Heart on a Chain
Cindy C. BennettBlurb: 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 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?
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: January 15, 2011
My Rating: 3 stars
Heart on A Chain started well. Really. It was a 'completely sucked in' kind of book. And then...the book went from being good to being a dramatic soap opera of sorts. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it no longer felt as 'real' to me.
I really did start out loving it. I felt so badly for Kate; her life was terrible. I flipped pages as fast as I could, because I needed to know how her life had went from a normal happy childhood to this.
This book really made me see bullying in a different light. I always knew it was bad, of course, but this shed a light on it in a way that I hadn't seen before. I thought that part was well done.
Kate herself...I started out really liking her as a character. You can't help but feel sorry for her; she has an absolutely terrible life. After a while, though, her personality was reminding me of Cinderella. (Actually, even Kate referred to herself as Cinderella in the book, though it was more in the cleaning sense.) A lot of parallels can be made between the Cinderella story and Heart on a Chain, Henry in particular.
Henry really was the "Prince Charming" of this book. He's the flawless guy, the guy that everyone wants for their daughter. Everything about him, including his family, is simply perfect. The major problem I had with this is Henry is more of an ideal than an actual person. I liked him and all, but when it comes down to it, I don't think I have or ever will meet someone as wonderful as Henry was made out to be. This is a real pet peeve of mine, so it bothered me more than other people may be bothered by it.
The ending is where things started to become very jumbled. Things kept happening, left and right, and certain things I didn't even find plausible. That whole part with Jessica...I won't say anything except that I highly doubt that would happen in real life. Regardless if things were realistic or not, I wanted it to slow down! I can't take this whirlwind of huge reveals! I normally am a person who loves when stories have a lot of twists and turns, but even I thought this was a tad excessive.
One thing I will say about the ending, though, is that it was the kind of happy ending that made me want to sigh in contentment, knowing that finally something was going right in Kate's life. I suppose the fact that I was pleased with this shows that I did like the book, even if there were a couple kinks. I have read a lot of books by Cindy Bennett, and she always does manage to leave me satisfied. So, this, in the end, is a book I don't regret reading.