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Review: The Sweetheart of Prosper County

August 9, 2009

The Sweetheart of Prosper County

When almost fourteen year old Austin Gray was in the third grade, her father died in an auto accident.  Her overprotective mother doesn’t talk about him, but his death hangs between the two of them.

Now that she’s in high school, Austin is having trouble with the high school bully.  Austin says:

I just couldn’t get out from under Dean Ottmer’s smothering insults and constant harassment.  I didn’t need for him to like me; I just needed for him to shut up.  Chestless, Stork, AustiNK. What other people say is not supposed to matter, but the truth is, it does.

While Austin’s at the annual Christmas parade, she decides that being a “hood ornament” (riding on a car in the parade) will be the answer to all of her problems.  She determines that the best way to do this is to become the FFA Sweetheart.  She signs up for FFA and asks for a chicken for Christmas, so she can win a ribbon at the County Fair.  Along the way, she gains some confidence, helps her mother come to terms with her grief and discovers the value of true friendship.

The Sweetheart of Prosper County is a delightful coming-of-age story by Jill S. Alexander.   Austin is a fantastic character – she has her insecurities and wants to fit in, yet she doesn’t want to hurt her mother.  She’s a good, but not perfect kid – she stretches the truth with her mother a few times.  In other words, she’s real.  A lot of people will be able to relate to Austin and the problems she has dealing with the bully.  I also thought the bully, Dean, was a great character.  I think we all knew someone like him in high school – obnoxious but popular, and no one can understand why.  The story is good, too and I liked the way Austin and her mother worked out their problems.  The Sweetheart of Prosper County is classified as YA, but I think it will appeal to readers of all ages.

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2009 6:30 am

    This sounds like a lovely read!! And that cover is just adorable. Great review!

  2. August 9, 2009 6:33 am

    This sounds like a good one. I love it when the characters seem real and are easy to relate to or to recognize. I loved that quote, too. It was a great snapshot of who Austin is.

  3. August 9, 2009 7:14 am

    This book sounds like one that I’d love. I always enjoy coming-of-age stories. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  4. August 9, 2009 7:29 am

    Sounds like a sweet book. Nice review!

  5. August 9, 2009 8:46 am

    Good story and I love the cover. Not sure why, I just love chickens. Very country, I guess.

  6. August 9, 2009 8:57 am

    perfect timing! i’m looking for some contemporary YA fiction to suggest to some students! thank you so much for the review–i’m going to check this one out and hope that it works. 🙂

  7. August 9, 2009 9:27 am

    Oh how I LOVE coming of age stories – this sounds like a great one; thanks so much.

  8. August 9, 2009 10:09 am

    Austin sounds like a great character! And I just love that cover for some reason =)

  9. August 9, 2009 10:13 am

    This does sound good, Kathy! Austin sounds like a character I could really like. Thanks for the great review.

  10. August 9, 2009 10:50 am

    “What other people say is not supposed to matter, but the truth is, it does.”

    That’s so true, especially when you’re younger! I hadn’t heard of this book, but it certainly sounds interesting! Thanks for the review 🙂

  11. August 9, 2009 11:18 am

    This does sound delightful and definitely one I would read.

  12. August 9, 2009 1:12 pm

    I really want to read this one. Nice review!

  13. August 9, 2009 2:57 pm

    Oh how I once stretched the truth myself…. An interesting sounding book.

  14. August 9, 2009 4:57 pm

    This sounds like such a cute story. I love YA books!

  15. August 9, 2009 5:26 pm

    Oh, this does sound delightful! And the cover makes me smile for some reason 😛

  16. August 9, 2009 7:18 pm

    like that

  17. August 9, 2009 7:23 pm

    Oh, I LOVE that cover…since I am a chicken person, and roosters are the prettiest of the chickens for sure. It sounds a little heavy, but also really good as well. I enjoy some YA, and this looks like it could be one of them.

    thanks for the review!

  18. August 9, 2009 8:21 pm

    I like the looks of this one!

  19. August 9, 2009 9:42 pm

    Great review. Sounds like a sweet read. I am sure we all knew a “Dean” in school. Happy Sunday. Have a great week.

  20. August 9, 2009 10:52 pm

    I’ve not heard of this book and it definitely sounds interesting as I enjoy coming of age style books.

  21. August 10, 2009 5:25 am

    This book sounds good, I love coming of age stories. The cover is kind of cute too.

  22. August 10, 2009 10:26 am

    Thanks for the review Kathy. I’ve not heard of this one and it sounds really good.

  23. August 10, 2009 11:50 am

    I enjoy coming of age books and I can’t remember one I read that included a chicken so far, I will keep my eye out for this one 😀

  24. August 10, 2009 10:01 pm

    This one sounds like a fun read!!!! I’ll probably end up reading it soon 🙂

  25. August 10, 2009 10:30 pm

    I’ll share this title with my daughter. Your review is the first I’ve seen of THE SWEETHEART … sounds good (was this your first review via Vine?)

  26. August 11, 2009 5:02 am

    The cover made me look at it one more time 😀 It looks funny 🙂

    The coming of age story sounds good. The main character sounds good.

  27. August 12, 2009 8:28 pm

    Oh, this sounds like something I’d enjoy. Great review!

  28. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 13, 2009 1:19 pm

    This sounds wonderful!

  29. August 15, 2009 8:12 am

    This one sounds really good. Great review!

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