Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander

Almost-15-year-old Austin Gray is tired of standing at the curb and watching the parade pass her by. Literally. She decides this is the year she’ll ride on the hood of a shiny pickup truck in the annual parade, waving to the crowd and finally showing the town bully that she’s got what it takes to be the Sweetheart of Prosper County.

But far from simply being a beauty contest, becoming Sweetheart involves participation in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), raising an animal, and hunting or fishing. Austin will do almost anything to become Sweetheart, and has the support of her oldest friend, Maribel, her new FFA friends (including the reigning Sweetheart, and a quiet, cute cowboy), an evangelical Elvis impersonator, a mysterious Cajun outcast, and a rooster named Charles Dickens. If only her momma would stop overprotecting her, and start letting Austin live her own life. But Austin can’t move on until Momma moves on, too—and lets the grief of losing Austin’s daddy several years before out into the open.

The Sweetheart of Prosper County was such a lighthearted and heartfelt novel. I know lately I've been using cooking metaphors for my reviews but this reminded me of homemade cookies. With each ingredient being important and made special. The author put so much of her experience into the novel. I learned so much, like, I had no idea what grappling was until this novel. And I didn't know having a rooster as a pet could be so cool.

The characters in this novel were unforgettable. At the core of this novel was friendship and love. Each character had depth and identity that shone through each page. I think everyone can relate to Austin in some way-just trying to find that something that makes you special. Maribel and Austin's FFA friends were quirky, sweet, and I loved reading about them.

If I could live in a novel, I think I would live in this one. The story, character, plot, and setting all were so real. While I was reading I felt like I lived there my whole life. Sometimes you need a little small town lovin'. Everyone knows everyone and especially, helps everyone out.

I recommend this novel to anyone who's ever had a friend. Or has ever been a teenager. This novel is the perfect, real, coming of age story I've read in a long time. I loved it.

Rating: 4.5

Happy Reading!

11 comments:

a flight of minds said...

The Sweetheart of Prosper County just sounds so adorable! I like your cookie metaphor. :] Great review!

- Alex

~The Book Pixie said...

This sounds like a really cute book. I may have to check this out and read it. Lovely review and glad you liked the book. :D

~Briana

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

I really love your review of this! It definitely makes me want to read this book even though I didn't want to a few days ago lol.

-Briana

ccqdesigns said...

Ok, so when I read the firs sentence I wasn't sure whether Austin Grey was the type of Chicken or the Girl's name :-) (I work for a college that has a poultry science department and they are always coming up with crazy names for new types of chickens!)
Not sure I care much for the cover, but I do like your review.

Rebecca[dot]cox[at]charter[dot]net

Lost in a Book said...

That's funny! Now that I think about it, Austin Grey does sound like a type of chicken. But I much prefer the name Charles Dickens (The name of her rooster)!

Jessica Secret said...

Hey Jess

I gave you your very own Zombie Chicken at my blog@

http://shutupimreading.blogspot.com/2009/08/zombie-chicken-award.html

Sheere said...

This book sounds so cute!
Your cooking metaphor are really funny! =)

Sheere said...

BTW Happy Birthday!
Though in Spain is almost midnight!

Zubinina said...

Sounds good.

Paradox said...

This sounds like the kind of cute book that will make you go all fuzzy inside. I'll look out for this one!

Maria said...

I like your cooking metaphors! :)
The book sounds really good, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Great review also! Makes me wanna read the book...:P

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