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on February 20, 2011
The author, Cindy C. Bennett, nailed it on the head with her title, Heart on a Chain. This book had my heart on a chain from the moment I began reading it (until I finished 4 hours later). Mrs. Bennett is brilliant when it comes to character development (You feel when they feel; you hurt when they hurt, ect.)

Fear is a burden Kate Mosley bares with every intake of breath. Life for her is filled with heartbreak and suffering. Kate's home life is full of memories of what could have been and realities of what is (an abusive, drug addicted mother and an alcoholic father). School, which we would hope to be a safe haven, is no better for Kate. She escapes one torture chamber just to enter another. Until Henry, Kate's childhood friend comes back into the picture. Henry is the light in her world that is filled with shadows. His love and devotion for Kate allows her to see beyond the pain that consumes her and gives her a glimpse of the good in the world.

What made this book so riveting for me was the realness of the circumstances and characters. It has been my life's aspiration to better the lives of at-risk youth. As a counselor at a youth facility for girls ages 12-18, I witness many similarities between the shattered girls I work with and Cindy C. Bennett's character Kate. The only difference is that their reality doesn't have a gorgeous guy and a loving family awaiting them with open arms. Cindy C. Bennett's Heart on a Chain leaves one with an array of emotions. It may make you question your own character. IT'S A MUST READ!!
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on October 19, 2011
HEART ON A CHAIN has a great concept, and fairly good execution, but I did have some issues with the balance in the plot. I know Young Adult reads are often melodramatic, and that this appeals to younger readers, but this one went crazy with the doom and gloom. This is what made it stick out as a self-published book: a good editor would have helped the author find some balance in the pacing.

Kate lives with her severely abusive, drug-addicted mother, and her alcoholic father who beats on her mother. She has no food, no friends, and spends her days being bashed up by other students. There's not a single good thing in her life until Henry returns to the area and the school and takes her under his wing. The two form a relationship against the odds.

This story is definitely engaging, and Henry a dream come true. I couldn't put it down once I started. However, with things so bad, with the students abusing Kate constantly in front of the teachers, and with her walking around sporting huge bruises on a daily basis, I do not believe that there wasn't a single person in the world who didn't see anything or do anything about it until perfect Henry arrived on the scene.

I definitely didn't buy main bully Jessica's miraculous turnaround at the end - nobody's personality changes like that, and the girl should have been in prison at the end of the book, not friends with Kate again. Same goes for Kate's father - that man was a criminal, and should have been arrested and prosecuted.

Additionally, the handling of the manslaughter charges was inaccurate.

I did like the author's writing style, and suspect the success of this book will do wonders for her career. I hope she only gets better from here, as she has heaps of potential and definitely gets the teen mindset - half child and half adult.
There were some typos and wrong words throughout the text, but it wasn't bad compared to most self-published books.
One thing this book desperately needs is repackaging. The cover is cheap and trashy, and I would not have bought it unless it came highly recommended.

Many of the issues I have with HEART ON A CHAIN will probably go overlooked by younger readers, who will find the idealistic romance more than makes up for it. It was almost good enough for me to agree with that sentiment. I would have liked to see this book after it passed through the hands of professional editors, as there's so much potential here, but as it is there is far too much melodrama for it to be a five star read.
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on January 21, 2012
I received this book as gift from my baby sister, Nay, and I absolutely enjoyed it!!! "Heart on a Chain" is unlike any book I've ever read before in my entire life, that's not a bad thing though. The main character, Kathryn Mosley, has literally been through it all; with dealing with a mother who is addicted to pills and extremely abusive, and with a father who is an alcoholic, she has definitely had to grow up fast. The story begins with us learning the history of Kate and Henry Jamison; Henry Jamison is a guy that Kate had grew up with. When they confess their feelings for one another, shortly after, Henry moves away. Six years later, Henry has moved back into town and they fun, outgoing Kate he had left behind, is now shy, distant, and talks to no one. Although the characters weren't aware of it, the readers were definitely aware of Kathryn's home life, and you felt sorry for her; she had to deal with the abuse from her mother, and the bullying at school. After realizing that Henry is not like the other students, and his motives are genuine, she starts to trust him more than she has ever trusted anyone else in her entire life. In the end, things take a MAJOR turn in Kathryn's life that, in my opinion, NONE of the readers will expect. I absolutely loved this book; again, like I said, I've never read any other books like that in my entire life. To me, this book was very powerful; at times, I felt myself having to pause because the abuse was ridiculous, and the sad thing about it is that they have people out their whose lives are just like Kathryn Mosley's life...maybe not to a T, but close enough. I love the fact that Henry was her best friend and saw in her what no one (not even herself) could see. It did seem kind of odd to me how Henry was just sort of clinging to her; I get that they were crazy about each other, and that Henry was probably a light at the end of a tunnel that Kate had been waiting for, but it just seemed to be a bit much, but it didn't take away from the story...it just simply gave it more meaning to the theme of "you never forget your first love". I did find it weird that the school never investigated the abuse...I understand that Kate wasn't very vocal about what was going on, but I just thought that when someone shows up to school with that many bruises that many time, the school would interfere. "Heart on a Chain" was such a powerful book; I think that it should be one of those books that you are required to read in school growing up, because it was just that great and it teaches you about the abuse that some people have to deal with. I read that the author, Cindy C. Bennett, changed the cover of the book because people were saying that they almost didn't read the book because of the cover, but I loved the old cover for this book; to me, it kind of matched the story with the heart chain, and the far away shot of Kathryn, as opposed to the up close shot on the new cover, because we know from the story that Kate isn't a person who likes to be seen. Personally, I like the first cover, but neither of the covers take away from how great the story was. It just goes to show you that you should never judge a book by its cover, because you might miss out on a really good story. I would recommend this book to all people of all ages: men, women, high school students, junior high students, people who bullies people, and people who have been or is being bullied; for bullies, I think this book would shed some light on what people may go through that bullies tend to bully...I hope it would minimize bullying. For people who is being bullied, I think that this story can show them that there is hope out there, or it could be an even bigger picture; for example, if someone is going through the exact same thing that Kate is going through at home, it may give them the courage to speak up and get help.

