rating it up. Bet, or Elizabeth Smith, our heroine, is 16 and wants a education. Raised with a young man named William, who wants to skip out of school to join the military, she devises a plan to take his place in his new school while he goes out to war. She practices to become a boy and eventually ends up at the Betterman Academy. Unfortunately, the reality of this world is nothing near what she imagined. She struggles and gets bullied and what not. Fortunately, she has an awesome hot roommate who she falls for and dresses up like a girl to dance with. Does this sound familiar? It's like a popular fanfic story. But historical and the girl doesn't really think far enough to figure out what to do with her education. Unfortunately for this book, it was greatly underdeveloped in the motivations of each of the characters. For example, Bet was living during a time period when women were not educated, while her feminist rant was entirely 20th century. In fact, some of her speech was 21st century. The real William was also 16, but his dreams of entering the military was not really explored. William also considered Bet as a sort of sister, so knowing how boys are, I can't imagine how he allows her to impersonate him. James Tyler... we never really know what he's thinking, but he accepted Bet's sex too readily. It was all just TOO SHORT. I wanted so much more to the story, but it was just an edited historical fanfic. It was "historical", but without the necessary historical details. The thoughts of all the characters were all too modern. The whole gender-bending situation was all too easy. Afterall, it was Bet's first time out in the "real" world. The romance was all too convenient. And there was no real romantic tension developed between the two. It was just that he was hot, a great friend and supposedly felt uncomfortable near her (because of her pheromones). Still, I enjoyed the book, so I will still recommend it to those who like the theme.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yan

    Elizabeth could speak, write, and read as well as Will, but there is something that Will can do that she cannot: attend school. But Bet is determined and when Will confesses that he dreams to join the military rather than go back to school, Bet proposes that they switch places and in her case, genders. Lauren Baratz-Logsted has a habit of underwhelming me with her books. The last book I read by Baratz-Logsted was Crazy Beautiful, stunning cover with a sinful synopsis, but it fell to impress. Now Elizabeth could speak, write, and read as well as Will, but there is something that Will can do that she cannot: attend school. But Bet is determined and when Will confesses that he dreams to join the military rather than go back to school, Bet proposes that they switch places and in her case, genders. Lauren Baratz-Logsted has a habit of underwhelming me with her books. The last book I read by Baratz-Logsted was Crazy Beautiful, stunning cover with a sinful synopsis, but it fell to impress. Now with The Education of Bet it has a pretty cover and an intriguing synopsis (I admit that I have several graphic novels with the similar synopses, but I cannot get enough) I was immediately excited. And I gave a half-hearted shrug once I finished. In my past experience with first person narratives, I feel like they give the most extreme emotions. I felt like I can relate better to the main character yet with The Education of Bet there was distance between Bet and I. The pace of the novel is brisk and was written in mostly paragraphs detailing the adventure and what an adventure! An adventure, I felt, was over so quickly with not enough hoops to jump through and not enough trouble that makes a full-grin read. A part of me still does not believe in the James and Bet relationship. It was so complete-180 for me that made me reluctant in the whole thing. Once I got over the quick turnabout I do so love their forbidden love as you will. Quite frankly, however, The Education of Bet had nothing bad about it, least not a scene or subplot that made me tsk and shake my head over. It was just a lack of exuberance and energy that I thought I would read. There are two scenes that held great energy: the fencing and the climax, but those were two scenes out of many.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sara Grochowski

    THE EDUCATION OF BET took me completely by surprise! Before this novel, I'd never read anything by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, but I was intrigued by the description. I found the lengths Bet and Will go to in order to disguise Bet as a boy entertaining. I was skeptical that Baratz-Logsted would be able to make this aspect of the novel believable, but I actually found it very convincing. I especially loved that there were adults at the school aiding Bet in her quest for an education. It was THE EDUCATION OF BET took me completely by surprise! Before this novel, I'd never read anything by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, but I was intrigued by the description. I found the lengths Bet and Will go to in order to disguise Bet as a boy entertaining. I was skeptical that Baratz-Logsted would be able to make this aspect of the novel believable, but I actually found it very convincing. I especially loved that there were adults at the school aiding Bet in her quest for an education. It was inspiring to see Bet fight so hard for something she wanted... something other than a boy. Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance, but it was refreshing to see the main character so passionate about something else. It definitely reminded me how lucky I am to have the opportunity to go to school... with all the stress, homework, and insane costs, it's easy to forget that. But wait! There's romance too! Which, honestly, I should have anticipated, but I really hadn't. It was interesting an interesting and memorable romance, since, during the development of the romance, Bet is still disguised as Will. Understandably, this leads to some awkward moments, but Baratz-Logsted did a wonderful job making their story believable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I feel a little stingy giving this book two stars, but for better or for worse, I'm becoming harder to impress when it comes to YA books. There are so many good ones out there, but for every good, solid piece of writing (let alone any amazing, astounding piece of writing), there's a pile of clichés and tropes that have been done to death. I think that this book has a lot going for it, but all the delicate balancing the author does in the beginning of the book -- nestling her characters and their I feel a little stingy giving this book two stars, but for better or for worse, I'm becoming harder to impress when it comes to YA books. There are so many good ones out there, but for every good, solid piece of writing (let alone any amazing, astounding piece of writing), there's a pile of clichés and tropes that have been done to death. I think that this book has a lot going for it, but all the delicate balancing the author does in the beginning of the book -- nestling her characters and their world into Victorian England, with all its literary baggage -- falls like a disturbed soufflé. There is a lot to like in here -- Bet isn't a flat character by any means, there are a lot of interesting observations that I didn't think about, and you want Bet to succeed. There's an almost Bronte voice at work sometimes. But it falls into this 21st century feeling -- things I doubt Bet would have thought to do in the 1800s, but a girl in 2010 would be okay with. It's like it's two halves of a different world. That all said, it's a perfectly fine read -- goes quick, and it's likable. It's just not gonna blow your mind.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    I absolutely loved this book! I loved everything about it: the characters, the story, the writing, the list goes on and on. This book was so cute and I loved Bet's voice. I loved reading about all of Bet's adventures at schools while she was pretending to be a boy. This was so much fun to read. I also kept waiting for her to get caught. Bet falls for her roommate, who thinks she is a boy, and that is absolutely priceless watching them. I absolutely loved her roommate, James. He was definately I absolutely loved this book! I loved everything about it: the characters, the story, the writing, the list goes on and on. This book was so cute and I loved Bet's voice. I loved reading about all of Bet's adventures at schools while she was pretending to be a boy. This was so much fun to read. I also kept waiting for her to get caught. Bet falls for her roommate, who thinks she is a boy, and that is absolutely priceless watching them. I absolutely loved her roommate, James. He was definately swoonworthy. At first, you don't really know what to think of him, but as the book goes on he really grows as a character and you see him and "Will" really start to become good friends. Mrs. Smithers was another character I really liked. At first, I figured she'd be a stern lady with not much character to her, but I was very wrong. She was one of my favorite characters of the book! I do wish we had gotten to hear a bit more of the story. The Education of Bet was only 192 pages, so there was no length issue of going longer. Don't delay, go get this book and read it as soon as you can!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miss Clark

    1.5 stars A girl disguises herself as a boy, in order to get precious education denied to her in 19th century, for reasons never really built upon or explored, and upon arrival does very little learning and instead falls for her roommate. She is ready to throw it all away (which is her choice), even though getting this education was her big goal. None of the characters appealed to me overmuch, Bet was not a convincing boy and anyone with a brain would easily have discovered her secret. The 1.5 stars A girl disguises herself as a boy, in order to get precious education denied to her in 19th century, for reasons never really built upon or explored, and upon arrival does very little learning and instead falls for her roommate. She is ready to throw it all away (which is her choice), even though getting this education was her big goal. None of the characters appealed to me overmuch, Bet was not a convincing boy and anyone with a brain would easily have discovered her secret. The writing was somewhat ... overtly plain.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    A fun book to read about a girl in the 1800s who wants to go to school, while the boy she has been raised with wants to join the military. She pretends to be him so that he can join the military and she can get an education. And boy is there a lot for her to learn.