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.