[...]
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on April 12, 2011
Wow......I must say I read the title and I thought, ummmmm corny! But then I read the reviews and decided why the hell not? I was truly surprised on how much I enjoyed the book, began to completely empathize for Kate who endured more heartache and harassment in her high school years than any person should experience in a lifetime!! Coming from a home where her father is constantly drunk and her mother is always stoned, I must say that the physical and verbal abuse she withstood from her mother brought me to tears and truly made me have to put the book down to take a breath before I went any furthur. Throughtout the book you learn the deep rooted issues that create her horrific home life and truly start wondering how many people can relate to such a life changing episode!
Enter Henry, a very rich boy Kate dated when in grammar school who moved away only to come back her senior year. He now meets the new Kate who has changed since the last time he knew her, drastically. Once she realizes his intentions are pure, their relationship truly blossoms and serves as a crutch for Kate who its instantly accepted into his family and is then allowed to know what it is like to be a part of something pure and full of positive affection.
I won't go on to mention any furthur details but I do suggest you read Heart on a Chain which is not only a love story but also incorporates the hardships of those who are or are affected by addicts both physically and emotionally. I was blown away by the plot of the story which truly compelled me to inform others about this intriguing book!
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on February 22, 2011
I don't think a review could really do this book justice. There is no way for me to put into words just how good this book was. I finished this book so fast. I felt the characters were very well developed. I almost wished I could have learned more about her mom but saying that I still feel like I understand the changed that she went through. How Cindy Bennett got into the mindset I don't know, but I hope she doesn't stop writing like this. It truly was an amazing book, easily one of my favorites. If you are having any doubts about reading this stop thinking and read it. It stays with you long after you put it down.
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on April 12, 2011
This would not normally be the type of book I would read as I typically like some kind of light romantic escape away from reality. So, knowing that this book touches on abuse and neglect at home and at school would not normally have drawn me in. However, the reviews were so compelling that I had to give it a try and downloaded a sample on my Kindle.

Well, this book hooked me from the beginning and, despite the late hour, I had to finish this in one read. The characters really move you through both heartbreaking and incredibly touching moments. I really felt a range of emotions (and have the tissues to prove it!). The characters were well-developed, so you got a sense of what drove their behaviors vs. having cookie cutter "good guys" and "bad guys." This book is from Kate's perspective, so my sense is that Henry and his family come across as a beacon in her world of suffering and pain. And, I really needed a Henry character in this book, because his character provided you with hope to balance out some of the despair.

I finished the book wanting it to be longer - that's how much I loved reading this story and especially the scenes involving the main characters Kate and Henry. I would highly recommend it.
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on March 19, 2016
Synopsis

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 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?

This was the first YA Indie Fiction I had read. Let me point out that I first read this book when it first came out, which was a while ago. This book was a little out of my usual type of reading but I thought I would give it ago because it had great reviews on Amazon.

