Wednesday, July 08, 2009

[Book Review] SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr

Fiction/Young Adult

Andrea King reviews SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown and Company, 2008)

This book evoked a lot of emotions from me. There were some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as times that I cried. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike.

Sweethearts is the endearing story of Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick. The two were social outcasts and each other’s only friends in elementary school. The pair always took up for each other when school bullies picked on Jennifer or when Cameron’s dad abused him. Knowing the other was always there made life a little bit more bearable. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes, and Cameron disappears. Being told that he died, part of Jennifer herself fades away, as well.

Fast forward eight years. Jennifer has lost her “baby fat” and loser image and gained a new image and popularity as Jenna Vaughn. Jennifer Harris is no longer in the picture, just like Cameron Quick isn’t. But, Jenna’s world is turned upside down on her seventeenth birthday when she gets a letter from Cameron himself.

He’s back! No, this is not some supernatural thriller novel. Cameron and his family just had to move out of state to escape his abusive father. Jenna’s emotions are rightfully muddled, as she tries to make sure Cameron doesn’t reveal anything about her past while trying to include him in her new life. It is difficult and strained, but honest. This book is about second chances and friendship and what we as individuals decide to do with both.

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