Author: Kathryn Magendie
Published: 2010 Bell Bridge Books
Read for: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
My Rating: 4 stars
*This book is being offered by the publisher as a free Kindle book until the end of the year! Check it out.
Magendie's writing is soothing and poetic, and is paired with a great plot that sucks you straight through the book. Apart from the first couple of pages that it took me to get into the rhythm of the book, I really didn't want to set it down. The real surprise, though--the icing on the cake, so to speak--is the balance achieved between the lyrical writing, the realistic characters, and the captivating story.
Sweetie is the story of Melissa: ever the outcast: ever the new girl in the new town, who makes friends with the untamed Sweetie. It is a coming of age story, and has some heartbreaking moments that go hand-in-hand with growing up. It is a Southern novel, combining sorrowful nostalgia with just the right touch of humor. It is also a bit magical, leaving you pondering and wondering even after the story has ended.
I was surprised to find myself reading slower toward the end of the book. I didn't want it to end! (That doesn't often happen to me.) It brought to mind Fannie Flagg (Standing in the Rainbow), Lee Miller (Fair and Tender Ladies) and Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting). While it was thoughtful (and all of those other adjectives I've been throwing around,) it wasn't sappy, unrealistic, or overdone. Like I said, amazingly balanced.