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    To be blunt, this book was a huge disappointment. I had such high hopes for it in the beginning - girl masquerades as boy to get an education? What's not to like? Perhaps I saw this as a novel in the same vein as the wonderful "Alanna" series by Tamora Pierce. I couldn't have been further off the mark. I found most of the characters in the book very shallow, and highly unrealistic. There was also little or no meaningful character development over the entire course of the novel. All the women in To be blunt, this book was a huge disappointment. I had such high hopes for it in the beginning - girl masquerades as boy to get an education? What's not to like? Perhaps I saw this as a novel in the same vein as the wonderful "Alanna" series by Tamora Pierce. I couldn't have been further off the mark. I found most of the characters in the book very shallow, and highly unrealistic. There was also little or no meaningful character development over the entire course of the novel. All the women in the book support Bet's commitment to gaining education, and wish they had an opportunity to do the same when they were younger. All the men are either typical teenage boys, sexist old men, or falling in love with Bet. The characters in the book all behave exactly as they ought to, which I found very irksome. Neither the schoolboys, Bet's family, nor Bet herself show any depth of character. The story unraveled in the exact way you predict it to in Chapter 5. * Warning! Spoilers ahead!* I found Bet, for her part, to be a completely unbelievable, obnoxious character. At first I couldn't help liking her. After all she is the protagonist, and she is a girl trying to gain an education in a man's world. That, at least, seemed to show some promise! But as the novel wore on she seemed to become shallower, more conceited, and devastatingly foolish. I also appear to have been under the mistaken impression that Bet wanted an education because she actually wanted to make something of her life. If you're looking for a strong feminist ending this book isn't for you. Surprise - Bet goes to school for a year, falls in love with her roommate, and throws away all her academic achievements and opportunities to get married before age 25. Luckily there were only a few more pages to get through after this disastrous ending, or I might have had to stack this in my "unfinished" shelf.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trishnyc

    Bet and Will, though having lived in the same house when they were little children, never had much of a relationship. But a tragedy that results in both of Will's parents and Bet's mother's deaths finds them suddenly being raised by Will's rich uncle. At the inception of the story both are sixteen and while Bet stays home with Will's uncle reading to him and providing companionship, Will goes off to boarding school. But Will cannot seem to manage his education and has so far been expelled four Bet and Will, though having lived in the same house when they were little children, never had much of a relationship. But a tragedy that results in both of Will's parents and Bet's mother's deaths finds them suddenly being raised by Will's rich uncle. At the inception of the story both are sixteen and while Bet stays home with Will's uncle reading to him and providing companionship, Will goes off to boarding school. But Will cannot seem to manage his education and has so far been expelled four times. Upon his last return and just before he is being sent off to yet another school, Bet hatches a plan that will supposedly give them each what they want. Bet yearns for a type of education that her era(Victorian England) will not allow her: a classroom, teachers and rigorous learning. Bet's plan relies in part on the fact that she and Will look alike and could be mistaken for siblings and that Will's uncle is nearly blind. The plan is that she will transform herself into a boy going off to Will's school, pretending to be him while Will can go off to join the army which is what he has always wanted. But most plans do not take into account the unexpected elements of life and Bet's plans are no exception. When she goes off to school as Will she finds herself subject to bullies, trying to live down Will's past misdeeds from his former schools and worst of falling in love. This is a short story that will warm the hearts of lovers of period pieces. On one hand, I wish it were longer so that Bet and Will's stories could be further explored but on the other hand, I think that a story like this actually benefits from brevity. Despite sometimes thinking that parts of it were a bit cliched, I found this book funny, mostly true to its time and overall very charming. *Review copy provided by Amazon.com's Vine Program.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)

    The Education of Bet By Lauren Baratz-Logsted Review: I figured this book was not going to be a favorite, but it was much worse than I expected. It looked like a quick fun read, but was rather boring and took me longer than I thought it would. I had to force myself to finish the last 40pgs. I did not want to come that far and not finish, but I was tempted to just abandon it. So, what was wrong with this book? Writing style - I understand that it can be difficult to write a book that is to span an The Education of Bet By Lauren Baratz-Logsted Review: I figured this book was not going to be a favorite, but it was much worse than I expected. It looked like a quick fun read, but was rather boring and took me longer than I thought it would. I had to force myself to finish the last 40pgs. I did not want to come that far and not finish, but I was tempted to just abandon it. So, what was wrong with this book? Writing style - I understand