Publisher: Little, Brown Books
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.
What I thoughtI've been eying a few Zarr books for a while now and when I saw this on the local bookstore shelf, I decided to just grab it and ask questions later. From what I've gleamed from other books, Zarr deals with real life issues quite a bit. And this seemed to fall in line in what little I knew about the books.
This is a hard book to review. While I really liked it, it left me feeling pretty sad as well. I felt bad for Jenna. When she was little, she lost her only true friend. And she's had to change everything about herself to get the new friends and boyfriend she has in high school. We get bits and pieces of a story, throughout the entire novel, that gives us an idea of what life was like for her best friend, Cameron. That was the part that really hooked me.
I'm not going to lie, I had wanted something a little more definite at the ending. I had hoped and prayed that the two characters could find a way to be together, since it is obvious that they complete each other. Jenna was devastated when she lost her best friend. Not only did I feel bad for Cameron, as he's had a rotten life, but I also felt for Jenna. She truly struggles to deal with him gone.
One of the surprising, things I really liked about this was Jenna's stepfather. He's an easy going guy who truly cares for Jenna. He does give us a bit of comedic relief but you can also tell that while Jenna isn't his child, he does truly care for her. Sometimes the parents seem to be in the background, neither here nor there, but I liked seeing Jenna's parents not being stuck in the background.
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