To sum it up: 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?
Gahhh- Why did I take so long to read this book? This definitely deserved a 4 ½ star rating. Oh, and FYI: have some tissues handy.
Before starting this book, I was having a hard time finding something that really kept my interest. I knew I wanted something emotional- after-all, they're my favorite type of books to read. However, everything I started, just fell flat for me. Then I came across Heart on a Chain. It was heartbreaking. It was emotional. And it was just what I was looking for. (And trust me: four/five star reads are few and far between for me- I don't give that kind of rating out too often.)
Heart on a Chain tackles some very serious issues: bullying and abuse. It's impossible to read this book without wanting to be a better person. The realness of the characters and circumstances was truly riveting. The ridicule that Kate goes through is severely heart wrenching; She’s physically abused by not only her mother, but her classmates as well. It hurt me just to read about her hurt and pain. She is by far, now a favorite heroine of mine. She’s very shy and very sweet- she’s lost and alone in a world where she’s been surrounded by so much ugliness. The only true form of good and happiness in her life is Henry. He’s her rock. Her salvation. Her protector. And more than that, he’s her friend.
Cindy Bennett did a fantastic job evoking emotion in her readers. I absolutely loved her writing style- she never rushed the plot, and she really allowed the characters to develop gradually, just as it would happen in the real world. This was my first novel by Cindy Bennett, and it most definitely won't be my last. If you're looking for an intense and enormously absorbing read, then this is the book for you. :)