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Heart on a Chain by Cindy C Bennett

Saturday, July 30, 2011

17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns.

Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun an to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him.

Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her?

Kate finally decides to trust Henry’s intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?

Good Reads Summary

Never judge a girl by her cover.  The main character, Kate, has lived with abuse her whole life.  She is very resilient and strong; wonderful qualities to see in a female character.  She deals with her alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother on a regular basis, sometimes coming out the worse for wear.  Some might see her refusal to stand up for herself (when she is bullied) as  a shame and weak, and it might be; however, Kate is also a proud character, possibly a bad trait in this situation, but it works as a character should never be perfect. 

The novel contains several scenes with severe abuse and bullying.  This is a reality for some teens.  The author makes these scenes both vivid and real for the reader.  The reader will want to reach out to help Kate while smacking her mother.  The love interest, Henry, comes in the nick of time for Kate.  He is caring, protective, and appears to truly love Kate.  He is also rich; the opposite of what Kate is acclimated too.  The reader will enjoy watching as their relationship deepens and develops. 

This novel will make the reader want to hunt down every mean girl and bad parent in the world and give them what for.  Incidentally, the author is very good to evoke that sort of reaction in her readers.  The dialogue is interesting and horrifying at times, but the reader can believe this is actually happening.  The scene, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, is perfect.  Kate's second-hand clothing and the way she is bullied at school will make this novel all to real to the reader.  There are good transitions from one scene to the next and the author manages to give Kate the perfect reactions to the situations she is placed in-Kate reacts like a textbook would predict with some surprises, again she is believable.  The ending is very satisfying and the reader will breathe a sigh of relief.  This novel is recommended for young adults/adults who enjoy novels that tackle real life issues. 

5 Stars


  1. Another great review! I agree, Cindy does a wonderful job evoking emotion!! I LOVED this book!

  1. Krystal Larson said...:

    I'm so glad :) I really thought this book was a must-read!