Book Review - Hattie Ever After

Author: Kirby Larson
Publisher: Random House (February 12, 2013)
Number of Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Source: Advanced Readers Copy
Audience: Ages 11 and up
Sequel: Hattie Big Sky
Historical Fiction * Early 1900's * Woman Reports

Description from GoodReads:
After leaving Uncle Chester's homestead claim, orphan Hattie Brooks throws a lasso around a new dream, even bigger than the Montana sky. She wants to be a reporter, knowing full well that a few pieces published in the Arlington News will not suffice. Real reporters must go to Grand Places, and do Grand Things, like Hattie's hero Nellie Bly. Another girl might be stymied by this, but Hattie has faced down a hungry wolf and stood up to a mob of angry men. Nothing can squash her desire to write for a big city newspaper. A letter and love token from Uncle Chester's old flame in San Francisco fuels that desire and Hattie jumps at the opportunity to get there by working as a seamstress for a traveling acting troupe. This could be her chance to solve the mystery of her "scoundrel" uncle and, in the process, help her learn more about herself. But Hattie must first tell Charlie that she will not join him in Seattle. Even though her heart approves of Charlie's plan for their marriage, her mind fears that saying yes to him would be saying no to herself. Hattie holds her own in the big city, literally pitching her way to a byline, and a career that could be even bigger than Nellie Bly's. But can making headlines compensate for the pain of betrayal and lost love? Hattie must dig deep to find her own true place in the world. Kirby Larson once again creates a lovingly written novel about the remarkable and resilient young orphan, Hattie Inez Brooks.

My thoughts on this book:
There are a few authors that I simply love as an author and as a person.  Kirby Larson is one of those authors.  She is as wonderful in person as she is as a writer.  Everything I have read from her I loved, and it was an honor to get to meet her in Seattle during ALA's Midwinter this year. 

Now onto my review...I can't believe that I missed the release date on this wonderful book.  Yes, February was a bit of a crazy month, but seriously, how did I miss getting my review out on time?  No more excuses.  Let's start with taking a step back, I have to say that my 11 year old self would have loved, loved, loved Hattie Big Sky. I would have wanted to have known Hattie (though I may not have wanted to live on a homestead in the winter).  By the time I finished reading Hattie Big Sky, I felt like Hattie was one of my best friends. I was so proud of her and all that she attempted and all that she learned. And then she leaves Vida to start a new chapter in her life.   The story was wonderful and I always wondered how Hattie's life turned out.

When I heard that other people were wondering about Hattie and her life after Vida, I felt like I was in good company.  Then Kirby announced that there was going to be a sequel, I was thrilled. A little nervous. What would happen to Hattie now? Would our "friendship" still be there?

Well, I should never have doubted Hattie or author, Kirby Larson. Hattie's voice rang clear and true in this sequel. It felt a bit like connecting up with a dear, dear friend after too much time apart but what is so special is that you immediately pick up where you left off. There is a comfortableness in the relationship. Hattie still has the same spirit of adventure and learning but now in a whole other location and challenge.

The war is over and Hattie has found her way to San Francisco after paying off her debts from Vida.  Readers get to meet Charlie, and still get news from old favorites from Vida.  However, now Hattie is working as a cleaning lady at the San Francisco Chronicle and begins to dream of becoming a reporter.  Overlapping with Hattie's professional goals, she sets upon unraveling more of the mystery behind her Uncle Chester's life.  Even though, Hattie Ever After is only about a year after Hattie Big Sky, Hattie is certainly growing up and there is even a touch of romance in this one.  When I finished up the book, I just hugged it to my chest.  I had come to love Hattie even more than I already did.

Hattie's Fans will love Hattie Ever After and if you haven't read Hattie Big Sky you must so you can fall in love with her too.

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