Almost-15-year-old Austin Gray is tired of standing at the curb and watching the parade pass her by. Literally. She decides this is the year she’ll ride on the hood of a shiny pickup truck in the annual parade, waving to the crowd and finally showing the town bully that she’s got what it takes to be the Sweetheart of Prosper County.
But far from simply being a beauty contest, becoming Sweetheart involves participation in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), raising an animal, and hunting or fishing. Austin will do almost anything to become Sweetheart, and has the support of her oldest friend, Maribel, her new FFA friends (including the reigning Sweetheart, and a quiet, cute cowboy), an evangelical Elvis impersonator, a mysterious Cajun outcast, and a rooster named Charles Dickens. If only her momma would stop overprotecting her, and start letting Austin live her own life. But Austin can’t move on until Momma moves on, too—and lets the grief of losing Austin’s daddy several years before out into the open.
Here is a bighearted story that will leave readers agreeing with Austin that sometimes, it’s not what you ride, it’s how you roll.
This book was absolutely adorable. Alexander captured the charm of Prosper County perfectly and had outstanding characters shine with such personality and spirit. Austin wants to fit in and thinks that FFA will help her find her place. Charles Dickens the Rooster had so much personality and jumped right off the page. Maribel is Austin's best friend and she is so hardworking and sweet. Sundi and Josh were great new friends to Austin and I liked their adoration for FFA and that they had more to their life then school and friends. Lewis was so funny and I loved the humor from being an Elvis Performance Artist. The plot of this book was adorable and I was engaged as I was reading this book. I read this book rather quickly. Alexander's writing was quirky fun and not like other contemporary books. I recommend this book to fans of Dairy Queen series by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. It was a fun, sweet, and overall adorable book.