I wish I could say this novel was over the top but unfortunately, these situations are not few and far between. Told in first person, Kate grew up in an abusive home. Kate is scared at home and at school, having no safe haven to go to. She doesn't trust anyone-with good reason. She has the thoughts and feelings that anybody who has gone through any form of abuse has.

I can't tell you how many times I had teared up, yelled at my poor Kindle and the characters but I also laughed, smiled and fell in love. I hadn't expected to stay up half the night reading this story, but I COULDN'T put it down. Yeah, one of those stories...

If you would like to continue reading, visit my blog: [...]
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VINE VOICEon February 14, 2012
Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett is one of the self-published books I bought for $3.94 at Amazon. After reading mainly positive reviews on Amazon and at Goodreads, including with the length of the book, that's pretty average for a YA, I went ahead and downloaded it.

Heart on a Chain is a very emotional read that deals with parental abuse and high school bullying. The abuse that occurs is a bit over the top and felt unrealistic. If Cindy had toned it down, including some other aspects, especially in regards to the relationship with the female protagonist, Kate and a former friend, turned nemesis, Jessica, than this book would have really shined. As is, I will probably place Heart on a Chain as one my best books of this year, but it will be one of the lowest graded books I've ever given and placed on my best of reading year list from me. What saved Heart on a Chain from being forgettable is the character of Henry, Kate's love interest and savior. Kate and Henry's relationship is a near perfect teen romance and one that will make both teenagers and adults sigh over.

Kate is a seventeen year old loner. Her mother is addicted to meds and her father is an alcoholic who's barely around. Kate suffers horrible abuse from her mother, who starves and beats her. Everything went downhill after her mother suffered a miscarriage when Kate was around ten years old. For the past seven years, Kate has been living in hell. She doesn't have any money and can't afford new clothes or even lunch for school. She can't get a job because her mother relies on her for everything and would punish her for the
smallest infraction.

Kate has no friends and she's pushed around and mocked mercifully at school. For some reason the teachers don't notice, even when she comes in bruised because of her mother. Kate is barely surviving and has almost lost the will to live. But then an old friend moves back into town. He's Henry, her old schoolmate who had a crush on her, but left right before her family life became horrible. Henry is so happy to see Kate again, but she hides from him and refuses to talk to him. She thinks he'll be like all the rest of the students and treat her like dirt. But Henry isn't like that. It takes him weeks to gain Kate's trust and when he does, Kate begins to see that he's kind, gentle and a very special type of boy.

Over the next few months, and with Kate being very sneaky so her mother doesn't figure what's going on, she begins a special friendship with Henry who adores her beyond all reason. Henry shows through extreme kindness that he would never hurt her. Henry's parents and sisters welcome Kate into their fold, while she keeps her family life a secret from them because she's ashamed. She falls for Henry and everything he offers her. Soon she can't imagine her life without him in it. The same goes for him. He wants forever with Kate. But then went Kate protects herself against her mother in a fit of rage, everything falls apart around her and not even Henry's support and devotion could save her.

Heart on a Chain tugs on the heartstrings. Cindy really does know how to engage the reader's emotions because of the trauma Kate goes through at the hands of her unstable mother. The abuse is horrific and at times I thought it was a bit too much and drew me out of the story. Kate's mother refuses to feed her and beats her so badly that she riddled with bruises to the point she can't walk or breathe well. Kate goes to school and no one, not a teacher or a school administrator notices this. Kate never passes out from not eating. We're led to believe she doesn't receive any nourishment unless during school where she's given free lunch because of her being poor.

Kate is skilled at hiding her emotions and keep her secrets close to the belt. Henry comes to realize this, and because he loves Kate so much, he'll take the time to gain her trust. I adored Henry more than I can say. He's an incredible hero. The way he treats Kate and interactions with his family is a beautiful thing.

The events that unfold toward the end are weak and seem just thrown in to cause unneeded tension and to give Kate and Henry a solid HEA. I hated how the relationship between Kate and Jessica was resolved. Jessica does something to Kate early on that was so horrendous and unforgivable in my eyes.

The epilogue is everything and more, and it's from Henry's POV. I would love a sequel to see how Kate and Henry are fairing and perhaps keep it in Henry's POV because Cindy really can write a three-dimensional teenage boy quite well. Henry may also end up being one of my favorite heroes of 2012.

Even though I enjoyed Heart on a Chain immensely and I recommend you buy this book, the amount of issues I have stops me from giving this a higher grade or amazing praise. The writing was well done, but again, some of the situations Kate finds herself in, mainly with her parents, could have been handled better and perhaps with the help of an editor of some sort could have been fixed for a better conclusion.