that it can be difficult to write a book that is to span an entire year, but I have seen it done much better. This book was just so choppy. We jumped a month or more at a time sometimes. Most of the important events are told after the fact, so it is hard to feel in the moment. And whole sentences were repeated more times than necessary. The characters - Bet was amusing, but most of the other characters were unbelievable and most of them seem flat. The characters got worse the more the book progressed. James' father is truly the most unbelievable character in the entire book. I had a really hard time accepting that all the characters in the book were so understanding and forgiving of Bet (view spoiler)[ when they found out that she was actually a girl (hide spoiler)] , but James' father topped them all. When I read the letter James wrote to Bet, I could not believe what I was reading. If this letter was not so close to the end (the last two pages) I would have stopped reading right then and there. Oh, and that surprise at the end? Totally saw that coming. In fact, I had forgotten that we did not already know that bit of information! So I was only surprised that I was supposed to be surprised. The book was poorly written and had a poorly planned plot. I would not recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lady Knight

    When I first heard that this book was being released I was very excited. At that point the only Lauren Baratz-Logsted books I read were some of her "Sisters 8" series (i.e. Annie's Adventures, Durinda's Dangers, etc.), which I loved I might add. Recently though, I've read both Crazy Beautiful (which was full of plot holes yet was still fantastic) and How Nancy Drew Saved My Life (which was VERY disappointing)... so I was a little worried when I did pick this up. The first third to half was a When I first heard that this book was being released I was very excited. At that point the only Lauren Baratz-Logsted books I read were some of her "Sisters 8" series (i.e. Annie's Adventures, Durinda's Dangers, etc.), which I loved I might add. Recently though, I've read both Crazy Beautiful (which was full of plot holes yet was still fantastic) and How Nancy Drew Saved My Life (which was VERY disappointing)... so I was a little worried when I did pick this up. The first third to half was a slow go, and I was really worried I was going to be very 'meh' about this one... thankfully the pace picked up after that point. The story concept is not really a new one, the classic "girl masquerades as boy to accomplish something" is on display here. That said however, it was an enjoyable read. I loved how Bet dealt with the different situations that came her way. I loved the character of James and how the romance 'felt right' right from the beginning, and yet had all the tension of neither being sure how to deal with it. The ending was a little too neat, but overall a fluffy teen romance that is sure to please a variety of YA lit fans.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacinda

    I’m starting to like historical fiction more and more. I like that a book can take me back to a different place and era and I just love imagining myself there. I like Education of Bet and the name is very fitting for the premise of the story. I know it has been done before, but I think I’ll always like and read books about girls or women who impersonate boys or men. I just love reading about the challenges they will face and what they’ll ended up learning from the experience. Lauren I’m starting to like historical fiction more and more. I like that a book can take me back to a different place and era and I just love imagining myself there. I like Education of Bet and the name is very fitting for the premise of the story. I know it has been done before, but I think I’ll always like and read books about girls or women who impersonate boys or men. I just love reading about the challenges they will face and what they’ll ended up learning from the experience. Lauren Baratz-Logsted writes about Elizabeth aka “Bet” who transforms into her “brother in spirit”, the boy who she’s been raised with and thinks of as her brother, in order to get a formal education. I have to give Bet a ton of credit because impersonating a man in the 18--’s has to be WAY more difficult then trying to do the same in this day and age. Bet thinks she’s thought of everything before heading of to school and that she has a great plan, but once she gets to school, she finds out she’s more clueless then she would like to be. Bet has so much drive in this book and she never gives up at anything during the course of it, even when she gets put down over and over. The one and only complaint(and it’s not really a complaint) is that I wish the book were a bit longer and detailed. The story was told well during 190 or so pages but I would like more. That’s very weird for me, usually I think some books are too long and the story drags on. This book is a great historical fiction novel about a girl who has to overcome everything put upon her for just being a women, I recommend it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Ugh, what mediocrity. This is Hana-Kimi, Volume 1 (a manga I adored) if the heroine was actually stupid (instead of just cheerfully ignorant). The plot is the exact same – girl disguises self as boy to attend boarding school, falls in love with roommate. And yet this book is even more ridiculous, in a bad way. I mean, Bet doesn’t even have a goal. Or a plan, really. Her whole idea is: (1) dress