The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter by Kristen Tracy

8:00 AM

Title: The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter
Author: Kristen Tracy
Release Date: January 11, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320
Source: ARC received from publisher through Bookurious 

Overall: 3 Stars 

After an unfortunate incident at the hair salon, Bessica is not allowed to see her best friend, Sylvie. That means she's going to start middle school a-l-o-n-e. Bessica feels like such a loser. She wants friends. She's just not sure how to make them.

It doesn't help that her beloved grandma is off on some crazy road trip and has zero time to listen to Bessica. Or that Bessica has a ton of homework. Or that gorgeous Noll Beck thinks she's just a kid. Or that there are some serious psycho-bullies in her classes. Bessica doesn't care about being popular. She just wants to survive—and look cute. Is that too much to ask when you're eleven?   

My Thoughts:
I don't read many middle grade novels because I consider the protagonists too young for my reading tastes, and indeed, I think my rating of 3 Stars is a reflection of that. The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter is an enjoyable read, and perhaps if I were younger I would have enjoyed it even more, but in the end, I simply liked the novel.

Bessica Lefter feels like her life is over. Not only has her grandma abandoned her in favour of going on a road trip with her new boyfriend to explore caves and different landmarks, but her best friend won't even be attending the same middle school as her! Poor Bessica. She's about to head to her new school all alone and no clue how to ever fit it...

I did sort of roll my eyes a bit at Bessica's actions in the novel. I know she's only eleven, but she's sort of stubborn and is under the impression that whatever she thinks is best, others would also agree with. It's not that she's bossy... she just sort of thinks that she's always right. In other words, she's pretty much a girl that acts her age- but even so, I don't remember acting the way she did when I was that young! She's forgetful at times and she tends to act before she thinks, with both of these characteristics leading to some funny moments and putting a smile on my face!

When I think back on it, not much really happens in the novel... yet I was always entertained in some fashion. Bessica is adjusting to a new school without her best friend, which would be hard for anyone, and she's not used to the fact that her grandma is not by her side. Combine these facts with how Bessica is having a horrible time trying to make some new friends, and you've got some heartwarming moments to be found too. It all sort of leads lead up to a hilarious ending that had me laughing so hard I had to put the book down for a moment. So while I might have been slightly annoyed with Bessica's immaturity in the beginning, I was happy to see her grow as a character and be a little more considerate to others. 

The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter is a novel that younger audiences will most certainly take a liking to... and great for those looking for some light-hearted laughs along with a story about a young girl just trying to settle into her new middle school all alone.

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  1. I love when a book can make you laugh out loud. I agree with you that at times I have a hard time relating to middle school literature and I often think the characters are immature. On the otherhand some of my favorite books...Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are middle school based too.

  2. Hi, just stopped by to give you a Stylish Blogger Award!

  3. Lisa- I certainly can't argue that HP and Percy Jackson don't apply to MG, but they also have themes which older audiences can still love and understand more which is why a broader range of audiences read those books. But yes, I certainly cracked a smile quite a few times while reading this book. :)

    Jay- Thanks so much the award! :)

  4. Yeah, Reading Middle Grade books are not as exciting to read as they were when we were in.. Middle school. LOL

    I have a cousin in Middle School, and I had brought up the idea of her coming to live with me so she could change schools and she was horrified over the idea.