Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie

SweetieTitle: Sweetie
Author: Kathryn Magendie
Pages: 200
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.

Tender Graces
Tender Graces
I'd like to introduce you to Kathryn Magendie: an author that bridges the gap between literary fiction and genre fiction, and deserves a closer look.

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.

Secret Graces
Secret Graces
This is Kathryn Magendie's third novel, and the second that LibraryThing has provided me for review.  Both been very enjoyable reads.  I am still of the opinion that the titles and cover art chosen do not properly represent the novels they contain: the outsides are rather sickeningly sweet while the novels themselves are a nice balance of engaging plot and thoughtful prose.  I am hoping that this does not impede the awareness of this up-and-coming author.  I would love to see her work become more well known.


  1. This sounds like a good read - thanks for the review.

  2. I wonder how many books are overlooked because of horrid or incongruous covers?


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