Because Heart on a Chain did have a profound effect on me I'm going to give this a B- grade. Otherwise I would have rated it much lower, but the portrayal of Henry deserves high marks and shows how the power of love can heal the most damaged of souls.

Katiebabs
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on August 23, 2011
Heart On A Chain is a YA romance novel.

Kate Mosley is a seventeen year old girl with an abusive mother, an alcoholic father and she is bullied at school by practically the whole student body. She has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Her mother has almost killed her several times and Kate further sinks into depression as she believes there is no one in the world who can help her.

Henry Jamison has returned to town after being absent for several years. His family and he used to live in the area when he was younger and he and Kate had become friends. When Henry left town, Kate was devastated. However, he is back now and his interest in Kate has never changed.

At first, Kate is leary of Henry's attention. She is always waiting for him to lead her on so that he and the rest of the school can make fun and laugh at her. With much persistence Henry finally breaks through Kate's reserve and the two begin a loving friendship.

Kate has many skeletons in her closet and will not disclose any information to Henry about the abuse she suffers. Henry has managed to turn the school's opinion of her around, but he is unaware of her home life, that is, until the day she ends up bleeding, broken and lying in a snow bank outside his family's home. Not wishing to alert the police, Henry's family takes Kate in and nurses her broken body for the next three weeks. In that time, she has become an endearing addition to this loving family and Kate wishes never to have to return home.

Kate's mother is feeling guilty about her actions and allows Kate to travel over the Christmas vacation with Henry and his family. Upon her return, her mother has forgotten Kate's whereabouts and begins to beat Kate into unconsciousness. When a series of events take place, Katie is scared and begins to push Henry away. Henry proposes marriage, and Kate proposes to end their relationship. Kate must now survive the future without Henry and his love, will she have the courage to do so or will her heart always be broken. Only Kate can decide and while she and Henry drift apart, she begins to get her life on track and take actions for her own self.

For a YA romance I have to say this is a pretty decent read. Author Cindy Bennett certainly knows how to draw emotions from the reader and if you happen to cry when you read, then expect to do a lot of that as you read this. Kate is written with such raw and honest emotion that the reader is unable to control the floodwork of tears that are sure to ensue.

Kate and her back story are heartfelt as you ache for her life situation, the fact that her mother treats her so poorly leaves you feeling for the character and the pain she has to endure. Kate's father drifts in and out of her life often in a drunken stupor, he never champions for his child even though he is aware subconsciously the attacks are occurring. You cannot help but loathe his attitude and when he finally figures out his mistakes, and begins to make amends, his character resolve changes and you find yourself feeling for his plight also.

Henry is a bit unbelievable, his sensitivity and strength of character while commendable are just not seen that often in seventeen year old boys. His maturity and wisdom were beyond someone his age and I had difficulty with his "perfectness". As well, his family and their loving and accepting ways were a bit over board as well. Unless you're the Brady Bunch, families just don't behave that way. I would've liked to have seen a bit more realism in their household also. I did love the grandfather, his character was solid and believable.

I also thought the break up was a bit under dramatic, I really cannot believe that all that Henry had done to this point to ensure his love for Kate, he would just walk away because she told him to. There was a scene in the school cafeteria that I thought would happen later on in the book which wasn't completed. Henry stood up to the school bully on behalf of Kate and I had a feeling from the dialogue we would see more of this interaction, however, the bully just drifted into the background scenery, never to be heard from again.

However, if you put that all aside, the book is a very enjoyable read. As I stated previously, it will make you cry on several occasions and the outcome of the situations played well together.
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on July 10, 2011
A remarkable piece of YA Indie fiction. A bit out of my normal parameters, which lean more towards the paranormal and dark fantasy, but it's been receiving rave reviews on Amazon. I found myself in tears several times throughout the novel, and as much as I wanted to think the novel was over-the-top, the sad fact is that the situations depicted are all too real for many teens. Bennett shows remarkable prowess as a storyteller to take the story of mental illness and abuse and tell it without coming across as over the top. Told in the first person, her protagonist goes through all the classic symptoms of abuse victims, and readers are with her as she changes over the course of the novel. I would like to have seen the Cinderella syndrome addressed- yes, the protagonist does much of her own changing, but her rich and handsome boyfriend is the catalyst for most of it. Even this was fine with me. He was a great character, and so was his whole family, and I don't buy it that guys/people like him don't exist. I happen to be married to one. I would like to have see an internal examination about what would have happened if the boyfriend hadn't been there. But this really was a fantastic read. It straddles the divide between YA and adult. Some younger readers may find the situations disturbing. But then, that's exactly why such stories must be told.
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