up as a boy (2) ???? (3) profit! It’s stupid. It’s beyond stupid. And then all the women help her for Ugh, what mediocrity. This is Hana-Kimi, Volume 1 (a manga I adored) if the heroine was actually stupid (instead of just cheerfully ignorant). The plot is the exact same – girl disguises self as boy to attend boarding school, falls in love with roommate. And yet this book is even more ridiculous, in a bad way. I mean, Bet doesn’t even have a goal. Or a plan, really. Her whole idea is: (1) dress up as a boy (2) ???? (3) profit! It’s stupid. It’s beyond stupid. And then all the women help her for female solidarity reasons. But, seriously, what was she hoping to get out of this??? It’s not like a few years at boarding school would give her ANYTHING in that period. Plus, what the hell, a teenage boy going into British school in the 19th century with no Latin/Greek would be noticeable (Bet doesn't even have the basic education of a grammar school student when she goes to boarding school). And no way in hell could she be first in her class if she had honestly started Latin that one year. And then she threw it all in danger by having maybe one of the STUPIDEST plans to get the boy she liked, which involved pretending to be her own twin. Ouf. It was all in all ridiculous, and not in the good way.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I honestly thought this book was going to be amazing, but not everything in life is as you expect. Don't get me wrong, i liked the book. I'm all for Girls fighting for their dreams and what they believed in. But as i was reading it was like Bet wrote it herself. Like she didn't have a real solid plan. First, The whole Will/Bet thing was pretty obvious. It was clear that they were related in some way. And the way she handled it. Calm. Cool. Collected. As if she didn't receive what i think the I honestly thought this book was going to be amazing, but not everything in life is as you expect. Don't get me wrong, i liked the book. I'm all for Girls fighting for their dreams and what they believed in. But as i was reading it was like Bet wrote it herself. Like she didn't have a real solid plan. First, The whole Will/Bet thing was pretty obvious. It was clear that they were related in some way. And the way she handled it. Calm. Cool. Collected. As if she didn't receive what i think the biggest news of her life. The book also had flaws in the dialogue. It really didn't follow the time period. Every problem Bet had she fix it like she magical powers. The sheets, her period, the fact that she didn't have a dress, that she didn't have shoes, everything was fixed with little or no complications. You would think that impersonating a boy in a all boy's school would be difficult, but for Bet. And James. For 3/4 of the book i honestly thought that he was Gay. The way he was presented to me showed some signs that he had feelings towards Will. But once the ball came and he danced and kissed Bet Elizabeth the way he spoke changed drastically. Even when Bet revealed herself to him he really didn't react as I thought he was going to. Like Bet he just shook it off. It was an okay book. I enjoyed reading it and it killed all the extra time I had during this 3 day weekend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angelina Justice

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Aargh! Second time posting this review. This is a nice historical "lite" with mild feminist leanings for the reluctant girl reader. Unfortunately I wasn't terribly impressed. There were too many character contradictions. A girl who poses as boy to get an education, but accepts her "station" in life. A girl smart enough to be first in her class, but not smart enough to hide her girl gear with one of her two female secret keepers at the school. A girl who professes willingness to give up her dream Aargh! Second time posting this review. This is a nice historical "lite" with mild feminist leanings for the reluctant girl reader. Unfortunately I wasn't terribly impressed. There were too many character contradictions. A girl who poses as boy to get an education, but accepts her "station" in life. A girl smart enough to be first in her class, but not smart enough to hide her girl gear with one of her two female secret keepers at the school. A girl who professes willingness to give up her dream of an education because the cute boy's feelings are more important. And then the whole story feels rushed. It's as if someone did a hack job of the editing. Every time there is the beginning of any kind of tension it is rushed, skimmed over or resolved too easily. A perfect example is when the school bully beats Bet after she bests him in a fencing match. One moment we're getting a bit of detail about how Bet is feeling and the details of what she is doing to him and the next we're getting a vague second hand telling of a fierce beating. One of the best scenes in the whole book is when the same bully discovers Bet's girl gear in "Will's" trunk. A chase ensues and Bet/Will is cornered by the bully who believes that will is an "abomination." That scene was fleshed out, but the turmoil that ensues is kind of compressed and rushed. My advice to the author....slow down and tell me more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    'An Education of Bet' is a short yet exceedingly sweet story. It's premise is fairly familiar: to achieve something society does not allow girls to do, she must become a boy. When Bet finds out that Will, the boy she has been raised with, is going to start at a