From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sara Zarr: Sweethearts

Sara Zarr is another author I was introduced to via Live Journal. Her books are always checked out or part of a "wait list" at my library, so I was thrilled to actually find Sweethearts on the shelf during my last book run!


As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.

When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.

From the National Book Award nominated author of Story of a Girl, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.

Don't judge a book by its cover. That topic keeps coming up in my blog posts. Doesn't the Sweethearts cover look, well, sweet? But it's a not a sweet, carefree story at all. Instead, it's kind of dark.

Jennifer Harris is an unpopular, chubby elementary school girl who is constantly picked on. She has one friend, fellow outcast Cameron Quick. One day, without warning or explanation, Cameron disappears, leaving Jennifer heartbroken and alone.

Jennifer reinvents herself. She's now Jenna Vaughn, a popular high school student with friends and a boyfriend. But she hasn't forgotten her childhood sweetheart and is still tormented by memories of her past.

Suddenly, Cameron is back and throwing Jenna's life into a tailspin.

Told through flashbacks and present day, Jenna relives a tragic day from her childhood, rekindles her friendship with Cameron, and starts to wonder who she really wants to be.

It was a heartbreaking story that took me places I didn't expect to go. Sometimes I felt sad and confused. Other times I felt very uncomfortable. But I couldn't stop reading or caring about these characters.

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