Book Review: Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie

Sweetie by Karthyn MagendieLast year, I read Tender Graces by the same author. That was a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in difficult circumstances. In Sweetie, the main character becomes friends with a girl who was growing up in difficult circumstances. Same topic, different approach.

Sweetie: What it was about

Twelve year old Melissa of North Carolina is a little podgy and wears glasses. She prefers to spend her days at home. She only had one friend at school until Sweetie joined the class. Sweetie is strange but intriguing to Melissa. She helps Melissa (whom she calls Miss Lissa) lose her stutter and seems to know all about herbal medicine. She thinks these are magical.

She lives in the woods with her mother and knows an old Indian man who lives nearby. He, like Sweetie, believes in the magic of the mountain spirit.

Melissa, on the other hand, has been brought up by her father to believe in science. Her father is a scientist at the university. Everything that Sweetie says, Melissa tries to explain in a scientific way, but Sweetie isn’t having any of it.

Sweetie takes her out into the woods on the mountain, and through their friendship, Melissa becomes more a confident person.

Sweetie: What I thought

(3.5 stars)

An interesting story about the friendship between two very different girls. Not only is one brought up to believe in magic and the other in science, there is also a huge difference in their financial situation. While Melissa’s mother is trying for Melissa to lose weight, Sweetie does not seem to get enough to eat at home and is often hungry.

This is not a “sweet” book. Themes in the book are the effects of community gossip, religious fanatism, mental illness and poverty. It’s definitely a Southern (US) book, in which the sense of location and language shines through.

I enjoyed reading the book, but like Magendie’s other book I read, Tender Graces, I find it hard to look beyond the title and cover of the book. Still, the book is well-worth reading if you’re looking for a quick read that dares to come out with some strong themes.

Rating: 3.5/5

I got this book: as an e-book from the publisher, Bell Bridge Books

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 207 (e-book)

First published: 2010

Genre: contemporary fiction, magic realism

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Book Review: Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie

  1. Uniflame says:

    I think I would like to read this 🙂 I can deal with the more heavy topics in this aspect. (the only thing I can’t deal with is horror). It seems interesting enough 🙂

  2. Joanna says:

    I haven’t read a nice tale about friendship in a while and there’s something about the characters that makes them seem likeable already. May check it out.

  3. You know I am a lot like you: when I don’t like the cover, probably I don’t like the book! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the review! I will be watching for this one.

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