new school yet does not wish to go, she begins the deception by cutting off her hair and learning to speak, write, and walk like a young man. Her plan goes extremely well; that is, until she meets her extremely handsome roommate. In the 'An Education of Bet' is a short yet exceedingly sweet story. It's premise is fairly familiar: to achieve something society does not allow girls to do, she must become a boy. When Bet finds out that Will, the boy she has been raised with, is going to start at a new school yet does not wish to go, she begins the deception by cutting off her hair and learning to speak, write, and walk like a young man. Her plan goes extremely well; that is, until she meets her extremely handsome roommate. In the end, I thought this was the best kind of book: a book you do not want to end. However, a week out from reading this book, it's been clear that it was rather fluffy, and won't stay with me for very long. It was too much like other favorite books and films ( Tamora Pierce's books about Alanna, She's the Man) without having elements that made it stand out above the pack. Then again, what's wrong with a bit of YA fluff now and then? One comment about the cover... While I think the dress on the cover is pretty, I really don't like "headless girl" covers, of which there seems to be a lot in young adult fiction. So, while the cover certainly told me something about the period, it was really the description of the actual story that drew me in most.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I worried this book would be too similar to she's the man to have me hooked but boy I was wrong. This book has made me extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I have as a woman in today's society

  23. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I thought this was really interesting. I mean, it's got a fairly low rating here on Goodreads and I usually steer clear of those, but the premise sounded so promising. So I went for it. I thought it was cute. I love that Bet was willing to face all kinds of scandal just to get an education. She was just a cool main character to have. Her spunk was awesome. Ok, there were parts that were just a little corny or predictable. One plot "secret" was pretty obvious from like, page 3. I wouldn't have I thought this was really interesting. I mean, it's got a fairly low rating here on Goodreads and I usually steer clear of those, but the premise sounded so promising. So I went for it. I thought it was cute. I love that Bet was willing to face all kinds of scandal just to get an education. She was just a cool main character to have. Her spunk was awesome. Ok, there were parts that were just a little corny or predictable. One plot "secret" was pretty obvious from like, page 3. I wouldn't have needed to finish reading it to know it was going to come out. Wow, this is really choppy. I guess I just want to say that I liked it. I liked Bet, Will, Uncle, and James. There were pretty cool. It was a cute story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    In the 1800s girls didn’t…well, were not allowed to go to school. Born to a maid and orphaned as a child, brought up by a wealthy along with a boy named Will whom her mother served, Elizabeth (Bet) wants nothing more than to get an education. When she and Will scheme to change their lives, Bet assumes the life of Will, goes to boarding school in his place and gets an education not only through books, but also in living the life of a boy among boys. All things happen for a reason and in this In the 1800s girls didn’t…well, were not allowed to go to school. Born to a maid and orphaned as a child, brought up by a wealthy along with a boy named Will whom her mother served, Elizabeth (Bet) wants nothing more than to get an education. When she and Will scheme to change their lives, Bet assumes the life of Will, goes to boarding school in his place and gets an education not only through books, but also in living the life of a boy among boys. All things happen for a reason and in this story all things play out just as Bet plans for the good and then some. A good story, even if it does have a little too much good luck and not quite as developed a plot as there could have been.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Cute short book. A girl dresses as a boy in order to get what she wants in life. The characters were fun (even if they could have been a little better developed) and the story itself was also fun. I was a little frustrated that there wasn't a better historical setting (I really couldn't tell when it was supposed to take place). In the end I would give this 3.5 stars. Fast fun read, but not too much more to it then that.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A smart, funny girl with ambition who wants to learn and make something of herself??? Add in the impropriety and humor of some of the situations...yes, please! I really enjoyed this book and it was a quick and fun read. Bet was extremely likeable and I found myself rooting for her to succeed. When I started the book I was a little worried that it would be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely recommend this book for someone looking for a nice, quick read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    While not the most original story, "Bet" was still fun. Girl wants to go to school, girl can't because 'women aren't allowed', girl knows boy, boy wants to go to military, girl 'becomes' boy and goes to school and of course falls in love. We've all read something like this or at the very least watched a similar movie, but this one is such a fast-paced, good hearted read. Ending is not likely, but atleast it was happy. 