Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett

Hi all!

The weekly YA dose :)

Title: Heart on a Chain
Release date: 22nd of December 2010
Published by: Createspace
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 324 pages in Paperback
Source: Gift


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?


This was at times the ultimate Cinderella story and, coincidentally, that is also my number one fairy tale. And while I do have some issues with this book that I can’t really close my eyes to, this was heartwarming read about happiness reaching those who didn’t know it existed anymore.

It’s über super duper sweet and adorable that Kate found light in the end of the tunnel and all the happiness because of, basically, an initiative from one guy. BUT, I felt that Kate was mostly defined to others by her relationship with Henry, SHE wasn’t viewed as a real person to treat with respect or even tolerating, I felt that only because he came into her life things could change. Of course, Kate’s situation was more than tragic and she wasn’t entirely without a spine and it is extremely difficult to take action to better your life being in her miserable position, still, I would have liked her newfound positiveness in life to not come via her relationship with Henry only. BUT, then again, I was struck with what and impact only one person, male or female, can have in changing the life of another when just looking and taking the time to care.

While many of the acts against Kate were quite brutal I didn’t feel entirely depressed or hopeless when reading of her daily pains and obstacles. Of course, it was nothing less of horrifying, but I was glad that the atmosphere and writing reflected the future possibilities of change for the better and happiness, be it from reading about Henry and his family or the small snippets of Kate being bolder, taking steps out of her shell and just feeling sparks of joy thanks to her crush.

I didn’t quite like the fact no one seemed to notice or even care about how Kate was suffering at home or, mostly, at school. Honestly, maybe I’m naive but how many times can you say that you “fell” before someone starts asking questions, especially at school, since she obviously was a “problem” child and things couldn’t have gone completely unnoticed.


First things first: I absolutely loved grandpa Henry!

Kate was the pretty girl in rags who didn’t see herself as pretty, the one everyone pushed aside and picked on, but who managed to still go on however difficult, the girl who was subjected to appalling treatment but still found herself worthy and daring to of love, the girl who desperately wanted to lay low but stood out to the only person who ended up reversing her fortune and changing her life. I liked Kate and I admired her resilience but as mentioned before, I would have liked to see more of HER role in her new happier life than Henry’s.

Henry was prince charming and although somewhat cliché in that role, he still managed to be extra sweet and swoony. What I liked most about him was that he was an ordinary guy, yes, he was handsome and from a good family, etc, but he seemed so touchable, boyish and simple. Plus, his efforts for Kate were awkward and unsure at times and that made them extra special. I was slightly take back by his strong feelings and definite decisions regarding Kate at such a young  age, but while not entirely realistic to me, it made him quite endearing. A kind, loveable and caring boy.


This was a really adorable read that made me feel sad and then warm and fuzzy inside. An easy and quick read. And while not something life changing, a decent story that delivers what it promises.

3 stars!



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