Put this at the top of the list of books I started reading with a ho-hum attitude and wound up absolutely loving. Lots and lots of bloggers have recommended this to me over the past couple of years, so when I saw it on the shelf in the Junior Fiction section at the library, I decided to try it. But I wasn't sure at all that I would like it.
At first, I thought it was cutesy. And, let's be honest: the idea behind it is cutesy. An orphan gets sent to college by an anonymous benefactor who pays her way on the condition that she write him regular letters detailing her progress. Pretty far-fetched and, well, quaint. But that orphan, Jerusha "Judy" Abbott, won the hearts of her benefactor and yours truly with her buoyant worldview and wonder-filled description of life outside the orphanage at last. She was sarcastic, yet sweet; studious, yet playful. I've been enchanted, I tell you.
I did see the plot twist of sorts coming, and was a little annoyed at first that Jerusha didn't. But then I realized that if I was in her position, I would be like, "No way. That could never happen. It would be too big a coincidence." So I figure that's what she thought.
I found a copy of the sequel, Dear Enemy, at the thrift store, so I'm hoping to start that before too terribly long.
First Line: The first Wednesday in every month was a Perfectly Awful Day -- a day to be awaited with dread, endured with courage, and forgotten with haste.
Particularly Good Bits:
Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh -- I really think that requires spirit (p. 49).
But aren't the streets entertaining? And the people? And the shops? I never saw such lovely things as there are in the windows. It makes you want to devote your life to wearing clothes (p. 87).
PS. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels (p. 130).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. Clean and light and fun.
This is my sixteenth book read and reviewed for the Classics Club and my seventeenth for the I Love Library Books challenge.