3.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This story took me an evening; I couldn't put it down. Bet is strong-willed and frustrated that Will takes for granted his education, while Will wants nothing more than the freedom to choose a new path. Through some shenanigans, Bet takes Will's place, never expecting that the lessons she learned most wouldn't take place in the classroom. A fun, historical romp.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    I really liked this book...until Bet revealed her secret to her roommate/love-interest and they started a physical relationship. Then I got angry. Up until that point, I did like it, but after that...I couldn't finish it. I got up to the point where her bully bursts in and finds her wig and I had to put the novel down with a sigh and proclaim myself done. I liked the layering of complexity in the beginning of an ambitious girl wanting nothing more than to go to school and all the things she had I really liked this book...until Bet revealed her secret to her roommate/love-interest and they started a physical relationship. Then I got angry. Up until that point, I did like it, but after that...I couldn't finish it. I got up to the point where her bully bursts in and finds her wig and I had to put the novel down with a sigh and proclaim myself done. I liked the layering of complexity in the beginning of an ambitious girl wanting nothing more than to go to school and all the things she had to learn about boys before she could even learn real things! I liked that she had to learn to fit in and learn to lie to get what she wanted... And then it all came crashing down when she "fell in love." It was disappointing. For me anyway. Though you would think this book would present the inner workings of sexism and gender privilege from both the standpoint of women and men, the sexism in the novel seemed more like a facade to wrap the plot in. I did enjoy (most of) the book, I just wish it had done more with this subject. As others have mentioned, this book doesn't contain contractions. However, this didn't really bother me. Contractions and their use as we are comfortable with today is newer than the time period in the novel (at least I believe so), and so I felt their absence just made the voice of the characters and narrator seem more authentic. After a while, it faded into the background. I really liked the settings described in the novel. I liked the history of the characters and how their backstories unraveled. I liked Bet's characterization and that her ability to voice act that she learned by reading to her benefactor became a major factor in the plot, especially when Bet had to start changing her gender back and forth (like during the dance, then the holidays). I also adored the cover and the fonts used in the novel. They were really well chosen and felt very authentic for the novel they were matched with.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    In this book a reader is given a tale based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Bet is a young girl living in a time where activities in a girl's life were not varied outside of "a females role". Through she is living a good life of wealth and respect she desires to gain an education, but going to school is a luxury that only boys are given. After hatching a plan with her male cousin, Will, Bet cuts her hair short, takes on the qualities of the boy, and goes to school pretending to be her cousin In this book a reader is given a tale based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Bet is a young girl living in a time where activities in a girl's life were not varied outside of "a females role". Through she is living a good life of wealth and respect she desires to gain an education, but going to school is a luxury that only boys are given. After hatching a plan with her male cousin, Will, Bet cuts her hair short, takes on the qualities of the boy, and goes to school pretending to be her cousin while Will goes off to join the war. Bet soon learns that being a boy requires more than short hair and a boy's name, she needs to be reckless and willing to engage in competition. Over time Bet is helped in her education attaining dream, but her desires begin to spread out to more than just her books as she finds herself falling in love with a boy at school. Through her learnings of boyhood and books, Bet finds strength in being herself. This book is a short but enchanting read. I longed to be in Bet’s shoes and to experience what it was like to be at this school and to see things and do things that no girl had yet to do. Bet is a wonderful example for those that have huge dreams and wonder if they should go after them. I am learning, through Bet, to not give up on what I want because it seems impossible. Though this book is based off of Twelfth Night the personalities of the characters and the events are very different and give the reader a separate view of this general storyline. The only things that I would warn other readers about would include: a brief scene where harlots are introduced and, were she really a boy, Bet would have been considered touched in a inappropriate way and later there are several instances where Bet’s male roommate completely undresses for bed in front of Bet (as he doesn’t know that she is a girl).

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